I don’t know where most Cars for Girls readers live, however here in the Midwest, we’re nearing the middle of snow season. As a matter of fact, I’m bracing today for anywhere between 3 to 5 inches of the fluffy white stuff and according to our local weather forecast, that’s after the freezing rain – which is supposed to sneak in before the snow storm.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to seeing the beauty of a snowfall, but dreading the aftermath as we struggle to dig our vehicles out from underneath a frosty pile of snow.
If you’re like me and other Midwesterners who experience snow and arctic air, eventually you’re going to need some elbow grease to dig your vehicle out of a snow bank, but there are some things you can do to make the job a little easier and less time consuming – and hopefully a little less strenuous on your back, too.
1. Before the first snowfall, buy yourself a 3-in-1 snow broom with an extendable pole. These usually come with a brush and squeegee and one end and a scraper on the other end. What’s cool about this is that the pole is extendable, allowing you to use one end (whether it’s the brush or scraper end it doesn’t matter) to reach the roof of your vehicle so you can remove that foot of snow icing without hurting yourself or straining your back in the process. This beats using your arm, a household broom or a large basic shovel to brush off the snow. This also fits nicely in your vehicle, much better than a broom or basic snow shovel ever will. Amazon currently has them for under $22.00. To see one, click here.
2. Start your car and turn the defroster on the high setting. Some prefer to wait until their vehicle is nicely warmed up before turning on the defroster, while others think, “Why wait?” and turn it on immediately. The choice is yours. If I have the gas to burn, I’ll wait until my vehicle has warmed up before turning the defroster on. In the meantime, this is when I start working on the roof, the hood, trunk, headlights and taillights.
3. If you can’t actually get into your vehicle because the locks are frozen, don’t despair; hopefully you’re prepared and have some de-icer in the house specifically for this purpose. If not, try heating your key with a lighter or match to warm it up and then insert it into the door lock. You might have to give it a go a few times before the key will turn the lock.
4. Always remember to check the tailpipe of the vehicle before turning over the engine to make certain no snow is blocking the exhaust. If you notice snow around the tailpipe, clear it away so any exhaust fumes can’t build up inside the vehicle.
5. Dig out the tires so you can get moving (albeit safely and cautiously) down the road. Remove as much snow as possible around the tires by using your hands, shovel or brush. If you’re using a shovel, dig around the tires on all sides and has far down through the snow as possible. If you’re using your hands or a brush, again get as much snow away from the tires as you possibly can. This may take a little while but don’t give up! Remember: shoveling builds muscles! Once you have dug in as deep as possible, throw down a liberal supply of rock salt, which will melt the remainder of the snow. If you don’t have rock salt on hand, you can use kitty litter or even aquarium gravel. Granted, neither one of these will melt, but applied generously around all four tires, it should give enough traction for tires to bite and move forward.
6. Remember to remove snow and ice from windshields carefully. You can also purchase de-icer specially formulated for windshields. Many a wiper blade has been snapped off by an overzealous and hurried motorist; another reason to give yourself plenty of time when you’re faced with a mound of snow and have to dig out before you go!
Note: To all of my friends and Cars for Girls readers in Wisconsin: Although I can’t be with you physically to help, please know I’m wishing you a speedy dig out and safe travels today!