Frosty Mornings

Getting to work on time on frosty mornings

There have been a few frosty mornings just recently, with many people having to de-ice their vehicle before setting off for work. There’s nothing worse if you’re already running late, to get outside and find the car covered in frost and ice.

Keep Jack Frost at bay

There are a number of issues facing you when you’re about to clear the car on a frosty morning. First of all there’s the time aspect. It always seems to take longer than you imagine it’s going to, so it’s difficult to know how much time you need. And, you have to do it properly or it can still be dangerous when you set off.

There have also been a number of incidents of people having their vehicle stolen by leaving it running on the drive to warm up, then going back inside to wait until it’s clear.

This is why you need a plan to keep Jack Frost at bay. Here are a few pointers –

  • Park facing East – As an opening tip, perhaps this isn’t the best. If you’re leaving really early this won’t help, nor if your drive runs North to South! But, if you can park facing East and if the sun does manage to make an appearance as it rises, it will get to work on your windscreen first!
  • Warm your key – One way of coaxing frozen locks into action on frosty mornings is with a warm key. Using a lighter or matches to heat your key will help to defrost the lock. But, beware – you are now holding a hot piece of metal! You can also cover your key in hand santiser, which will also have the same effect.
  • Cover windscreen wipers – Some old socks or gloves can help to keep wipers insulated to prevent them from getting stuck on a frozen windscreen. Raising the wipers when you park the car up for the night will also make de-icing easier in the morning.
  • Cover wing mirrors – Putting zipped food bags over your wing mirrors will also help to keep Jack Frost at bay overnight.
  • Keep some cat litter in the boot – Cat litter can be used as an alternative to grit if you’re struggling to get tyre traction in the snow. If you don’t have grit (or a cat!), placing a floor mat under the wheels that are slipping can also work.
  • Use your flexible friend as a scraper – Can’t remember where you put the scraper? Any store or credit card in your wallet will serve as a suitable replacement.
  • Improve headlight visibility with toothpaste – You need to keep headlights clean in winter particularly with the darker nights and extra debris being churned up from the road. But, you can also increase your visibility by applying some toothpaste! Simply cover each light with toothpaste then rinse off with some warm water. You can even go one step further by applying a single layer of wax afterwards for extra clarity!
  • Spray vinegar on your windscreen – Using a water spray with three parts vinegar and one part water and applying it to your windscreen will prevent ice from forming on the screen at all. You can use the extra time for another cup of coffee before you leave!
  • Wash your car – If at any time the temperature does get above freezing it’s a good idea to try and keep your car clean. The car undercarriage will have built up quite a mixture of dirt, salt and ice that can ultimately be quite harmful. One idea is to set up a lawn sprinkler and drive the car backwards and forwards over it to wash as much of the muck off it as possible.

Frosty mornings can really play havoc with your planning. If you’re due at an interview, meeting or just to get to work on time, waking up to an icy car can easily make you late. As with most things in life preparation is key. Give yourself plenty of time and be as prepared as possible but above all make sure you arrive at your destination safely.