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Adding to the hazards of winter driving

… are folks like this.

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Much like when I was growing up and driving in Minneapolis.

There are always a few like that everywhere it snows. More where it snows less often, I think.

The windshield thing is inexcusable. The frozen fender clumps though… Drive for 5 minutes in some storms around here and it’ll be like that. Just have to kick the clumps off when you get where you’re going. And unless you have headlight washers, your headlights get dirty in about 1 minute of driving in traffic. Not really possible to keep them clean except when you stop.

I see it quite often. When I was young and invincible, I’ve done it a few times hoping the defrosters would work soon. Many times I’d have to pull over to wait it out. Very dangerous. Now that I’m older and not so stupider, I will always have all windows cleared. All snow brushed off the whole car. If I don’t do that the snow will blow off the hood onto the front windshield, and the snow on the roof will slide onto the rear windshield. Clean headlights tail lights and license plate. If it makes me late, at least I’ll get there.

If I still lived up north, I would get the cold weather package offered on new cars. When I lived in MN and the Rocky Mountains, without block heaters, I used the second cup of coffee method. Start the car, go back inside and have another cup of coffee. Then there was enough heat to clear the windshield.

I can still recall being appalled when one of the faculty members pulled into our NJ school parking lot in his Mercury Grand Marquis with the car looking more or less like a mobile mountain of snow.
When I mentioned to him that his totally-obscured brake lights were a major hazard, he just gave me a confused look.

I used the second cup of coffee method. Start the car, go back inside and have another cup of coffee. Then there was enough heat to clear the windshield.

We don’t get much bad weather where I live and if we do get it it is more ice than snow. If I have to go somewhere I also use the second or third cup of coffee method.

I used that method as well. Ice storms were common in southern Ohio and it was impossible to scrape a 1/8 layer of ice off the windows. Warm the car and it comes off much easier. If you can get IN the car to start it, that is.

Experienced that at the airport flying in from vacation at a delayed flight 1:30 am arrival greeted with a thick coat of ice on the car. Had a heckuva time just opening any of the 4 doors to start the car.

It’s even like that in Maryland. I’ve left work without the fender clumps. By the time I get home, they are huge, and sometimes they grow large enough to get knocked off on the road. I do get rid of them before pulling inside, though.

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Remember the frost within, on every window except a patch of the windshield and maybe the grid on the back window? It was usually on cars whose HVACs were set on Recirculate. Small Japanese cars, especially, it seems.

Now it seems most HVACs won’t run on Recirc when the defroster is engaged. If I have my Chrysler set on Recirc, when I shut it off and start it back up, it is on Fresh. Smart: some engineering to save us from mistakes or ignorance.

NH passed a law about 10 years ago requiring that all cars must be cleaned of snow. But still see it. I was out on the roads yesterday after our 14" storm. I think they were taking the car out to clean it off…it was the light fluffy snow.

Yup! Same scenario in my state.