Western New York experienced unseasonably warm weather the past few days. As we look ahead to the weekend, the weather calls for a mixture of freezing rain, sleet, and snow, not to mention the plummeting temperatures.
AAA of Western and Central New York have tips for drivers on how to prepare themselves, and their vehicles for the elements.
- If you have access to a garage or a carport, use it! If you have to park outside, try to avoid parking under tree branches, power lines or other objects where ice could fall and strike the vehicle.
- NEVER pour hot water on an icy windshield; the thermal shock may cause it to break.
- If you can, park facing east to gain some benefits from sun rays.
- Make sure your wipers are turned off before you exit the vehicle. You want to avoid starting a vehicle with wipers turned on in case they are frozen in place.
- Prop up your wipers or cover them with plastic bags so that the rubber blades do not freeze to the windshield.
- Let your car warm up longer than usual to allow defrosters to work to melt ice from the inside out.
- Make sure you have a quality ice scraper to effectively scrape away ice once it begins to soften up. Avoid pounding on the ice and don’t use your scraper on painted surfaces.
- Make sure that you have a full supply of winter-quality windshield washer solvent.
- There are commercial de-icer products that can be used to help melt away ice from your windshield or your locks.
Frozen Car Doors
- Doorjamb gaskets can be wiped down with a good quality silicon spray product on a rag before the storm hits. Make sure you check the product label for hazards.
- If you are in a safe area, avoid locking your doors. (Remove all valuables from the vehicle.)
- Use a commercial lock de-icer product on frozen door locks and keys.
- Heating keys slightly may help to melt away ice in key holes.
They also urge the extra caution to take when the roads become slippery and snow-covered. AAA would like to remind drivers to have an emergency car kit that includes a phone charger and warm clothes.
Roadside assistance is available through the AAA website or call 800-AAA-HELP.