#WhatYouAutoKnow: 12 Clever Car Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier This Winter

The oh-so-familiar Calgarian scenario: you wake up in the morning and when you check your weather app, it reads -20 degrees! You can already feel the biting cold on your face. But your car is the one that will have to face these harsh elements head on.

With a few clever tricks up your sleeve, you will be better prepared to face all the unique challenges that driving in winter conditions presents.


Winter Wipers

1. Raise your wipers at night

This simple but effective tip will save you a lot of grief in the morning. In the case of overnight snowfall or freezing rain, you will avoid the risk of your wipers being frozen to the windshield or getting stuck underneath the snow. Wipers are an essential component to your safety as they improve visibility during harsh weather so use this simple trick to protect them.

frozen car

2. Cover your windshield

Are you sick of waking up to an icy windshield? Put a mat or a sheet over it! It is as simple as that. Hold the covering down with wipers and doors and take it off in the morning to a clear windshield.

View through the cars windshield  in the winter fog on the road

3. Add a chalkboard eraser to your car emergency kit

Colder months tend to bring with it the foggy windshield plague. Foggy windshields can prove to be highly dangerous in high traffic or high speed situations. When you find yourself in such a bind, wipe your windshield with a chalkboard eraser and instantly get a clear and smudge proof windshield. Alternatively, you can roll your windows down and let the cool air de-fog the glasses.


4. Fog-proof your windshield

Ever thought of shaving cream as a solution to your foggy windshield? Shaving cream includes the same ingredients found in commercial defoggers. Apply the cream to the inside of your windshield and wipe it off. This will leave a layer on the window and will prevent it from fogging up.

Woollen socks

5. Socks in the glove box

The cheap and compact sock is soon going to become your best friend this winter.Spare socks can come in very handy when you’re in a pinch. They can double as gloves, a makeshift cloth or be worn over shoes to provide better traction in the case you have to push your car over ice or walk in snow and ice for whatever reason.

car with frozen rain and ice in winter

6. Socks as windshield wiper covers

Those extra socks can also be used as covers for your windshield wipers for easier de-icing in the morning.

Unlocking a car door on a cold frozen winter morning

7. Break into your car in a pinch

The worst thing that can happen when you’re in a hurry is when your car is so iced over that you are unable to get inside. If you’re ever in this situation, here are three nifty and unexpected tips that will help you.
Frozen lock? Heat your car key with a match or a lighter then gently push the heated key into the lock to melt the ice as you apply pressure. Just be careful you don’t burn yourself!
Frozen handle? Rub a squirt of hand sanitizer on your frozen handles to quickly de-ice them and get to warmth.
Frozen shut? Use cooking spray on the rubber edges of your car doors to keep them from freezing shut overnight.

winter driving - scraping ice from a windshield

8. DIY an ice scraper

If you find yourself without an ice scraper on hand, grab your wallet and take out your sturdiest plastic card or, if you’re at home, then grab a plastic spatula from your kitchen (no metal, unless you want a scratched windshield!) and scrape away!

Road view through front car window with melted snowflakes and frost, artistic view

9. DIY a de-icer

Mix three parts rubbing alcohol and one part water and spray the concoction liberally onto your iced windshield. Watch as the ice instantly melts away.

Car side mirror covered with ice

10. Frosty side mirrors

To prevent frost from accumulating on your side mirrors, cover them with plastic bags the night before and secure with rubber bands or a clothespin.

Car tire depth check with coin

11. The quarter test for your tires

Tires are essential to your safety during winter driving. They take you to work, to the mall for Christmas shopping and to your friends and family for holiday parties. The minimum tread depth you should have on your tires at the start of winter is approximately 6/32” (or 4.8mm). To determine whether or not you need to replace your tires, insert a quarter into the grooves on the tread with the caribou on the quarter going in nose first. If the tire tread covers the tip of the nose, your tires are adequate. If not, your tires are worn and need to be replaced.  With our current winter car service specials, right now is the perfect time to get your tires replaced. You can book a car service appointment online or call Country Hills Hyundai at (403) 984-9696.

dirty car headlight

12. Clean your lights with toothpaste

During the harsh winter weather, there’s reduced visibility on the road. With sand, slush and grime sticking to your headlights, the brightness can be reduced. Cover each light with a layer of toothpaste and rinse off with warm water. Not only will this drastically improve the clarity of your lights, it is also much cheaper than the headlight cleaning kits they sell at stores.

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