Never Melt Ice With Hot Water and Other Winter Driving Tips

By Ford Social Member

The weather outside is frightful – but driving in it can actually be delightful! There are a few do’s and don’t’s that we always like to remind ourselves of at this time of year and thought we’d share them with you, since the rest of this month equates to travel for the lot of us.

We mentioned in the title not to melt ice with hot water. Specifically, never pour hot water onto your windshield, as it can crack the glass. However, do use winterized windshield wiper fluid to ensure your wiper sprayer doesn’t freeze over or crack. And we know the “vacation” you’re on is often far from being a truly relaxing vacation with a leisurely pace, but make sure you do set aside a few spare moments to be able to clear snow and ice from the windows so you have visibility. An easy thing to forget: clear snow and ice from your headlights and taillights, too.

Now, it might seem like an odd idea to wash your car these days, but it will remove road salt and dirt; that grime can prematurely age the body of your vehicle. Guess maybe we need to think about taking showers more often if lack of bathing equals premature aging.

Mom always told us to make sure we never had less than a half a tank of fuel in case of an emergency, and in winter her advice is even more sound, because the last thing you need is to get stranded. But since Ford vehicles have fuel efficiency in mind, thanks to the EcoBoost® engines, electric power-assisted steering and hybrid technology, you’ll be getting the most out of that tank! Also make sure fluid levels are where they should be and that your tires, including the spare, have the proper air pressure and tread.

OK, so you’ve packed the car with all the presents and other festive necessities, but make sure you save room for emergency items, like a blanket to stay warm, boots/jacket/hat/gloves for if you have to be outside, a shovel, a flashlight (make sure the batteries are fresh) and snacks. And above all, make sure your cell phone is fully charged! Kitty litter or sand are also good to pack, as they can be used as additional traction should your car get stuck in the snow. And if you do get stuck in the snow or are broken down, don’t leave your car unless shelter is nearby. If you need to run the engine to stay warm, make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow; you want the interior to stay free of carbon monoxide.

Speaking of traction and driving, both can indeed be tricky in inclement weather, so remember to watch out for blind spots and pedestrians; people can be very distracted this time of year! While you may get frustrated by people poking along in front of you as they look at holiday lights or try to sort out unfamiliar surroundings, don’t follow too closely; the general rule is the vehicle ahead should pass a road marker two seconds before you. In slippery conditions, it is recommended to double the amount of space between you and the vehicle in front.

If the roads do get slick, apply even pressure when braking if your vehicle has antilock brakes. Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide on snowy or icy roads until you gain control. Don’t apply power or suddenly change directions on snow or ice.

And finally, be awake and alert behind the wheel. Taking breaks or grabbing a coffee are good things to do! And don’t drink and drive if you’ve had too much to drink at a party. Be safe out there!
Graham C Stevenson 12/21/2011
Im not wasting good coke ! A good scraper does the job
Genny Martin 12/20/2011
don't believe me just try it.
Genny Martin 12/20/2011
you put coke cola on frozen windows the acid will clean it off. just wipe off with wipers.
Robin Geer 12/20/2011
I like you,I gotta take care of my FORD first,thanks for the tips
Joe M Mazzucco 12/20/2011
Never put hot water on any cold glass. But if your doors are frozen shut or locks are frozen put some hot water in a spray bottle set on stream and sprey around door and on locks works well . Don't wait to long because it will refreeze.
Ray Brewer 12/20/2011
What you do to your windscreen at night time before it gets to cold&icy is go into the house, grab a fresh potato, cut it in half&rub the potato juice onto your windscreen there's something in the potato I think it's the starch, that can't freeze and in the morning just come out, start your car&put the wipers on&your screens as clear as anything, it works trust me, but it's got to be a fresh potato though ok.
Missy Pederson Harder 12/20/2011
sure sad to hear about the ranger i luv my 2003
Rob King 12/20/2011
i melt ice with scotch
Brandon Dunning 12/20/2011
If you are going to use kitty litter, make sure to NOT get the clumping kind, as it turns into one of the most slippery substances you've ever seen after it gets wet. The normal stuff works well.
Tim Francis 12/20/2011
Dear ford, wanna make my Christmas happy? My car tore up, borrowed transportation, could use a car for family of 4. Mustang, F-150, Fusion, don't care, something reliable, please!
Shawn Kalles 12/20/2011
I keep all my rigs in garages, but my 01 superduty, to long,,,
Kevin Hunter 12/20/2011
Keep in a garage if you got one. I don't but i wish i did. Guess i can get a cover for the police interceptor.
art 12/20/2011
great advice but i thought everyone knew about HOT WATER!!!!!
Dominick Ruggiero 12/20/2011
I melt ice with a blow tourch and hair spray, it acts like a flamethrower...but this one time I burnt down the guy next doors car:( he was very mad...but also at the same time happy cause he was gonna get a new car...but then he slipped on the ice an broke his back and now is a quadrapoligic and cant walk or drive. thats not my fault
Melvin Robinson 12/20/2011
Garage her till summer.
Callum Brown 12/20/2011
I just scrape it only takes 2mins
Eric Scott Robinson 12/20/2011
Would u put salt on it?
Joshua Hunter 12/20/2011
Mustang winter tip. Park her.
Letterio Arici 12/20/2011
Warm water on the colder side works just as well...and it wont crack your glass...
Michael Taylor 12/20/2011
I just use a blanket closed in both doors and under windshield wipers
AB Da Juiceman 12/20/2011
Who melts ice with hot water? lmao
Patrick 12/20/2011
Thanks for the pro-tip!! same thing goes for coffee pots. I've broke coffee pots that way before.
Ronnie Hall 12/20/2011
oh it's awesome, you don't even see them until you're literally inches away from the glass. they're as tiny as hairs, space about 1/4" apart all across the glass, and it melts everything away in just about 1-2 minutes... just about the same time the engine gets warmed up.
William 12/20/2011
If you are traveling in an RV or a larger vehicle, increase your following distance to 4-6 seconds, possibly more in inclement weather.
Roger Johnson 12/20/2011
that would take some getting used too
Ronnie Hall 12/20/2011
i wish i could figure out why heated windshields aren't more common.... i had a few land rovers that had that, and although they were a nightmare, that feature always worked like a champ. it's not like it's expensive technology... same as a rear defroster, only with tons of super tiny wires that don't obstruct your view.
Busted Piston 12/20/2011
who is dumb enough to do that anyway?
Al Basinger 12/20/2011
Bonus trick - place pop bottle caps over windshield washer nozzle bases at base of windshield and pull off as well. This is for ice or crusty snow. Regular snow it's not needed..
Justin Cremeans 12/20/2011
I did this when I was 16 and didn't know any better, luckily nothing bad happened because of it.
Al Basinger 12/20/2011
All I do is buy a couple cheap rubber floor mats, and put them under the wiper blades set at the halfway point on the windshield (to keep from blowing off in a storm). Walk to my car, peel off the mats fire it up and go. Works EVERYTIME !
Roger Johnson 12/20/2011
ive seen a lot of people do this , i just shake my head
Charlie Garvin 12/20/2011
Good way to crack a good windshield.
Never Melt Ice With Hot Water and Other Winter Driving Tips
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