You Used What as an Ice Scraper?!

We have seen some serious self inflicted windshield damage caused by customers who got got creative with improvised ice removal.  And we know that nobody likes paying to replace their windshield, but it’s all the more agonizing when it is damage that could have so easily been avoided.  Today we’ll give you some of the the good, the bad and the ugly that we have seen here at the shop.

The Good:  Honestly, the only thing we would recommend using to remove ice from your windshield is an ice scraper.   While this doesn’t help in a pinch, you should get one now and keep it in your vehicle, before you find yourself in a pickle.  Another preemptive strike you might make against the ice is an application of Aquapel, which would keep the ice from sticking so firmly in the first place.  But if you find yourself unprepared and facing in impossibly icy windshield, just be patient and run the defroster to melt the ice slowly – those few minutes aren’t likely to cost you more than a new windshield.

The Bad:  Upon searching the internet, we were surprised to find many sites that recommend using your credit card, which is actually a terrible idea.  We have replaced more than a few pieces of auto glass that were damaged by using a credit card as an improvised ice removal tool.  Not only could you cost yourself a replacement, but you might end up paying for it the old fashioned way, since the ice can destroy the magnetic strip on the card and render it unusable.

The Ugly: We have heard some pretty awful ideas for improvised ice scrapers from crushed soda cans and coffee cup lids to CDs and old license plates (ouch!).  We have even seen people who used a hammer to break the ice (and the windshield) or a screwdriver to chisel at it – all simply dreadful techniques for ice removal.

If you find yourself in and “iced over” situation without a scraper remember – just defrost to avoid the cost!

Don’t Let Your Vehicle Leave You Out In The Cold

I hate to say it, but winter is right around the corner.  Just as we prepare ourselves by switching our clothes in the closets, cutting wood for the fireplace, and making sure our furnace is in working order, we need to get our vehicle ready for the winter months too.   

Follow these simple steps to ensure your vehicle doesn’t leave you out in the cold this winter:

  1. Get an oil change and top off all fluids, brake fluid, antifreeze, washer fluid, etc.  Get a tune up. 
  2. Check your lights: head lights, tail lights, turn signals, etc. check them all!
  3. Most wiper blades last one year.  If you haven’t changed yours recently, now is the time. 
  4. Check your tires to be sure the air pressure is where it needs to be for your tires and get them rotated if it’s been awhile.  If you have snow tires, it’s time to start thinking about putting them on.
  5. Consider having an Aquapel treatment applied to your windshield as it makes it easier to clear ice and snow from your windshield. Also consider waxing your car as it will protect your vehicle’s paint/clear coat finish and makes it easier to wash off dirt and salt during the winter months.
  6. Check your battery making sure the posts and connectors are free of corrosion. 
  7. Put an emergency kit in your truck.  Make sure it includes, at the very minimum, a  blanket, flashlight with working batteries, pocket warmers, and flares.  We also suggest you keep an extra set of boots and warm clothes, high energy bars, hard candy, and a small shovel, just in case.  
  8. Remember to keep your gas tank at least half full.  You never now when you may get stuck in traffic. 

I realize that these steps may sound like a hassle; however, they can be a lifesaver in the winter months.  A little preparation now, can save you big headaches down the road.  

Stay safe!

Winter Application of Aquapel Rain and Ice Repellent

We already know that Aquapel makes it a lot easier to remove ice and snow from your windshield.  But PPG, the makers of Aquapel, specifically requires that this product be applied between the temperatures of 50 and 80F.  Which for most of us northerners means that unless you applied Aquapel in September, you’re out of luck now.  But just leave it to our customers to get creative and find a way to get things done.

We should start out by saying that 50F degrees is a rather conservative number,  as long as the air temp is a safe distance from freezing you shouldn’t have a problem.  But even with a somewhat warm (for New Yorkers) air temperature, you still have to make sure that the glass to which you are applying the product is warm enough.

Usually this can be accomplished by turning on the car and running the defroster for a few minutes.  But our customers have shared some very interesting methods for achieving this result.  We have heard of some folks using the hair dryer to warm the outside of the glass while the defroster runs inside.  One customer even applied Aquapel to his car in sub-freezing temperatures by putting the car in the garage and laying an electric blanket over the windows.

While we can’t say we officially recommend these methods, they are  a great example of creativity in the face of adverse conditions.  So fear not, Aquapel fans!  You don’t have to put that application up until next year,  just be prepared to pounce when conditions are right.