Ice, ice baby. Too cold, too cold | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Ice, ice baby. Too cold, too cold

It’s been frigid this week and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much warmer anytime soon.

According to the National Weather Service, it will be partly cloudy through today with high temperatures in the low 40s.

Frozen car doors, windshield wipers, and household pipes are not uncommon during South Shore’s winter season.



But there are measures that can be taken to ensure that these problems don’t freeze up your time.

During the winter months, especially when it’s as chilly as it has been this week, a late afternoon car wash almost guarantees an early-morning frozen car door.



“In the wintertime, don’t wash your car in the afternoon,” Hugo Locksmith owner Tom Hailey said. “There’s a chance the water will run down the door into the seal and it will freeze overnight.”

Hailey said he has been called numerous times in past years to help drivers with frozen locks.

“It’s pretty common,” he said. “But I’m surprised because we haven’t been called out during this cold spell. There’s usually not a whole lot we can do. The car needs to warm up. You can do things like boil water and pour it in the door, but normally it’s not good to introduce water to it, period. You just need to wait until it warms up.”

Kragen Auto Parts assistant manager Robert Adkins also offered some helpful car-related hints.

“There is a chemical called ‘Lock-Thaw’ that will help unfreeze the locks or you can even just spray some WD-40 in the door locks, right where you put the key in,” Adkins said. “Definitely put coolant/antifreeze in your cooling system so the engine water, so to speak, doesn’t freeze. It’s important to run a gas drier in the gas tank. It’s basically a form of alcohol. That way, the gas doesn’t freeze and it helps remove water from the system.”

Using a windshield wiper fluid that does not freeze is also necessary, according to Adkins.

“There are special brands of washer fluid that protect up to minus-30 degrees,” he said. “One other tip would be, before running the wipers in the morning, physically snap them free from the windshield because if they’re frozen and you try to use them, the wiper motor may be damaged.”

As for household issues, Nel’s Hardware owner Jeff Swigard offered his expertise.

“If someone has a pipe-freezing problem there are all different kinds of pipe wraps that are very inexpensive compared to the cost of a damaged pipe,” Swigard said. “They also make heat tapes for pipes, which for some of the older cabins that have exposed pipes underneath the house, it really helps.”

Second homeowners and frequent travelers should take precautions to make sure their drains won’t freeze while they are away, Swigard said.

“They make an RV antifreeze for your sinks and toilets and bathtubs so they don’t freeze if they’re not being run,” he said. “It’s a biodegradable product and it’s better than pouring regular car antifreeze down the drains, which is harmful to humans and pets. This product is not.”

Forecaster Mark Brown said temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s Friday with a chance of snow in the evening.


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