How to Deal with Ice and Freezing Rain

How to Deal with Ice and Freezing Rain

Frozen Windshield
AAA WCNY offers tips for drivers
Elizabeth Carey

After a thaw that took us from single digits up into the 60s in some areas, the current forecast across all of Western and Central New York is calling for freezing rain, sleet, heavy snow and plummeting temperatures – so how can drivers prepare themselves and their vehicles to combat the elements? AAA Western and Central New York has helpful tips for drivers as the weather begins to turn.

Frozen Windshields

  • If you have access to a garage or a carport, use it! If you have to park outside, try to avoid parking under tree branches, power lines or other objects where ice could fall and strike the vehicle.
  • NEVER pour hot water on an icy windshield; the thermal shock may cause it to break.
  • If you can, park facing east to gain some benefits from sun rays.
  • Make sure your wipers are turned off before you exit the vehicle. You want to avoid starting a vehicle with wipers turned on in case they are frozen in place.
  • Prop up your wipers or cover them with plastic bags so that the rubber blades do not freeze to the windshield.
  • Let your car warm up longer than usual to allow defrosters to work to melt ice from the inside out.
  • Make sure you have a quality ice scraper to effectively scrape away ice once it begins to soften up. Avoid pounding on the ice and don’t use your scraper on painted surfaces.
  • Make sure that you have a full supply of winter-quality windshield washer solvent.
  • There are commercial de-icer products that can be used to help melt away ice from your windshield or your locks.

Frozen Car Doors

  • Doorjamb gaskets can be wiped down with a good quality silicon spray product on a rag before the storm hits. Make sure you check the product label for hazards.
  • If you are in a safe area, avoid locking your doors. (Remove all valuables from the vehicle.)
  • Use a commercial lock de-icer product on frozen door locks and keys.

AAA urges drivers to drive with extra caution as the roads become slippery and snow-covered. Ensure your emergency car kit is packed, including warm clothes and a cellphone charger. Should you need roadside assistance, AAA is available by phone – 800-AAA-HELP – or placing a request online at AAA.com or via the AAA Mobile App.