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Break the ice - not the glass

Impatient drivers trying to remove ice from windshields often discover creative ways to break the glass. According to Glass Doctor, a national chain of glass replacement providers, the top five auto glass de-icing myths are:...

Impatient drivers trying to remove ice from windshields often discover creative ways to break the glass. According to Glass Doctor, a national chain of glass replacement providers, the top five auto glass de-icing myths are:

- 1. Pouring hot water on the windshield and windows: This can cause the glass to shatter from the extreme temperature change.

- 2. Tapping the ice on the windshield with a hammer: Some people also use an ice pick or screwdriver. Don't. This usually results in an impact hole or a large crack.

- 3. Scraping the ice off the windshield with a metal ice scraper, key, spatula, utility knife or crowbar: The metal either scratches or cuts grooves in the glass.

- 4. Using a propane torch to melt the ice: Not only is this dangerous to the torchbearer, but this also can unintentionally melt the glass.

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- 5. Pouring a mixture of vinegar and water on the windshield so that it freezes to the glass before the rain does, thereby preventing ice buildup: Unfortunately, vinegar eats pits into the windshield glass.

The best advice still is to gradually heat the glass from the inside of the vehicle while scraping and brushing ice off the ice, said Marv Degerness of Glass Doctors in Grand Forks.

Here's some other tips:

- 1. Check to make sure no ice or snow is obstructing the vehicle's tailpipe. If it is covered, the ice or snow must be removed to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning inside the vehicle.

- 2. If the car door is frozen shut with ice, pour cold water to gradually melt the ice and use a plastic ice scraper to carefully chip a crack in the ice around the door seal and the lock. Do not try to "unseal" the door by using a hair dryer, cigarette lighter, ice pick, screwdriver, propane torch or portable heater.

- 3. Start the vehicle and use the defroster setting to warm the glass. Wait at least five minutes for the car to start to warm up.

- 4. When the ice in contact with the windshield is melting, use a plastic ice scraper and a soft plastic bristle brush or broom to clear the ice. A squeegee also helps.

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