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Simple and safe car hacks to beat the winter weather

Written by James Mills

Simple and safe car hacks to beat the winter weather

Last winter was a cold one for the UK. For a brief period, things got exciting as a heavy load of the white stuff brought about ‘Snowmageddon’ and drivers had to adapt their routines to clear their car of snow and ice.

For younger, less experienced car owners, who hadn’t previously faced tough winters, there was a steep learning curve as they battled to get to where they needed to be without suffering freezing fingers, unnecessary delays or dramatic incidents during their journeys.

Happily, there are plenty of hacks that can help motorists prepare their car and themselves for the worst of the winter weather. They’ll save you from shelling out hard-earned cash for costly winter products, like de-icer and ice-scrapers and specialist brushes.

Here’s how you can make sure you don’t end up going snowhere this winter.

 

Car hacks the night before snow

 

Hack 1: cover the windscreen

You could use an old blanket to cover your windscreen, and it will work for a time. But it is going to become damp and turn mouldy. For just a few pounds, you can get foil-covered windscreen covers that act as a shade in the summer and prevent ice forming on the glass in the winter. Try Amazon, Halfords or Tesco.

 

Hack 2: park the car facing east

If you don’t have time to prepare a cover, can you park the car so the windscreen is facing east? That way it will face the sun as it rises, which can help by lending a thawing effect.

 

Hack 3: lift the wipers clear of the windscreen

If your car allows you to, lift the wipers into the air to prevent them from freezing to the glass and, in turn, you switching them on and dragging the rubber blades across ice that’s abrasive enough to tear them.

 

Hack 4: Wipe the door seals with WD40 or silicone spray

In sub-zero temperatures, it only takes a small amount of moisture to sit on one of the rubber seals between a door and the frame of the car for the door to freeze shut. While pouring warm water onto the door frame may release it, you’re likely to make the problem worse as that introduces more moisture that will freeze. For a proper, preventative fix, spray the rubber seal with WD40 or silicone spray, which are very affordable, or use something like Auto Glym Rubber and Vinyl Care.

 

Winter warmers: check whether you have the correct car kit for winter driving

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Written by James Mills

Read more from James Mills

James Mills is a former editor of BBC Top Gear and Auto Express magazines. He now contributes to The Sunday Times Driving. His favourite car is the Caterham Seven.

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