Sunday, 5 December 2010

Ice Preparation for the Car

Since I've recently given advice for cold-weather biking, it only seems fair to give you my tips for cold-weather car preparation.

My car has a diesel engine, and seems to take an age to warm up on cold mornings.  Also, it doesn't have the modern techno-luxury of heated door mirrors.

These two combined mean that de-icing can be a long process.

So I take the time to decorate the car in the evenings :)

First on: plastic sheet across the windscreen; it keeps the worst of the frost and snow off, with the added benefit that the screen doesn't mist so badly on the inside.

Next: 'protect' the wipers.  Windscreen wipers are easily damaged by trying to use them - even by accidentally knocking their switch - if they're frozen to the screen.  Worse still, the wiper motor and mechanism won't know they'r frozen, so will keep trying to move them.  The result can be a burnt-out motor.  SO rummage in the paper recycling tub, and get some cardboard - the 'waxy' type used in packaging works well - tear small pieces and tuck them under the wiper blade keeping it off the screen.  I find 3 pieces per blade, each piece about 3 or 4 cm long will do the trick.

Finally, the door mirrors.  They're always a pain to clean off, as teh scraper never quite fits into the mirror housing.  So avoid the problem by putting a plastic bag over the mirror.  For my Vauxhall's mirrors, the 'tie handle freezer bags' fit well!  Additional hint here: if it's just misted rather than iced or frosty, leave the bags on the mirrors until just before driving away, otherwise they're likely to mist up by the time the rest of the car's cleared.


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