Gently falling snow, twinkling lights, and blazing fireplaces—winter can be beautiful. What’s not so beautiful? Frozen door handles, iced over windshield wipers, foggy headlights, and spinning tires. Don’t let these tough situations leave you stuck in the middle of nowhere, at home, or in an unsafe driving situation. We’ve got easy car hacks to help!
Winter Problem #1: Frozen Door Lock
The only thing worse than getting into a chilly car is not being able to get into your car at all. If you’re stuck in the cold because your car lock is frozen, there’s actually a pretty simple solution. Coat your key with hand sanitizer—you can get a mini bottle of hand sanitizer to keep on your keys! Gently insert the coated key into the lock and wait about 30 seconds. The ethanol and isopropanol alcohol will melt the stubborn ice pronto!
Winter Problem #2: Frozen Windshield Wipers
If your windshield wipers are frozen in place, de-icing your windshield will be a whole new level of difficulty. Luckily, there are a few magic elixirs that can thaw your wipers out quicker! Grab a spray bottle and fill it with one of the following: vinegar and water, pickle juice, or vodka and water. Spray your wipers down to speed up the melting process! You can also use cold weather windshield wiper fluid to help soften the ice on wiper blades.
Winter Problem #3: Foggy Headlights
Foggy headlights might be a minor nuisance on most days, but they can be downright dangerous on a winding, dimly lit road. Luckily, the solution is easy! Rub down your headlights with regular toothpaste with baking soda – yes, the tube in your bathroom will probably do! (Skip the kind with cooling beads, as this may scratch your lights.) Apply a thin layer of toothpaste with a rag and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, scrub your toothpaste into the lights with a toothbrush and finish by rinsing them clean with some water. That’s it!
Winter Problem #4: Spinning Tires
When the snow starts to accumulate or melt into mud puddles, it’s easy to get stuck. If you hear nothing but a whirring noise when you press on the accelerator, take your foot off! You might be making a slippery situation even slicker. Instead, put your car into park. Take your car mat out and put it in front of your stuck tire (with the tip placed underneath). Then, get back into your car and accelerate gently until you’re unstuck. Don’t forget to retrieve your mat!
These car hacks are great in a pinch, but one of the best ways to avoid a major winter mishap is by putting quality winter tires on your vehicle. When in doubt, turn to your local Firestone Complete Auto Care technician. With over 90 years of auto service experience, we're your go-to shop for winter car care, winter tires, and so much more. Schedule an appointment online for whatever winter car problem is plaguing you today!