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Don't let the cold freeze you out of your vehicle

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Life may not be a movie, but with this cold I feel like I'm starring in "Numb and Number."

I know, it's an awful pun. Then again, it's awfully cold outside. By way of apology here are a few vehicle hacks to help you deal with the bitter weather.

■Don't have an ice scraper? Use one of those CD cases you have rattling around your car instead.

■To prevent frozen windshield wipers, cover the blades with old socks, then toss the socks into your car when driving off. (Clean socks, please.)

■Windshield wipers have pivoting joints: bend the wipers so they stick up from the windshield like two little arms from a snow drift.

■Stuck in the snow? Kitty litter will give you extra traction (please make sure it's fresh, not used, kitty litter.) You can also use floor mats for a better grip.

■Buy an entrenching tool from a military surplus store. They're tough, they fold up for easy storage and you'll look muy macho when you use it.

■To prevent side view mirrors from icing over try covering them with gallon size zip lock bags at night.

■To prevent frozen doors and locks, skip a trip to the car wash when it's bitter cold. Yeah, your car looks like a salt lick but so does everyone else's.

■Take pre-emptive measures to prevent frozen door locks by using a spray lubricant. Some have little nozzles that allow you to push into the lock and then spray.

If there is no nozzle spray, put the lube on the key and then insert it into the lock. Gently work the key to and fro to spread the lubricant.

■Locks already frozen? Use a de-icer that can be inserted into the lock. The de-icers come in a little tube that can easily be stored in a coat pocket or purse.

(Do not just toss it into the glove compartment: how can you get to it there if your doors are frozen shut? Keep extra tubes in your garage and at work in case you change coats or purses.)

■To prevent doors from freezing shut try spritzing them with cooking spray and then wiping it down with a paper towel or cloth. There are also commercial auto care products that can be used.

Also make sure you clean off the entire latch area of the door to prevent dirt build up. The dirt can hold water, which then can freeze the door to the frame.

(313) 222-2023

I-94: In Detroit, the right two lanes EB will be closed from 10 a.m. today until 5 a.m. Monday from Livernois to Warren. Expect delays.

I-94: In Detroit, the WB ramp to Gratiot, as well as the Gratiot ramp to WB I-94, will have intermittent closures through 4 p.m. today for utility work.

I-94: In Detroit, the EB ramp to Conner, as well as the ramp from Conner to EB I-94, will have intermittent closures through 3 p.m. today.

M-5: In Farmington Hills, there will be a 15-minute closure EB and WB at Orchard Lake Road between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday for utility work.

M-39 (Southfield Road): In Detroit, two lanes SB under I-94 will be closed from 6 a.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday for utility work.

12 Mile: In Madison Heights, the WB ramp to SB I-75 is closed until late April.

M-3 (Gratiot): In Mount Clemens, the right lane NB will be closed from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday from Main to Park streets for repairs.

M-53 (Van Dyke): In Sterling Heights, there will be single-lane closures between 15 Mile and 18 Mile starting Monday until May 15.