How Do You Get The Snow Off Of Your Car?

Illustration for article titled How Do You Get The Snow Off Of Your Car?
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While it’s unseasonably warm up here in New York right now, other parts of the country are getting far more than their fair share of snow this winter. If you keep your car outside, that means a lot more work to get yourself on the road.


Back in high school, I kept my car outside and, depending on exactly and how much and what kind of snow or sleet was coming down that morning, it could take upwards of 25 minutes to get the engine warm, glass and roof clean, and tires clear enough to get out. It was rough and I’ll be honest. I hated every second of it, especially when the snow from the night before turned to icy rain before I made it out to the car. No one likes to shovel and scrape in a downpour. No one.

These days, cleaning the snow off of your car is more important than ever. With visibility suffering because of thicker A- and C-pillars and greenhouses shrinking as beltlines rise, every inch of window space matters. You’ve got to get it all off if you want to have the sightlines you need, especially when it’s still snowing and visibility is impaired, and if the roads are icy and losing grip is a possibility for you and anyone else out there. Seriously. Make sure you can see out of your car.

It’s not just drivers who need to see when it snows. If your car is newer than the ‘98 Outback I drove in high school, it’s likely got some sensors for blindspot monitoring, parking, or automated braking that’ll need to be cleaned off before you hit the road as well.

So how do you get your car clean in the snow? I’m sure plenty of you have some great tips for getting the ice and snow off of your car more easily, more quickly and more gently than the ol’ scrape and brush. If you’ve got some, let us know in the comments before it the weather gets worse and we really need those tips.

Max Finkel is a Weekend Contributor at Jalopnik.



Step 1: Turn car on, turn on front/rear defrost, max heat, recirculation on

Step 2: Clear the roof and work down (trunk, hood, etc)

Step 3: Clear the lights and grill

Step 4: Clear off the windows (let the car do the work on the windows while you clear the rest, by the time you get there you might not even have to scrape!)

Step 5: Turn off recirculation and drive away

Bonus Step: if roads aren't clear I try to break traction/lock up the brakes on my small neighborhood road so I know what traction I’m dealing with before I get to an area with traffic