How to Properly Remove Snow From Your Car

Cleaning your vehicle on a frigid morning can be difficult at the best of times. But there are general rules to follow that should take some of the pain away.

Here are my top tips for how best to remove snow and ice from your car and arrive safe at your destination.

  1. Keep a snowbrush by the front door, as well as in your car, and use it to first clean off the roof of your vehicle, the window rails and the rear window prior to starting the engine. Nothing is more exasperating than walking out to your car after a snowfall, unlocking the doors and opening them only to watch snow tumble onto the seat, guaranteeing a wet ride into work. Before you start the car and heat up the windows, take a moment to clear off the roof, making sure to remove any loose snow from around the tops of the windows. As for the rear window, it is generally easier to get rid of fresh snow when it is dry, rather than heating it up with the rear defroster. Why make this harder than it already is?
  2. Start the car, turning on the rear defroster — as well as the heated mirrors and steering wheel if your car has them — and direct airflow to the front windshield by selecting the “defrost” setting on your HVAC system. Generally speaking, this will make snow and ice removal easier as it should help melt ice build-up, specifically around the windshield area. As the car is warming up, remove fresh snow from the windshield while it is still dry, prior to the warm air causing it to melt and become heavy or cling to the snowbrush.
  3. Scape the windows starting from the outside edge and working your way into the middle.
  4. Be sure to clear the area around the wiper blades carefully so as to not damage a potentially stuck rubber blade. Remove built up snow from around the lower portion of the windshield to ensure your blades can swing freely.
  5. Depending on where the windshield washers are located, carefully remove any snow and ice from the surrounding area to allow the washer fluid to spray properly. It’s no secret — you will most likely need them on the drive.
  6. Clean the entire car to remove all snow. Be sure to clean the hood area as flying snow can be dangerous and block your vision while driving. An unclean roof area, especially in a minivan or large SUV, can wreak havoc on the roads for those drivers behind you. I was recently amazed to see a transport truck driving down the highway causing a significant traffic jam as snow flew from the top of the trailer, the driver oblivious to the potential danger he was causing. Take time and think of others, not just your own need to get where you are going as quickly as possible.
  7. Clean the headlights and taillights, the radiator grille, license plates and mirrors, plus the wheels and wheel well areas to ensure a safe and worry-free drive. It is hard enough to see oncoming traffic in a snowstorm, but doubly difficult when headlights or taillights are covered with snow or ice. Your car’s engine needs air to work properly, so don’t forget to remove as much snow and ice as possible from around the front grille. Mirrors are your best weapon for all-around vision, so keep them clear and free of snow. As for the wheels, excess snow can cause vibration and too much packed snow in the wheel wells may actually limit your turning ability. Spring is coming, but Winter is certain to be here for a least a few more months. Be smart and the drive into work should be a lot easier for all.

Extra Tips

Always keep an extra container of washer fluid in the trunk and be sure to top up regularly. There are few things worse than being stuck behind a vehicle spraying your car with slush while the washer fluid indicator on the dash reads empty.

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Subscribe by email to this site

  2. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful information specially the last part. I care for such info much. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

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