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Drill and boiling water for tire frozen in ice? Get Dewey fast!

edited November -1 in The Show
Lugging boiling water around on a icy road sounds a little dangerous. Chances of ice spots etc makes this sound like a bad idea to me, especially when rock rock salt or ice melt is so chap and effective. Mound the salt up all around the tire and let it work would be my idea.
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Comments

  • edited January 2010
    I agree with the salt thought. Cheap and effective, if it's not too cold. To speed up the process, you could add a few pounds of salt to hot water and then apply that to the frozen region. I was shouting "SALT" at the radio ... but it did no good.
  • edited January 2010
    I had this problem last weekend when I had to get a 72 VW bus out of ice and frozen mud at my farm. I had cleverly parked an old station wagon in front to make the VW hard to steal, and it too, was firmly frozen. ...sunk in and frozen to the rims. ...no salt, heat, water, or turkey roaser. ...but, I had a compressor and an air tank in the barn. A little air into each tire and pop, pop, pop, six times in a row and both cars were free. It only took a few extra psi. A nylon tow strap did the rest quite easily.
  • edited January 2010
    I had this exact same problem with my boat trailer. I attached a garden hose to the drain fitting on my home hot water heater and viola! High pressure hot water! Carved that sucker out of the ice in a jiffy.
  • edited January 2010
    Hot water, drill, good suggestions. How about the old-fashioned hammer and chisel?

    Larry had a good idea, but I would go in another direction. Let the air OUT of the tire (this assumes you have access to the valve stem).
  • edited January 2010
    Why do you need hot water? Just dump some rock salt on the ice. The salt dissolves in the water that is at the surface of all ice.

    Many cities (including Cambridge?) have been using salt to remove snow and ice from roads for a long time.
  • edited January 2010
    How about using the exhaust gas heat directed through some PVC pipe? Or let down the tire pressure to make the ice take the weight of the car?

    Hardware stores have a "de-ice" material (grains of a bio-degradable) that does not rust like salt.
    Salt won't do much on thick ice, at least not in less a day or two and repeated applications.
    I'd suggest just lowering the tire pressure (assuming access to the valve) and the flex of the tire would put of the weight of the car on the ice.
    Drilling a hole towards the valve and filling it with hot (not boiling) water would work.

    If you have some appropriate pipe (PVC or "dryer duct" etc.) you can direct the vehicles exhaust gases to point at the wheel. Pack snow around the wheel to create a "cave" to trap the warm air.

    I've had the same problem with a snowmobile covered in an ice block when it was parked under a deck -- snow thawed and dripped through and froze again on the snowmobile.

    We half-filled small garbage bags with warm water to create a "compress" for the top of the sled. It took two days of warm water and de-icing to get the sled thawed out. The final step was to start the engine (once ice was out of the intake air box) and its own cooling system is a heat-exchanger on the rear of the frame. The lower inside of the engine cover was full of ice that took another half a day of riding and sitting to melt away before the front suspension would move freely.

    This was pre-YouTube ... it would have made a fun time-lapse video.
  • edited January 2010
    Run a hose from your washing machine or water heater for hot water. Also instead of salt, Calcium Chloride
    melts ice about 5-10 times faster than salt. Put some in front of the tire and behind to create a small ramp, putting it around the sides should melt the ice as well. Once that is done the Jack is a great idea. Once the wheel is above the ice, put a board across the hole, or fill in the hole with something.
  • edited January 2010
    The 2006 Mini Cooper S has something call DTS (Dynamic Traction Control). If one of the two front tires is on dry pavement and one of the tires is on ice, The cars Dynamic Traction control system will not let you just "Spin the tires" effectively.

    I would still use lots of salt around the tire, I would also press and hold the DSC button. This turns off the DSC (Dynamic Steering Control), and DTS systems.
  • edited January 2010
    Salt first. If that won't work because it is -40 (about the same C or F), let the air out of the tire then reinflate. If salt is not to be found and no compressor is handy, maybe try a floor jack inserted from the rear of the car ... if one can get to a reasonable lift point.

    Drilling holes, etc would be my last choice.
  • edited January 2010
    I can certify that this technique of adding a few PSI to the tires DOES WORK!!! My first job out of college was at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, MI, northwest of Detroit. Given the often wet and very variable temperatures in southeast Michigan, due to the proximity of Lakes Erie and Huron and to a lesser extent Lake Ste. Clair, puddles of water that would freeze overnight when the weather cooled, often resulted in cars parked at the proving grounds becoming frozen in the "puddles"!!! Given that the surface area of a typical tire "below the rim," being 200 to 350 sq. in., only 5 psi would result in half a ton of force against the ice!!! Ice may be tough to break or chip, but exposed to significant force, it is very brittle. When an air tank was not available, "plan B" was to reduce the tire pressure 10 to 12 psi, pile salt around the edge of the tire, and add a couple cups of water. In a relatively short time, this would release the tire and enlarge the "hole" sufficiently that the vehicle could be "pulled" out. This was an often used technique since the typical circumstance at GMPG was for the front tires to be frozen in a "trough" of ice in the "gutter" at the curb of a parking area where snow and/or ice had not allowed the water to drain. Since nearly all the cars were rear wheel drive (I worked for GM from 1972 to 1975), we could then simply back the cars out of the "ice ruts"!!! Since the caller's problem was "frozen" rear tires on a front wheel drive car. this technique would have been appropriate. You then simply need to drive carefully and relatively slowly to a service station to "refill" the tires!!!
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