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Preparing Your Car for Winter

Whether you have overdue maintenance or need to collect emergency supplies, making sure your car is prepared for winter is important to do before winter arrives. This is a guide about preparing your car for winter.


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4 found this helpful
January 25, 2012

To keep car doors from freezing shut, just wipe the inside door weather stripping with furniture polish. I use Pledge. Works great.

By Janette from Parkersburg, WV

Comment Was this helpful? 4
January 29, 20120 found this helpful

What a great idea! I live in Maine and love this since furniture polish is something I always have on hand! No need to buy another product that will only be used for one season of the year.

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December 27, 2011

Last year we had a lot of snow. I kept a new cheap broom in the car for brushing off the snow before letting it warm up. My hands did not get cold and wet from scraping. I used an old suitcase and put in extra winter clothes that don't normally like to wear, my store bought emergency roadside kit, and rubber dish washing gloves. I cut off the cord from an old electric blanket that no longer worked. I put the blanket and all of this on the back passenger seat floor board.

I felt better driving home from my second shift job knowing I was prepared. I ended up using the blanket to cover a woman who had been accident. I'll never see the blanket again, but hopefully it helped her not go into shock before the emergency personnel arrived!

By tnphoenixrising from Clarksville, TN

Comment Was this helpful? 2
January 8, 20120 found this helpful

Bless you for being willing to help that lady!

Keeping a kit in your car is such a good idea, and it's an especially good idea to keep it in the backseat-most people keep it in their boot (US-car trunk) and then can't get to it in an emergency like being stuck in a snow drift. We get a lot of that here in north Scotland and the advice is to keep the kit in the backseat. Glad to see you posting a tip to do so for Americans!

We're also advised here in Scotland to keep some energy bars and water in the kit, along with a first aid supplies.

Luckily this winter has been mild compared to last year, both here in the UK and in the American South where my son and grandson are (AL). But you never know what can happen, and being prepared is the best way to peace of mind!

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February 24, 20109 found this helpful

Keep your headlights clear with car wax! Just wipe ordinary car wax on your headlights. It contains special water repellents that will prevent that messy mixture from accumulating on your lights. This lasts 6 weeks.

Squeak-proof your wipers with rubbing alcohol. Wipe the wipers with a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol or ammonia. This one trick can make badly streaking and squeaking wipers change to near perfect silence and clarity.

Ice-proof your windows with vinegar.

Frost on its way? Just fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one part water and spritz it on all your windows at night. In the morning, they'll be clear of icy mess. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water, preventing the water from freezing.


Prevent car doors from freezing shut with cooking spray! Spritz cooking oil on the rubber seals around car doors and rub it in with a paper towel. The cooking spray prevents water from melting into the rubber.

Fog-proof your windshield with shaving cream! Spray some shaving cream on the inside of your windshield and wipe if off with paper towels. Shaving cream has many of the same ingredients found in commercial defoggers.

De-ice your lock in seconds with hand sanitizer! Just put some hand sanitizer gel on the key and the lock and the problems solved.

Source: Sent to me by a friend who lives in Michigan

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

Comment Was this helpful? 9

1 found this helpful
February 16, 2010

Spraying the rubber gaskets on your car doors with PAM or similar cooking spray will keep the doors from freezing shut.Just spray and then rub in with paper towel.


0 found this helpful
March 26, 2008

Here's a tip to prevent your auto doors from freezing to the door molding. If you park in the driveway during the freezing weather and in the morning you find the door frozen/stuck to the molding, try this.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
January 30, 2009

I drive a 2007 SS Chevy Cobalt and need tires for winter. Any suggestions for winter tires?

N.A. from Canada

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 31, 20090 found this helpful

I live in Tampa Florida, so my question might seem silly, but are the tires for driving in Canada? (snow,ice, slush), or other parts of the continent? (from the non snow parts of the world)?


in tampa florida

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February 3, 20090 found this helpful

Snow tires get switched out to regular driving tires for the rest of the year. Some states allow studded tires, most don't anymore.

Go to a garage which fixes cars and ask. You don't have to buy. DO NOT GO TO A TIRE ONLY STORE, as they will sell you car parts you don't need (they think we are all stupid) and come up with oh, we won't stand by the warrenty if you don't let us fix the tie rods, new brakes, etc. That is bull pucky. Remove yourself quickly. Even my son was told this information--he stood there like WHAT? My kids have gone through automotive technology college--4 years. Mom knows something besides paying bills! I get them car repair magazines, BUT I read them first.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 24, 20100 found this helpful

"Mechanical failure -- an inconvenience any time it occurs -- can be deadly in the winter. Preventive maintenance is a must. Besides, a well maintained vehicle is more enjoyable to drive, will last longer, and could command a higher resale price.

Some of the following tips can be performed by any do-it-yourselfer; others require the skilled hands of an auto technician."

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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