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10 Winter Car Hacks You Need Right Now

Winter in the Midwest is rough, and keeping your car running and reliable can be a challenge. However, with some simple household items, you can be better prepared for all the unique challenges that winter driving presents. Try out these winter car hacks, they might just save you the next time snowfall disrupts your routine, and even prevent an accident.

  1. Spray shaving cream to prevent window fog! Spray a layer on your interior windows and wipe away. Extra tip: Don’t leave water bottles or drinks in your car because the water becomes frost on the inside windows.
  2. Use hand sanitizer on frozen locks. Pour some onto your key and insert into lock. (Heating your key with a lighter can help too!) Extra tip: Spray WD-40 into locks to prevent future freezes.
  3. If rocks or road salt crack your window, try clear nail polish. Dab polish on each side of the windshield to prevent the crack from getting worse until you can get to the repair shop.
  4. Use socks to protect your wipers from freezing to the windshield. Before a snowfall, prop your wipers up and cover with old socks to keep them free of ice and snow.
  5. Don’t scrape your windshield -- de-ice it with vinegar! Mix three parts vinegar with one part water and spray onto your windshield to de-ice and prevent future ice from forming. Extra tip: Park facing east to let the morning sun help melt some ice.
  6. Clean cloudy, salty headlights with toothpaste. Toothpaste is just as effective and is cheaper than the kits sold in stores. Extra tip: Add a layer of wax to prevent future grime.
  7. Cat litter, cat litter, cat litter! Use a heavy bag of cat litter to add weight to your rear wheels on slippery roads, throw some under your tires for traction if stuck and even fill a couple socks with litter to absorb the moisture in your car that creates window fog.
  8. Use a sprinkler on your undercarriage. Salt buildup under your car (that the average car wash doesn’t reach) can erode metal and rubber parts over time. On a warm day, slide an oscillating sprinkler head under the car and let it do the work.
  9. Keep an old rug in your car. Before it snows, throw an old rug (or tarp) onto your windshield to keep off the snow and ice. Extra tip: Toss that rug under your wheels for traction if stuck.
  10. Spray car doors with Pam! Prevent your doors from freezing shut by spraying cooking spray onto the rubber part and wiping away. This will prevent moisture from forming and freezing.

Gather your cat litter, toothpaste and socks to be prepared for the worst possible winter weather! For more winter survival tips, check out the 5 Things That Happen to Your Car When Winter Strikes and our Winter Emergency Checklist to help avoid a breakdown, and be prepared if one occurs. Be safe this winter, and if for any reason you’ve been hurt in a winter driving accident caused by a negligent driver, contact Hupy and Abraham. Call 800-800-5678, or start a live chat anytime at