During these difficult economic times and with the holidays approaching, we are all looking for ways to save money. We have put together some creative ways to winterize a car using common household items that most of us have around the house. Because we don’t have to buy specialty items, this saves us money!
Using petroleum jelly on your battery terminal caps to stop battery corrosion is recommended by Michael Calkins, the manager of AAA’s Approved Auto Repair Program. Simply remove the terminal caps and clean any existing corrosion off with a wire brush, then coat the terminals with petroleum jelly. The jelly forms an airtight seal that wards off salt, slush and mud, all of which cause corrosion on the battery terminals.
Winter driving here in Colorado means snow one day, slush and mud the next. This can play havoc on our cars and our headlights. To keep your headlights doing their job, clean them with soap and water, and then apply a nonabrasive car wax using a soft cloth. The wax is water-repellent and leaves a barrier that keeps dirt from building up. It’s recommended to do this once a month.
Have you ever gone out to start your car in the morning and not been able to get the door open because it is frozen shut? Here is a creative way to prevent this. Coat the rubber door seals with cooking-oil spray. It repels the water that would otherwise collect on the rubber seals and freeze, causing the doors to be frozen shut.
Another problem that occurs during the winter is frost accumulating on the inside of our windows, obstructing our view and increasing our chances of having an accident. A creative way to “winterize” your windows is to dissolve 2 teaspoons of salt in a gallon of water and wipe the inside of the windows and windshield with this mixture. As the mixture dries, it leaves an invisible layer of salt-which has a low freezing temperature, and will help keep frost from forming on the windows. This lasts for a month or more. Don’t use this mixture on the outside of your car, the salt can cause corrosion to the exposed metal.
If you’re one of the people who store a car during the winter months, there is a chance that rodents might try to build a nest in your engine. A creative way to discourage these little pests from nibbling on wires and making a home in your engine is to tape a peppermint tea bag, away from moving parts, to the engine. The minty scent will repel rodents and keep them away through the winter.
If you try any of these creative ways to winterize a car, we would like to know how they worked for you. We appreciate the feedback.