Don’t idle your car first before driving it
The best thing to do to warm your car quickly during cold temperatures is to get in and drive. Most parts of modern engines can’t warm up just by idling.
Never pour boiling water on the windshield
You could actually break the windshield if you do. Glass cannot go from freezing to high temperatures quickly. If it does, it could shatter.
What to do—and NOT do—when you hydroplane or hit black ice
Hydroplaning occurs when your tires encounter more water than they can scatter so they lose direct contact with the road and your car skids or slides. You’re most likely to hydroplane during the first 10 minutes of rain or snow as oils and grease on the road mix with water and create extra slippery conditions. Still, hydroplaning can happen on wet roads at any point, so use caution. In cold weather conditions, you’re also at risk of hitting a patch of black ice, a transparent (read: invisible) coating of ice that forms during rainfall with temperatures at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Both experiences can be dangerous, but if you prepare ahead, you can avoid acting out of fear and instead take steps to continue safely on down the road:
- Don’t accelerate or brake quickly because hydroplaning means you’ve lost traction with the road, and sudden changes in speed could cause you could spin out.
- If you have front-wheel drive (with or without ABS and traction control) or rear-wheel drive with ABS and traction control, look for open space and plan to travel in that direction.
- Accelerate just a little and steer gently – without sudden movements – in the direction of the open space.
- If you have a rear-wheel drive without ABS or traction control, you should still head toward an open space, but instead of applying pressure to the accelerator, ease off it as you steer to the open space.