I looked outside the window this morning and let out the kind of exhausted, chest-heaving sighs that only come with the winter: We got about six inches of thick, damp snow overnight, and I was supposed to be running errands today. Oh, hell.
I grew up in Michigan, so I vaguely know about winter car maintenance, but we also didn’t have a ton of money, so it wasn’t like we were swapping to snow tires or fixing the heating system so I could unthaw the thing from the inside. I also had one of my first long drives in driver’s training through one of the worst blizzards our town had seen in a while, which didn’t warm me to the concept.
Then I moved to Texas, laughing, telling myself I’d never have to drive in anything more than a gentle dusting ever again. Was it that hubris that sent fate along to give me a Canadian husband? Probably. I drove through one cold night and somehow managed to freeze my windows shut from the inside, at which point I once again decided that the whole winter driving thing is not for me.
So, here we are. Snowy as hell, and me with only the vaguest idea of how to cope with that. I have my basics—ice scraper, emergency supply of blankets and warm clothes, that kind of stuff—but I still feel hopelessly unprepared. My husband has nominated himself honorary driver during all the winter months, which is fine with me because his car actually has heated seats, but I also can’t guarantee I’ll always have him to cart me around where I need to go.
I thought I’d turn the question to folks who likely have more winter experience than I do: how do you prep your car for the winter? What little tips and tricks have you acquired over the years that make winter driving that much easier? How do you survive your winter months behind the wheel?