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​Frozen car lock? There's a hack for that

  • Written by PEMCO Insurance

For all those unsuspecting souls who moved to the Northwest during our spectacular summer, we have a secret. That stellar season's evil twin officially arrives in about three weeks.

No guarantees, of course. Northwest winters can range from wild to mild. But it's a rare year that escapes at least one harsh cold snap. When ours materializes, you'll be glad you knew how to:

frozen car hacks 2Unfreeze a car lock. Banish ice with a dab of alcohol-containing hand sanitizer over the keyhole and on your key. (Wipe it up to keep it off your paint.) When you're back home and the lock is still thawed, spray it with WD-40 to prevent future freeze-ups.

Melt out your windshield with a spritz. Remember the frozen door lock? Alcohol also can help deice your windshield. Mix 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spritz the frost away. You also can spritz the night before to discourage ice from forming. Just be sure to wipe off any overspray so it doesn't damage your car's finish.

Stop your wipers from freezing to the windshield. When you park for the night, slide an old sock on each wiper before you walk away.

Keep your side mirrors frost-free. Similar to the sock idea, slip a gallon-size zipper bag over the mirror before you leave, and secure it with a rubber band.

Unfog the inside of your windows. Sure, you can blast the defroster and air conditioner. But you also can wipe the inside of your windows with a (clean) old-fashioned chalkboard eraser to clear the fog fast.

Get out of a slippery spot. Plain clay cat litter (not the clumping kind) can give you traction under the tires when you need it most. It's cheap and stores easily in the trunk. If you're desperate and have no cat litter, you can sacrifice your car's floor mats to give you emergency traction, too.

Prevent your door from freezing shut. Coat the rubber gaskets around your door with a cooking spray like Pam® to discourage ice.

Let the sun do the ice scraping for you. If it's an option, park with your windshield facing east. That way, the morning sun can start thawing your windshield before you even head out the door.

Courtesy of PEMCO Insurance.

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