General Question

donok's avatar

How do I get ice off my car - it's caked in an inch and it's 20 outside.

Asked by donok (89 points ) December 27th, 2008

A flatlander (me) stuck in Flagstaff with my car encased in ice thanks to freezing rain and snow. Will pouring hot water on it make things worse? Crack my windows?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

36 Answers

shilolo's avatar

I’m guessing you don’t have an ice scraper in the car? If not, you may need to use a screwdriver (but be careful). Either way, one thing to help is to run the car for 10–15 minutes, turning on the heat to full blast and the windshield defrosters (both front and back). This should warm the car and loosen the ice so that you can remove it.

laureth's avatar

Hot water makes it worse. Cold water won’t. Cold water is still warmer than frozen ice, but not so large a difference as to crack them.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Nooo, I surely wouldn’t use hot water. I’d just get my defroster going on high. I wouldn’t use a screwdriver, either. Sorry, shilolo. That glass is cold & brittle. It’s not worth risking a cracked windshield over. As it starts to thaw, use an ice scraper.

chyna's avatar

How about just staying where you are since it is so bad out?

donok's avatar

I didn’t mention that I can’t get in the door to get to the ice scraper! I will try cold water around the door jam to loosen it. Thanks for the help!

kevbo's avatar

You can buy de-icer at a service station.

90s_kid's avatar

Use laureth’s quip.
And jbfleatcher.

Cold Water does it.

Oh and the #1 is if you have a garage, use it.

gailcalled's avatar

If the car is outside and the temperature is 20˚, you are lumbered. Adding cold water to any part of the car will simply add ice as the water will freeze. I think that Kev’s suggestion of de-icer would make the most sense, but if you can’t drive, you can’t get to a service station.

What about using a hair-dryer on low?

richardhenry's avatar

It isn’t safe to drive in that weather. Don’t do anything stupid.

90s_kid's avatar

It will freeze that fast?
Oh
Then the windshield liquid is useless, too?
I live in Boston and it gets that temperature and cold water works for me so that’s all I can say.

Good job for rubbing it in Richardhenry. I hate when people mock questions——it annoys me when it happens to me.

krose1223's avatar

Wow… Someone needs tire chains in that video!! Why would you drive in that?! Craziness I say!!

richardhenry's avatar

No but seriously, I’ve been in a pretty bad car crash before because of black ice. Not as hilarious as the above video by any means.

krose1223's avatar

That video wasn’t even hilarious. That was scary. I was on edge while watching it… i wish i was kidding too.

gimmedat's avatar

Stay home, or wherever you’re staying. That video was scary. It’s not worth risking your life or the safety of others.

If you have to leave, I would use tepid water to aide in opening the door, start the car and blast the heat and defoggers for 20 minutes, then use your scraper.

gimmedat's avatar

Oh, and I don’t think the video was meant to mock anyone’s question.

peedub's avatar

Dude, where’s my visibility?

90s_kid's avatar

I agree with krose.

And my mom has got into a terrible car acciedent because of ice (not sure if it was black) but I was in the car, too. Just Mom and I.

richardhenry's avatar

By hilarious I meant horrendous.

krose1223's avatar

much better

richardhenry's avatar

It’s probably the most ridiculous car crash(es) I’ve ever seen. Don’t drive on ice people.

90s_kid's avatar

Yeah right.
This link is for you.

judochop's avatar

Start car. Go inside. Make a cup of tea. Watch car through window while drinking tea. Grab a spatula. Go outside and scrape.

gailcalled's avatar

At last report, he couldn’t get the car door open in order to start it. It is a puzzlement.

shilolo's avatar

Blowtorch anyone?

judochop's avatar

Extension cord with blow dryer. you also might want to use rubber gloves

richardhenry's avatar

@shilolo: Dynamite. Dynamite will clear it.

buster's avatar

Salt the car. Pour some mortons all over it like its a big slug.

chyna's avatar

dynamite is always an alternative.

richardhenry's avatar

Alternative? Dynamite is the only option.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I’ve used a small propane torch on an iced over car. Gotta be careful not to burn the paint or melt the rubber. Also, using a small piece of wood, like a 1” x 2” to scrape the ice is safer than any metal implement. I live in a place that we get freezing rain all the time. The trick is to know when you are going to get rain, when it is going to be cold enough to freeze to your car, and then perform preventative action. I use a 8×10 tarp fastened over the top of my vehicle with bungee cords. No, I don’t have a garage, but I wish I did.

laureth's avatar

When a freezing rain/sleet situation is imminent, and I know that I’ll have to scrape a sheet of ice off in the morning, I use this trick if there’s already snow on the ground: pack the front window, at least, with snow. Then the ice layer can freeze on top of the snow. In the morning, it’s easier to get that mess off than if the ice had frozen on directly.

90s_kid's avatar

Yeah yeah. Put some of that road-clearing crap on your car. That’s a good idea. But lame :). I am still for the cold-water.

gailcalled's avatar

Deleted by me.

90s_kid's avatar

What do you mean?
I don’t drive a car but my parent does.

Sorry I use my point of view because I am the one pouring water on the window. I don’t know why but that’s how I talk. I’m not lying. I can’t believe you would even think I was. How humiliating.

judochop's avatar

@90’s: relax little guy, it’s just the Internet.

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