General chatter - Winter driving query for folks in very cold places




RoseRodent
12-09-2010, 06:49 AM
Since it's finally starting to be possible to drive again after the snowfall my husband and I are topping up the various fluids in the cars for winter conditions. The best windscreen washer fluid we can buy says it will protect against refreezing for temperatures as low as -5C (23F). We have a big night drive to do in a couple of weeks and last year our window washer fluid froze back onto the windscreen because of the low temperatures. I am thinking that perhaps this is considered the best we need in the UK, but there must be some fluids for use in Canada, Alaska, Norway, etc. that maybe we'd be able to get hold of somehow. What do you use if you live somewhere with extreme weather?

Someone suggested sheep urine, but not sure how I can get my hands on 3 pints of that. :dizzy:


seagirl
12-09-2010, 06:53 AM
I usually make sure to have my defroster on heat and blowing at the windshield/windscreen. That helps it not freeze.

fitkristi
12-09-2010, 08:02 AM
I usually make sure to have my defroster on heat and blowing at the windshield/windscreen. That helps it not freeze.

This.


winning the war
12-09-2010, 09:06 AM
I think rain-x makes a severe cold weather formula. And keeping the defroster on, too.

NorthernExposure
12-09-2010, 09:56 AM
Here in Minnesota, you can buy windshield washer fluid good for subzero temps (i.e., -30F). You can get it any any gas station, Wal-Mart, etc. I'm not sure how you would get it in the UK though.

If you can't get any, I would suggest the above and keep your defroster going on high as much as possible. Start your car before you leave to give it a chance to warm up inside (and melt the ice.) If all else fails, you'll just have to stop and scrape the ice off the windshield. I'm assuming they sell ice scrapers there? If not, a credit card will do in a pinch.

NorthernExposure
12-09-2010, 10:04 AM
Does Amazon ship to the UK? You can buy a gallon of -30 washer fluid AND an ice scraper for $12.98 :)

http://www.amazon.com/Splash-Icer-Windshield-Washer-Fluid/dp/B0039HTGR4/ref=lh_ni_t_

Katheryne
12-09-2010, 10:25 AM
I live in a place that's bitterly cold over the winter, and most brands of winter windshield washer fluid sold here are good to -45C (about -49F). Unfortunately, that isn't quite cold enough for us, as it gets colder than -50C for a few days each winter at least. If you can't get any from local stores, I second the amazon suggestion (there's a amazon.co.uk; maybe it has something useful?).

Even the stuff marketed for -45C will freeze on my windshield when it starts getting colder than -35C (false advertising!) unless I keep the heat blowing on the windshield and the defroster on.

kateleestar
12-09-2010, 10:31 AM
I use the RainX one too... and keep my defroster blowing at the windshield. And its 10 here today! Yey... lol.

RoseRodent
12-09-2010, 10:44 AM
Does it not make you guys sick to leave the heater on all the time? Or is that just me? LOL I find that the heat doesn't stick to just the windscreen, it goes on my face too, and if my face gets hot I throw up.

It's all motorway and main roads so there's nowhere to pull over to scrape off the ice. Hard shoulder in a pinch on the motorway, if they are not blocked with snow, but much of the way is single carriageway 60mph limit where you can't stop or turn off for 20 miles at a time. Pretty horrifying moment to find that your screenwash freezes onto the windscreen, I can tell you!

I'll have a browse around to see if I can get any delivered (assuming they will courier it because there is no mail). Does seem stupid that we don't sell it here, though, -5 is not that extreme for Scotland. It did seem unlikely that this was the best on offer!

Katheryne
12-09-2010, 10:50 AM
Does it not make you guys sick to leave the heater on all the time? Or is that just me? LOL I find that the heat doesn't stick to just the windscreen, it goes on my face too, and if my face gets hot I throw up.

I do hate when my face gets too hot, but my car has a setting that allows me to only have the heat on the windshield, so it hasn't been a problem. However, in older cars I didn't have that setting, and the setting that included the windshield also had hot air blowing in my face - I usually opened the window just slightly to get some fresh air.

kittycarlson
12-09-2010, 11:08 AM
I don't like the heat blowing in my face either but know seeing is more importatant. Even with the defrost blowing full force on high heat the wipers start to get built up ice and I need to stop and clean them off. Thats what happens when you live in North Dakota.

saef
12-09-2010, 11:29 AM
Maybe it's just me & the anomaly of weather in NY State, but when it's coldest here, I mean bitter cold, it's also generally very dry, and I don't tend to get splashes on the windshield that need to be cleared off.

Temperatures seem to have to be just slightly warmer for it to snow & for slush & melt to make messes.

In bitter cold, the road is bone-dry and white with old salt & what I get instead is a kind of salt dust.

seagirl
12-09-2010, 11:31 AM
Does it not make you guys sick to leave the heater on all the time? Or is that just me? LOL I find that the heat doesn't stick to just the windscreen, it goes on my face too, and if my face gets hot I throw up.

It's all motorway and main roads so there's nowhere to pull over to scrape off the ice. Hard shoulder in a pinch on the motorway, if they are not blocked with snow, but much of the way is single carriageway 60mph limit where you can't stop or turn off for 20 miles at a time. Pretty horrifying moment to find that your screenwash freezes onto the windscreen, I can tell you!

I'll have a browse around to see if I can get any delivered (assuming they will courier it because there is no mail). Does seem stupid that we don't sell it here, though, -5 is not that extreme for Scotland. It did seem unlikely that this was the best on offer!

You could open a window or carry a bag for your vomit. Although it sounds like with the road issues and inability to pull over if they are blocked with ice you would probably be better off just not leaving the house with your car at all.

tea2
12-09-2010, 11:34 AM
It's a dry cold here too. The defroster melts/dries any window ice if the car's been warmed up adequately. I've had to stop and scrape when I've not warmed it up and have been in a hurry...saves more time in the end to let the car warm. My car has a defrost/foot heater setting I often use.
Our windshield washer fluid's made for low temps too...way lower than -5C. Wet cold is more difficult...when I lived in Vancouver everything was a mess when it snowed.

ANOther
12-09-2010, 12:21 PM
Here in Minnesota, you can buy windshield washer fluid good for subzero temps (i.e., -30F). You can get it any any gas station, Wal-Mart, etc. I'm not sure how you would get it in the UK though.

There is an amazon.uk, maybe they sell something like it? Perhaps your best bet would be to ask your garage, maybe they can help

GradPhase
12-09-2010, 02:32 PM
We have the super awesome -40-something windshield wash here too, in Alaska. While we typically have a very, very dry winter - as the snow starts to melt from the salt and sand on the roads it is notorious for kicking up, mucking up, and effing up the windows with mud and small rocks, and thus small cracks. Blegh!

In the winter it takes my car about 20 minutes to warm up before I can leave my house, as I scrape the ice off of the windows outside. As soon as the oil gauge is high enough, and I can see everything through my windshield, I jump in - take off most of my layers, get nice and comfy, and put the heater on the "feet" setting so it's not on my face (I get SUPER car sick). The low setting is just enough to keep you room-temperature when you're in a long sleeve shirt, typically. Perfect! Then, if you need it back on the windshield as you're driving you can just bump it up again to the window, and on high for a little while or at least until it gets the job done.

Definitely the important thing to me is to NOT leave my coat on while I drive. Getting too warm, too fast, with warm air is a disaster waiting to happen. A nice long sleeve shirt, and I'm good. Then, in an emergency, my coat is already warmed up and sitting next to me to grab and go.