The Importance of Removing Snow From Your Vehicle

snow removal tips for carsWith the winter driving season upon us, waking up to a car that is covered in feet of snow is not exactly an ideal way to start the day for many Windsor residents.

In fact, a common question is – how long do I have to heat up my car, before I can start driving?

While the answer to that question is to wait until every square inch of snow has been removed form the vehicle and that every part of the glass is completely snow and ice free – have you considered the possible consequences of NOT removing that ice?

With this in mind, it’s important to note that first and foremost:

Driving a Snow-Covered Vehicle is Illegal!

Did you know that most police departments in Canada have a range of fines at their disposal to use on motorists that do not clear snow from their vehicles?

Admittedly, while most law enforcement offices will rarely issue a “blitz” on snow-covered vehicles, they are often on the lookout for offending vehicles.

The fines can range from simple, verbal warnings to written warnings, major fines and even removing points from your licence.

A primary reason for this is that in the event of an emergency vehicle needing to pass, an occupant in a snow-covered vehicle (or one that has frosted glass), may not be able to see that vehicle approaching.

It is Dangerous To Other Motorists!

In many instances, feet of snow that is piled on the hood, roof or trunk of a vehicle can become a dangerous projectile in the event of a sudden maneuver or if it simply slides off into or into the path of another vehicle. With the possibility of another driver needing to swerve unexpectedly increased, the potential of a serious accident increases significantly as well – especially in difficult driving conditions when that driver may lose control of their vehicle as a result.

While large chunks of snow flying off a vehicle are an obvious hazard, have you considered the possibility of what happens to snow on the outside of a vehicle when the interior heats up?

Quite often, a thin layer of ice can form, which then can act like a sheet of glass that is dislodged from the surface of the vehicle. This sheet of ice can then quite easily be lifted from the surface as the vehicle increases in speed, which can then have serious consequences to other drivers – and pedestrians – that are in the vicinity of the flying sheet of ice.

The Damage it Causes Can Be Expensive!

Aside from needing to replace common-wear items like wiper blades and wiper arms more frequently, by not removing ice from a vehicle, vehicle components like the HVAC system can also be put under more stress, which:

  1. Reduces effectiveness
  2. Causes the components to wear out more quickly

An example of this is when snow is piled up on the fresh air intake of a vehicle, moist air is drawn into the cabin, which the AC must then remove that moisture while the heater tries to heat the freezing air.

In some instances, if the snow makes its way into the cabin via those fresh air vents, items like the heater control linkages and the HVAC vent motors can also fail due to excessive moisture. In the event of this happening, most vehicles will require the removal of the entire dashboard to gain access to those components, which can take more than 8-10 hours in labor costs alone.

Things You Can Do To Help

While many Ontario motorists are conscientious of other motorists, for those that are unable to store a vehicle in a garage, there are some simple tools and suggestions that can help remove snow from your vehicle as quickly as possible:

  • Purchase a good quality snow brush – this can help to remove the bulk of the snow on your vehicle.
  • Consider using a foam brush – hard bristled brushes can often leave scratches on the paint of a car, truck or motorcycle. Alternatively, foam brushes can also help to minimize these damaging effects during the snow removal process. In fact, many fleet owners and auto dealers often use these types of devices.
  • Purchase a small step stool – this idea is very helpful for owners of minivans and SUV’s that allows an easier level of access to the roof and front window on a larger vehicle.
  • Don’t drop the brush! A snow brush that is wet from removing snow and ice can act like a magnet when it comes in contact with dirt and debris. This dirt can then be rubbed into the paint of a vehicle while trying to remove snow.
  • Remember to dry the brush – by placing the bristles facing up on the floor of your vehicle, the air from the foot vents of the HVAC can be directed at the brush. If placed there when leaving, most brushes can almost dry completely by the time a motorist arrives at their place of business.
  • Clear snow away from the doors before opening – this especially applies to the door that holds the snow brush! By removing snow from around the doors, not only can you reduce the chances of denting the door on hard-packed snow, but you can also reduce the stresses that are placed on items like the door hinges, which often occurs if the door is forced open.
  • Clean exterior lamps – in years past, many vehicles used convention bulbs to light the road however, many modern vehicles use LED lighting that emits much less heat than those older bulb designs. The result of this is that the snow / ice on the lenses of those lights does not melt as quickly. Simply wiping away any excess snow can help.
  • Do NOT forcefully remove ice – when ice forms on the surface of a vehicle, it can be very difficult to remove due to the bond that forms between the frozen water and the paint. By trying to remove this by force, the surface can be significantly damaged. The most effective method is to let the interior of the vehicle warm up until that bond is broken and then remove the ice with a snow brush.

Injured In A Collision Caused By Bad Weather?

At the law offices of Greg Monforton & Partners, for more than 30 years we have been helping motorists that have been injured in auto accidents to receive the compensation that they are entitled to.

If you or someone that you love has suffered an injury or property damage in an auto accident that was caused by another driver, contact a Windsor personal injury lawyer from our law firm today.

We offer 100% FREE evaluations of your claim and only get paid when we obtain a recovery.

Learn more about your options by calling (866) 320-4770 or simply click “here” to reach us online 24/7.


Greg Monforton & Partners – your TRUSTED, local law firm. Ph: 1-866-320-4770.