Saturday, December 06, 2008

Ice and cars

Every morning I see the respectable citizens in this block scrape the ice off their cars for ten minutes per person. I wonder why they don't just use a cover.

Ray said:
The rubbing alcohol spray:- Yes, it works, on top of the ice. The alcohol reacts with the water molecules (ice) to turn the whole thing into liquid. And it isn't harmful to the rubber molding and it won't rust the metal like salt does.

I wouldn't advise adding too much of it to your regular windshield washer fluid, though, because it makes the wipers squeek while operating.

I first discovered this while working security at a waterfront bulk terminal where they had tanks of methanol, another alcohol, which some of the workers used on their own windshields. Later, I found that any relatively pure alcohol will melt the ice on a windshield, and this stuff from the pharmacy is the easiest to get.
Give it a try and see what you think.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, December 06, 2008   11 comments links to this post

11 Comments:

At 6 Dec 2008 11:36:00, Anonymous tc said...

Eolake said...
"I wonder why they don't just use a cover."

Most of them are probably sleep-walking...not even capable of thinking [that early in the morning] that there might actually be a more practical and less time-consuming solution! lol!

Captcha: krompsi

 
At 6 Dec 2008 11:57:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the car covers are anything like my grill cover, the time taken unsecuring, removing, folding, and storing the cover (and then doing the reverse in the evening) is probably similar to the time spent scraping.

We have a garage, so I have no real experience with either approach. Curiously, a lot of our neighbors use their garage for storage space, and then scrape...

 
At 6 Dec 2008 15:14:00, Blogger Joe Dick said...

If the car covers are anything like my grill cover, the time taken unsecuring, removing, folding, and storing the cover (and then doing the reverse in the evening) is probably similar to the time spent scraping.

That's exactly the reason. It takes just as much time and is probably more of a pain in the ass.

We have a garage, so I have no real experience with either approach. Curiously, a lot of our neighbors use their garage for storage space, and then scrape...

I too use the garage for storing the car in the winter (well, year round I guess), and not for storage space or (like some of my relatives) a workshop.

 
At 6 Dec 2008 17:03:00, Blogger Ray said...

Get an empty Windex sprayer bottle,
and put rubbing alcohol in it from
the pharmacy. A few squirts of that on your frosty windshield will save a lot of scraping. It's the same idea that aircraft once used for de-icing, and it works. If the pharmacy has various strengths of the rubbing alcohol, buy the strongest.

 
At 6 Dec 2008 17:38:00, Blogger The Dissonance said...

It's amazing how many people don't use the garage to protect their cars. And I've friends ask me how my 11 year old Jag looks like new. Go figure.

 
At 6 Dec 2008 17:45:00, Blogger eolake said...

Ray,
Putting alcohol on *top* of the ice helps??

 
At 6 Dec 2008 17:49:00, Blogger Monsieur Beep said...

@Eo: One more reason to be self-employed within a range of 10 meters at home . Lucky you!

I've used an old bed sheet which I throw over the windshield and fix. Easy work. But: The windshield is always clear when I remove it in the morning, but gets misty quickly. So this is not optimal.
Then I've tried strewing kitchen salt over the shield; well, at least that's the stuff they use for gritting our roads (I'm not at all a friend of this procedure!!).
It works, but it's an agressive mess and certainly doesn't do any good to all parts of the car.
I also considered buying a mobile powerstation and using the hot air of a hair dryer inside of the car. After a few minutes most parts of the shield should be clear and the interior warm. I'll have to check this out, though.

@Ray: If your method works, you'll be my friend for ever!!
I've already thought about aircraft de-icers, but couldn't get hold of it, they seem to sell it only in bulk amounts.

@Eo again (and the Doctor): You're so lucky!!! (The doc because of living in a warm country).

 
At 6 Dec 2008 17:52:00, Blogger Monsieur Beep said...

Amendment:
Before applying the kitchen salt, I dissolved it in water (the more the better), and then sprayed the solution over the shield; ie Ray's method in principle, but using the agressive salt stuff.

 
At 6 Dec 2008 18:02:00, Blogger eolake said...

Yes, I'm very lucky indeed.
Every morning I open my window and scream: "so long, suckers! See you at six!"
(not really.)

I thought Lebanon was hot, but it's not as it turns out, because it's mountainous.
(And gawd, I would hate to live in a place like Israel.)

 
At 6 Dec 2008 18:16:00, Blogger Ray said...

The rubbing alcohol spray:- Yes, it works, on top of the ice. The alcohol reacts with the water molecules (ice) to turn the whole thing into liquid. And it isn't harmful to the rubber molding and it won't rust the metal like salt does.

I wouldn't advise adding too much of it to your regular windshield washer fluid, though, because it makes the wipers squeek while operating.

I first discovered this while working security at a waterfront bulk terminal where they had tanks of methanol, another alcohol, which some of the workers used on their own windshields. Later, I found that any relatively pure alcohol will melt the ice on a windshield, and this stuff from the pharmacy is the easiest to get.
Give it a try and see what you think.

 
At 13 Dec 2008 16:23:00, Blogger Monsieur Beep said...

And yet there is a very elegant and professional solution to the problem: there are special canopies which are spread over the top of the car before night sets in and removed in the morning: all windows of the car will be free of ice and clear!!
I use an old blanket, which is so large that it covers the windshield and the windows on driver's and passenger's sides, I fix it with some ribbons. On top of this, I put one of these silvery-shining shields across the windshields, also held in place with two ribbons and the wiper blades, still in starting position. This works perfect, no more cursing and cold hands at 6 am.

The a/m de-icing methods are just emergency procedures.

Ok, I've been saving a lot of money for I don't need a garage.

I can use this money for (domai, lol) other things.

;-)))))

 

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