Thursday, January 7, 2010

Conditions May Change. Act Accordingly.

I went out to the van last night to drive over to Abbey Pub and watched a car go kinda sideways down the street in front of my house. Then I saw that my van's windshield had acquired that bumply clear ice glaze that doesn't like to come off easily.

I went back into the house and had a nice hot bowl of home-made black bean soup instead.

I'm told that a metal paint scraper is the way to address that windshield glaze ice. I have one and will test this theory.* My son has a can of windshield de-icer which he says works like a charm. It's toxic, though, and VW Vanagons are prone to rust in body seams. I'm gonna check with the Vanagon user group about this stuff before I start spraying it around, willy-nilly.

This morning's fog is supposed to blow off when the winds pick up around 10am. Little chance of precipitation after that. It's a good day to haul firewood.

It says here.
* Later that same day: Nope, the paint scraper is no more effective on the ice glaze than the plastic ice scraper I normally use.


  1. Get an ice scraper with a brass scraping edge -- that usually does the job. (A steel scraper can scratch the glass.) When the ice is really thick you may have to warm up the car and run the defroster a while to soften it up. Best to garage your vehicle overnight, or if you can't, put a sheet of plastic over the windshield.

    Welcome to "paradise."

  2. Hey, if the steel edge only slides on the glaze, then brass won't be any better.

    The van, with its poptop, is too tall to fit the garage. Some folk have tried putting plastic over the windshield then found the plastic frozen to the glass in the morning.

    VW Vanagons are vamous for how slowly the engine heats the coolant. It would take 1/2 an hour to defrost the windshield.

    The best solutions I've received from my Volksbrethren are: 1. A garden sprayer with warm water can be used to melt the ice, 2. Add methyl alcohol to the windshield wiper fluid (50% mixture), and 3. Keep a can of windshield de-icer on hand. It's methyl alcohol in a spray can.

    A trip to Auto Zone last night equipped me with the requisite supplies.

  3. "Some folk have tried putting plastic over the windshield then found the plastic frozen to the glass in the morning."

    Of course you have to make sure you don't put the plastic on over a wet windshield. Duh.

    Schuck's and other auto supply places used to sell sheets of plastic specifically made for this purpose but I haven't seen one in a while. Sharon has one and it works quite well.

  4. That's a frozen mitsubishi in the photo not a vanagon -- what gives?


  5. Sharp eye there, Howard. I'm going to have to fire the photographer.

  6. Jack, don't you think it's a bit presumptuous for a newbie from Southern California to instruct a 25-year Bend resident in the fine points of clearing ice off windshields? ;^)

    The sheet-of-plastic trick works well, but of course one must make sure the windshield is dry before putting the plastic on. If it does stick in a couple of spots it can be quickly detached with the ice scraper.

    Auto supply stores used to sell plastic windshield covers specifically for this purpose, but I haven't seen them lately.

  7. Presumptuous? I'd say insolent!

    I can only say that the advice I received was from friends on the Vanagon user group, many of whom live in Alaska, Canada, and other super cold places, like Frostbite Falls, Minn.


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