Preparing your vehicle for an ice storm

As the potential storm approaches, it could bring along some ice on both our roads and our cars.
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 5:35 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – As the potential storm approaches, it could bring along some ice on both our roads and our vehicles. Winterizing your car and getting ready for the icy weather doesn’t look that much different than routine car maintenance.

Many vehicles that remain outside may freeze shut overnight.

“If you can get even one door open carefully and just let your car warm up after that. Let it run, let it idle. The heat will radiate from the inside, out. It will break up all that ice,” John’s Garage owner John Rusinko said.

Mechanics recommend letting your vehicles warm up for five to ten minutes and then scrape off the ice; and definitely don’t try to melt off the ice with warm water.

“Going from one extreme to the other. Frozen windshield, hot water, something like that. Extreme temperature changes are not good for anything,” Rusinko said.

Mechanics say using a washer fluid with a de-icer is a must during this time of year.

“So, you go down South, you don’t need freezing protection, so if you come from down South, that would be something we see a lot is washer fluid reservoirs freeze up,”

Mechanics also recommend checking your tire traction.

“I like to accelerate a little hard that way if you don’t go, you know your tires are slipping, if they are spinning then they’re not going to grab when you’re trying to stop,” Rusinko said.

Taking care of your vehicles in the winter looks a lot like taking care of your car at any other time of the year.

“As long as you do regular maintenance, take care of your car, have it into the shop, I like to say twice a year for oil changes at a minimum, then you really shouldn’t have to worry about,” Rusinko said.

If you can, stay home to avoid those icy conditions.

“If you don’t have to travel, you don’t have to be anywhere, you can work from home, that’s great. Just let your car sit. Don’t touch it. It will warm up and then you don’t risk doing any damage,” Rusinko said.

Some other products mechanics mentioned to prevent icing on your vehicles are windshield blankets and water repellents.