How many times have you gone to unlock your car in the winter, only to be left out in the cold freaking out when you realize the lock isn’t turning and now you’re either going to be super late for work or you’re forced to stay home for the day? Or how about when you don’t warm up your car before heading out and you are trying to scrape the ice from your frozen windshield as fast as possible with whatever is in your car at the time?
Hopefully, you’ve never actually experienced these times of stress, but just in case, hopefully you’re prepared in the common case that this may happen as we all reside in the big, the bad - the Midwest.
Coming from a Lifer who has done everything from lose their keys on New Year’s Eve in Chicago to lock their keys in the car at a gas station pump, you’re going to want to read through some of these winter tips and hacks we researched for our friends in the community.
Shaving Cream – No, we’re not saying you should partake in the dangerous activity of distracted driving by getting ready on your way to work. What we are saying is that rubbing some shaving cream on the inside of your windshield for a minute before wiping it off will act like your car’s defroster as many shaving creams have the same properties as defoggers.
Kitty Litter – This one’s a two-for-one! Like the shaving cream, keeping some socks or something similar filled with kitty litter (the absorbent silica variety) on the floorboard can reduce the fog inside of your car. On top of that, any time you slide off the side of the road, kitty litter can be used for tire traction when you’re having trouble getting back on the road.
Cooking Spray – For this easy way to help prevent your doors from freezing shut, you can bring whatever hot meal you cooked to thank us for the advice! Just simply spray it on the rubber seal of the car doors and they should be good to open the next day!
Homemade Wiper Fluid – Nothing is scarier than driving on the expressway when dirty slush from tall semi-trucks creates a thick muck on your windshield, it gets worse by turning your wipers on, and your wiper fluid is frozen. Who needs to see while driving? Everyone. So, mix a gallon of water, a tablespoon of dish soap, a half-cup of vinegar, and some isopropyl alcohol to prevent freezing and there you have it. Now you can focus on other things like our good news across the Region.
Aside from these winter car hacks, be absolutely sure to keep an emergency kit in your car at all times, winter or not. Items like blankets, water, flashlights, and jumper cables can all be lifesavers during an emergency, and remember, if you’re stranded during a winter storm, do NOT leave the vehicle to look for help. Stay and wait for help inside the vehicle so you do not risk getting frostbite or hypothermia.
We wish you all a happy winter! Stay safe out there Midwesterners!