Winter Driving Tips and Tricks!

Winter driving can be tricky due to the unpredictable road and weather conditions! But don't worry, read on for our Winter Driving Tips, Tricks and Hacks to learn some easy DIY methods to make your winter driving experience a bit easier. 

Be sure to check out our "How to Prepare Your Car for Winter! ("Winterizing Your Car")" post for 5 simple steps to ensure your car is prepared for the winter!

 

1. Park Facing East

If possible, at night when you return home, park your car facing the East side. This is because the sun rises from the East side in the morning and can help with defrosting your windows!

 

2. Frozen Windows

Your windows may be fully covered in ice, and your window defrosters are not working fast enough.

Here is a recipe for a quick window defroster (note: may not work if the ice on your car is really really thick or if the weather is really cold). Use this in conjunction with your vehicle's window defrosters, as well as pre-heating your vehicle. 

  • Get a spray bottle
  • 1/3 Water 
  • 2/3 Rubbing Alcohol
  • Spray it onto your windshield and let it sit for a bit before using your ice scraper to scrape the ice

Note: Do NOT pour hot water on your windshield. This is very dangerous, and will cause damage to your windshield. The windshield glass is very cold when it's covered in ice. If you throw hot water on the glass, it will cause a rapid temperature change and a sudden expansion of the glass which leads to cracking or shattering of your windshield.



Also, it's best to avoid licking your windows...

 

3. Foggy Windows 

Window fog is the worst. It comes out from nowhere and attacks every window it can get its hands on. Here's the fastest way to get rid of window fog: 

  1. Turn on the Front Window Defroster
  2. Turn heat on full blast
  3. Turn AC on
  4. Make sure the inside air circulation is off
  5. Open windows slightly
  6. Now watch the fog disappear 

Another way to get fog to disappear (manually, and preferably a passenger would do this) is to keep a whiteboard eraser in your car and use it on your windows. You can also fill an old sock with cat litter and place it near your window (cat litter absorbs moisture).  

 

4. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning! 

Anything that burns fuel produces a toxic by-product: Carbon Monoxide. 

Carbon Monoxide is a odorless, colorless, tasteless and non-irritating poisonous gas. 

Symptoms of poisoning:

  • Headache
  • Nausea, Dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Collapsing
  • Loss of consciousness which will lead to death

If you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately go to an area with fresh air and seek medical help. 

Here are steps to prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning!

  • Properly inspect and repair your exhaust system
  • Do not warm your car up in small or enclosed spaces
    • Keep your garage door open
    • Make sure the exhaust is on the outside of your garage
    • Beware carbon monoxide could seep inside your home
  • DO NOT run your car if your car is completely covered in snow (especially the tailpipe) - this is extremely dangerous especially if there are any passengers sitting inside the car
  • Avoid idling your car and always keep your windows partially open
  • Install a portable carbon monoxide detector in your car

 

5. Stuck in Snow?

If you find yourself stuck in snow and unable to move, here are some steps you can do! Also, it would be easier to maneuver in winter with winter tires. 

  1. Keep yourself in a lower gear and "rock" yourself out. "Rocking" yourself out means to shift forward and back in hopes of getting unstuck.
  2. Keep a shovel in your car and you could shovel some snow away
  3. Keep a pair of old socks in your car. If you ever have to push your car out of the snow, you can slip the pair of old socks over your shoe for increased traction.
  4. Keep old floor mats or kitty litter/sand in the back of your trunk. The weight of the kitty litter/sand in your trunk can give your car more weight in the back of your car for increased traction (only for RWD cars on winter tires. Do not put too much weight or your car will just sink into the snow. If you have a FWD car, putting weight in the back of your car will make your car have less traction). 
    If you are stuck, put the old floor mats or sprinkle kitty litter in-front of the wheels that are spinning. This can give your wheels more traction. 
  5. If none of the above works, then you will have to call for help.

 

6. Stranded?

Winter conditions are unpredictable and although you have prepared your car for winter, anything could happen. This is why it's crucial to always be prepared and keep an Emergency Kit and First Aid Kit in your car. It doesn't take up much room and will come in very handy if an emergency does arise. You can find many ready-made kits available for purchase. 

Emergency Kit Contents:

  • Snow shovel, Brush and Ice Scrapper
  • Engine Oil, Washer Fluid and Coolant
  • Flashlights and Flares
  • Booster Cables
  • Extra Jacket, Rain gear Gloves, Hat, Boots, Blanket, Heating Pads
  • Non-Perishable Food, Water
  • First Aid Kit
  • Waterproof matches
  • Tow rope
  • Multi-tools and equipment
  • Tire Puncture Seal

Other Items to Keep in your Car:

  • Extra phone and phone charger
  • Emergency Contact Numbers

 

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help make your winter driving experience a little less stressful!

Remember to remove all snow and ice from your vehicle (windshield, side windows, top,side and rear of your vehicle) before driving! It will help improve your visibility and it will also increase road safety for other motorists (debris and chunks of snow/ice will not go flying into other vehicles). Allow yourself to have enough time to get to your destination, and remember to stay calm and drive safely. Give yourself more stopping distance and more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Always check the weather, and do not risk going out if road conditions are too dangerous. 

Stay safe and enjoy the beauty winter brings!