As the Fall leaves tumble and fall and the winds grow stronger, thoughts no doubt turn to the impending winter, rearing its icy head just around the Thanksgiving corner. I love Fall, but there’s a bittersweet quality to it because I hate the cold. December is fine, but it’s January and February that are miserable. March? I could never meet her again and I’d be just fine. One of the things I can’t stand most of all is driving in the winter. It’s an adventure and you risk your very life every time. Of course, there are some inexpensive ways to prep your car for the winter weather chaos which will help alleviate that one stress.
1. Put a Brick In It
Or more than one brick. One thing that causes cars to slide up and around over the snow and ice is a lack of traction. That can be remedied by loading your car with some weight over the rear tires, particularly if you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Get cinder blocks for cheap from Home Depot, since cinder blocks are easy to life one by one, but together can create a ton of weight (not literally a ton) and you’ll notice your car sticking to the road much better. Your fuel economy will suffer of course, though insignificantly. And if you were really worried about that, you’d live in California anyway.
2. Industrial Strength Scraper
One thing that always ruins your day is when there’s a thick layer of ice on the windshield and you are scraping it and then the scraper snaps in twine. And you are stuck and there’s nothing you can do but blast the defrost for a few hours, hoping that’ll melt the vision obstructing mess. But you should definitely get a very tough and strong scraper, which the folks at the Chevrolet Dealership in Ontario sell for cheap. It’s a great way to be prepared for any type of weather. Find them at inlandempire-chevrolet.com.
3. Sand and Salt
When your car is stuck, it’s because the tires have dug into the snow and there’s no traction, so you floor the pedal and the wheels just spin round and round like the Wheel of Fortune on steroids. That’s no good. But if you load up your car with coarse sand or salt, you’ll be able to be your own best friend. Get out the sand and a scoop and put generous amounts both in front of and behind all four tires. Get it wedged right up in there, and you’ll immediately see that your car’s wheels have something to grip onto.
4. Shovel and Chicken Wire
If you are in a wintry bind more serious that a simple slipping of the tire on the ice, you may need to go on the attack. With a shovel, you can beat back any snow or ice band, whether caused by mother nature herself or a pesky plow. Make sure you have a metal shovel in the trunk, not a cheap plastic one that will crack at first encounter with a block of ice. Then, after you’ve cleared a path with your shoveling skills, lay down some chicken wire to simulate having chains on your tires. You don’t want to ruin the roads with permanent chains, but with the wire solution, laid on your shoveled path, you should be able to get going on to the main roads that are better maintained.