Ask the Beaverton Car Guy: Too Many Leaves, Not Enough Air

By Larry “The Car Guy“ Ferguson


Hello Beaverton Readers!

The past couple of weeks we have had a number of calls as well as emails regarding the snow and ice. From clearing a frozen windshield to being stuck in the snow.

Let’s start with clearing the windshield of snow and or ice.

Pat emailed and asked how to clear her windshield of the ice. She mentioned that her daughter took a bucket of hot water out to her car and dumped it on the frozen windshield causing it to crack in several places. Pat did not want to commit the same mistake as her daughter so she asked for a better way to clear the frozen windshield.

  1. The old fashioned way is to use an ice scraper, or even a credit card. It takes less than five minutes and you can easily scrape all the windows in a brief period of time. Turing on the car’s heater and rear window defroster would help speed up the process.
  2. Spraying a mixture of 2/3 rubbing alcohol & 1/3 water will chemically melt the ice without causing any damage to the vehicle. It is more time consuming, and in my opinion less effective, than just scraping the windows.
  3. I always apply RainX on all of the windows of my vehicle and not only does it repel rain and improve visibility at night, it also helps to remove snow and ice. It creates such a slick surface that typically the snow or ice will just brush off with the swipe of your hand.

The keys to driving in the snow and ice

During the winter snow storm last month, I saw many unnecessary accidents. The keys to driving in the snow and ice are very elementary.

  • Take your time and keep it simple.
  • Maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front of you as well as allowing extra distance to stop.
  • Don’t make sudden movements of the steering wheel even if the vehicle slips and skids.
  • Avoid sharp and quick steering wheel movements can cause the vehicle to skid more (slow counter steering is sometimes necessary).

No traction is no traction

Braking is another issue. Slow, even braking is a better choice when driving on snow & ice. PAY ATTENTION to the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. The normal reaction when we realize all of a sudden that we need to stop is to stomp on the brakes. This will cause you to skid even if you have an antilock braking system on your vehicle. Keep a safe distance and brake easily and avoid panic stops. Remember, if you have difficulty getting going, the same things are true with stopping: no traction is no traction.

Four wheel drive vehicles

Well, yes, 4WD does get you going when a two wheel drive vehicle will not, and yes they will get you up that hill that a normal front wheel drive, or rear wheel drive vehicle will not go up. For the inexperienced snow driver however, a four wheel drive car or truck will not prevent you from getting stuck. When I observed folks driving their four wheel drive vehicles, I noticed some that were slipping and skidding the same as the non-4WDs out there. Snow and ice will greatly reduce traction for all vehicles so take your time, keep is slow and steady, and allow a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. I can’t emphasize this enough.

Thanks for a great 2016

Thank you all for reading. Thank You to all of the people who called and emailed with questions last year, I appreciate the communications.

If anyone is in the market for a new or pre-owned vehicle of any kind, I am a licensed Dealer/Broker. I will search and locate any vehicle for you, negotiate the price, and also help set up financing for you if necessary.

Please Beaverton Readers, if you have a question or need automotive advice please contact me, chances are good that I just may have the answer or there is no doubt we will find it.

About the Car Guy: Larry’s specialty is locating cars, even hard to find cars, for everyday folk. He has been in the automotive industry for over 35 years and has several degrees in automotive technology.

Email him at or call 503-930-1493