Prepare your vehicle for freezing weather

We’ve reached the end of September, and the holiday season is fast approaching. Across the country, temperatures are dropping rapidly and drivers are preparing their vehicles for the colder weather. 

Regardless of whether your state has experienced a cold front this year, it’s never too soon to prepare for winter.

To help, the experienced staff at Christian Brothers Automotive has compiled a list of the best tips and tricks to survive freezing temperatures.

1. Prepare a winter emergency kit

Especially if you live up North, it’s important to be prepared for anything. A simple winter emergency kit can go a long way towards keeping every drive safe through the holidays.

No matter where you live, make sure your kit includes:

  • Microfiber rags
  • Flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Bottled water
  • First-aid kit
  • Foam rubber snow broom
  • Ice scraper

If you live in an area with excessive snowfall, extra precautions could save your life.

If your area experiences extreme temperatures, also include:

  • Blanket
  • Candle and matches
  • Cat litter
  • Small shovel
  • Nonperishable food

In a few short minutes, you could be prepared for whatever winter decides to throw your way. The extra preparation could go a long way towards helping you (and your car) survive the cold months.

2. Learn to thaw a frozen door lock

Unfortunately, our auto repair shops in the northern states face customers every year who have cracked windshields or damaged keyholes by pouring boiling water on their frozen car. Luckily, there’s an easier (and safer) way to free a frozen door.

You’ll recognize a frozen lock if you put the key into the keyhole and it won’t turn. In addition to boiling water, another old trick is heating the key with a match or lighter. This is both dangerous and could damage your key. Many modern keys come equipped with a microchip, which could stop working if held near fire.

To thaw a frozen door lock, simply dip the key in rubbing alcohol and spray lock deicer (or graphite spray) into the keyhole. The lock should now be thawed! Finish the process by wiping the key and keyhole dry with a microfiber cloth.

3. Defrost a frozen windshield

As you now know, pouring a pot of boiling water onto a frozen windshield is not a good idea. Fortunately, a little vinegar and room temperature water can fix a frozen windshield in minutes!

Fill a spray bottle with 3-parts vinegar, 1-part water and spray all over your car windows the night before a big freeze. The acetic acid in vinegar keeps the water from freezing. And not to worry if you forgot to spray the windows the night before – this same mixture will melt ice on a windshield, too!

As a bonus tip, you can use cooking spray to keep your doors from freezing shut! Spray the cooking oil around the door’s rubber seals, then wipe off with a paper towel. The oil in the cooking spray keeps rubber from sticking to metal!

The holiday season will soon be upon us.

Fortunately, these 3 cold weather tips from Christian Brothers Automotive can help you stay safe and your car stay ice-free! For more winter weather advice, or to ask any questions about season-proofing your vehicle, call your local Christian Brothers Automotive today!