Winter Driving Safety Tips

The weather outside is certainly frightful, but you’re feeling snug inside your home as winter’s fury rages. That light accumulation of fluffy white stuff is getting heavier and heavier — soon, you’ll have to don your winter gear and head outside to dig your car out.

Removing snow from a car may not seem like a big deal, but its finish and the health of your back are at stake. With what seems like a ton of snow on your car, you need to come up with a sound way to remove the snow with the least amount of aggravation. Let’s take a look at some step-by-step methods for cleaning off your car:

Clear the tail pipe — Head to the back of your car first to clear snow away from the tail pipe. This is important because as soon as you can, you’ll be starting your car.

Brush carefully — Hopefully, your brush isn’t in your car, but if you’re dealing with a large amount of snow then you’ll need to use something else. Be careful — because a straw broom’s bristles can scratch the paint. Instead, use a broom with horsehair or the equivalent to being brushing off the driver’s door.

Get Inside — The moment you are able to open the driver’s door (or passenger side and then sliding over), then do so. With tail pipe clear, go ahead and start your car. Make sure that the wipers are off and turn the heat and defroster on high. This will facilitate in helping to melt snow faster.

Top to bottom — Clear your car off from the roof to the trunk and hood on down. Likely, you’ll be dealing with large amounts of snow, but resist using a shovel unless you can avoid the paint. If you’re working with someone else, they can begin to shovel out your driveway. If working alone, continue to brush off the snow including on the windshield, windows, grille, headlamps and elsewhere. Carefully free snow and ice from your wiper blades — they’ll get damaged if they aren’t cleaned properly. Use an ice scraper to remove crusted ice from the windshield.

Move your car — As soon as you can, shift your car into gear and move it out of its parking space. You’ll find it easier to clear the area if you have a patch of clear pavement to stand on. Turn your car off if you’ll be working for an additional 15 minutes or more to clear snow.

Inspect carefully — If the storm was particularly severe, snow may have gotten into crevices. Pop open the hood and clear away snow when the engine is turned off. Do the same for the trunk or hatchback. If the skies have cleared, consider leaving hood or trunk open to allow everything to dry out.

Additional Thoughts

Of course, preparing for a major storm can make your clean up easier. That means putting your car in a garage or car port if available or moving it to the end of the driveway to make it easier and quicker for you to leave. Put your windshield wipers in an erect position and remove scraper and brush before the storm moves in. Finally, have enough ice melt on hand to help clear your driveway or parking spot.  source