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The Best Way to Clear Snow and Ice From Your Vehicle

You are running late for work. You're juggling a cup of coffee in one hand and your keys in the other as you rush over to your vehicle, only to realize that Mother Nature decided to bury the town (and your vehicle) under a pile of snow. You start-up your vehicle and then, because you can't find your snowbrush, use your arm to quickly swipe the worst of the offending white fluff off your vehicle, and away you go.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Maybe you're nodding along because that was you this morning. If so, read on to find out how to most efficiently clear your vehicle of snow.

Quick Tip: When clearing snow off your vehicle, you should start at the top and work your way down. You don't want to have everything clean, and then clear the snow off your roof and have to redo what you just finished.

  • First, check to make sure your vehicle's tailpipe is unobstructed by snow. If you start-up your vehicle while it is covered, it can lead to a toxic carbon monoxide buildup inside your vehicle.
  • Startup the vehicle and crank the defroster. It may take up to 5 minutes before you begin to see any melting occur.
  • While you wait for the defroster to heat-up, you can begin clearing the snow from your vehicle's roof, hood, and then trunk lid.

Quick Tip: Try "pulling" the snow, rather than "pushing" it for an easier removal job.

  • Clear side windows and rear windshield. Clear the front windshield last to give the defroster enough time to begin the melting process.
  • Clear your exterior mirrors, headlights, taillights, and turn signals.
  • Clear off and dry your wiper blades and make sure the wiper fluid nozzles are unobstructed. Never pull on frozen wipers as they can easily break.

How to Remove Frost From Your Windshield:

  • Use the smooth side of a plastic ice scraper to scrape, in conjunction with the defroster.

How to Remove Ice From Your Windshield:

  • Use the ridged side of a plastic ice scraper. To break the ice into smaller pieces, make vertical slashes down followed by scraping horizontally across.

How to Remove Snow From Your Vehicle:

  • For light, fluffy snow use a brush with plastic bristles or a broom. Never use a nylon brush as it can cause scratches in the paint.
  • For heavy snow you can use a push broom. Never use a shovel as it can easily damage your vehicle.

Did You Know?: In Nova Scotia you can be fined upwards of $100 for driving without properly clearing snow from your vehicle. It is dangerous as big chucks of snow could blow off your vehicle, and either obstruct your view or that of other drivers.

How to Prevent Fog Buildup:

Running your air conditioning (even set on heat) is the best way to prevent your windows from fogging. This is because the system actively removes moister from the air. Other ways to help reduce fogging are;

  • Keep your air vent on "fresh" rather than "recirculate".
  • Run the vehicle's defroster or open your windows slightly.
  • Shake off as much snow as possible before entering the vehicle.
  • Wipe down the interior side of the windows and windshields once a week to prevent a film from developing.

What Not to Do:

  • Never pour hot water on your windshield to melt ice. The rapid change in temperature can cause the glass to either crack or shatter.
  • Never pour hot water on an iced over door handle. While at first it could seem to work and you will be able to open the door, the leftover water can then cool and freeze, potentially trapping you in your vehicle or freezing it even worse then originally.
  • Never use road salt on your vehicle. While it is fine for the sidewalk, road salt will corrode your vehicle's paint and metal, damaging your vehicle.
  • Never use nylon brushes on the body of your vehicle. They work well on your windshield, but can cause small scratches if used on the paint. These scratches may only become visible on a sunny day.

At Saunders Motors, we believe in customer service first, so you will never feel pushed or pressured into a purchase. Instead, we will provide you with all the options and information necessary for you to make an educated decision. We have a strong and committed sales staff that works diligently to guarantee that you enjoy your entire purchasing experience. Our knowledgeable business manager can assist you in the leasing or financing process, and keep you informed on warranties and insurance. The dealership is supported by a team of managers who work daily to ensure we are price leaders in the local market, and that customers near and far are satisfied.