Advice Needed From Cold Weather Readers: My Car is Iced In, What Should I Do?

The simple answer is to just not drive for the next few days until it gets above freezing again. But I want to see Manikarnika tonight, so that’s not a good plan. Any other ideas?

So this morning I layered on my leggings, my heavy socks, my heavy shoes, my thick skirt, my thick sweater, my ridiculous poofy pink hat, and my wool army coat that is so heavy it makes my shoulders hurt. And finally my flannel lined gloves. Ready for the elements, I went out to chip ice off the windshield of my car and drive it to work.

See how Amisha is dressed in this song? Picture the exact opposite of that, and you will know how I was dressed this morning

I haven’t driven my car for the past three days, because it has been so snowy I didn’t want to drive and would rather take the bus. But today I had to see Manikarnika, so I figured I might as well chip the car out in the morning and then I would be all ready to drive over after work. I knew it would be about ten minutes of whacking away at the windshield, but I figured I could handle that.

Do you know why his romantic symbols on cars thing is unrealistic? Because she wouldn’t be able to see them, because he couldn’t get all the way down to roof level because under the pretty fluffy snow is the horrible frozen ice snow that locks onto the car and will not let go

Windshield clean-ish, I got in the car and turned on the defrost and then tried to drive forward out of the space. Spin spin spin, warning lights on the dash, lots of excitement. Okay, fine, I will back-up instead. Spin spin spin, warning lights on the dash, lots of excitement.

Spin spin spin, warning lights, essentially it was the release of Padmavat all over again

Get out of the car, look at the wheels. There is no snow around them, but they are both sitting on and encased in ice. Just very delicately around the bottom two inches. The car appears to be fine and free of everything when you look at it from a distance, but in fact is sitting on top of glass smooth ice, which creeps up to also block the wheels from rolling forward. I chipped away at it with my shoes, a snow shovel, and a scrapper for about 30 minutes, and then gave up and took the bus to work.

Busses are the best

If you can’t picture this, imagine a toy car. Then, imagine a glass saucer. Fill the saucer with water, and set the car in it. This was my car when I parked 3 days ago during the last day above freezing when all the snow had turned to water and slush. Now, put the saucer and toy car in the freezer for 4 days. Take it out, and you will discover your toy car is locked onto the saucer.

Now, picture the toy car has a little Shahrukh driving it. Not part of solving my problem, just for fun

If I had a toy car, I could just lift it straight up and free it. But since (tragically), I have a real car that weighs a lot, that is not an option.

Current ideas that have been floated:

  1. Pour boiling water around the wheels
  2. Plug my space heater into the car and let it run by each wheel in turn
  3. Hair dryer
  4. Blow torch
  5. Salt

My readers from temperate climates, do you have any advice or experience to offer? Is there some hidden flaw I am not seeing in the boiling water system? Some advantage to the hair dryer? I don’t own one, so I would have to buy it just for car purposes, which seems silly unless it really is the magic bullet.


11 thoughts on “Advice Needed From Cold Weather Readers: My Car is Iced In, What Should I Do?

    • Waiting until spring was my original thought!

      My boss just suggested sand in front of the tires, and get someone to push from behind. My neighborhood seems fairly likely for car pushing help, I’ll try that.

      On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 11:25 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  1. Get some ice melt. If you have Amazon Prime now, they might be able to deliver. Or, given the weather, the closest gas station might carry it, and unfortunately, you might have to trek out there to get it.


    • I hadn’t thought about Amazon Prime! I’ve got stores within a few blocks that will definitely have it, but if I can get it delivered to my office that would be far far better. Especially becauuse I was in the hardware store yesterday and overheard a discussion about how all the smaller bags are sold out, only the 50 pound bags are left. I really don’t want to have to carry that 2 blocks if I can avoid it.

      On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 12:13 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • If you need additional traction, you can also buy chains for your tire. Ice melt plus tire chains should do the trick and both are always good to have on hand.


        • And Ice melt isn’t even that expensive! I should definitely be carrying a jug around with me. So long as I don’t mix it up with the detergent I also always have (because I always forget it when I drive to the laundromat),

          On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 3:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  2. Ice melt is a good idea to try to break the ice up. You’re going to need friction though – old style kitty litter used to work, now just sand or gravel. Even carpet if it’s big enough not to get grabbed by the wheels and flung away.

    This post has all of these plus driving techniques for when the moment comes to try to move it:

    Mostly: don’t spin your tires. Spinning = bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooo, I get to use all those mysterious none “D” options for my gear! I always wondered what they were for.

      On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 12:29 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  3. Glad you’ve gotten some good advice. Despite growing up in Ohio, that particular situation has never happened to me or close family.

    However I’m now very curious about your hair washing routine if you don’t have a drier. My goodness, how long does it take your hair to dry? Do you go to sleep with it wet, or just have it wet half the day as you run around doing work or errands or whatever? Do you dry it over charcoal and incense like Shah Rukh’s mother used to do? What?!?


    • I sleep with it wet. Usually wake up with it still a little wet too. Ideally a shower an hour or so before I have to go to bed, and then I can have it in a towel twist for a while. My hair does take a ridiculously long time to dry, but it always dries straight and smooth and all that. Which I guess is part of the reason people use hair dryers? So their hair dries in a nice shape?

      The sleeping with wet hair never bothers me, my college roommate thought I was going to die of pneumonia or something, but no problems. Only issue (to bring it back to the cold weather ice theme) is when I go outside on really cold days, my braid freezes. Which is kind of weird.

      On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 1:16 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Stacks of newspapers as close by, if not under, the tires (front or back depending on the way you want to go and if your car is a all wheel drive or rear) as you can get them. This would be after icemelt starts to do its thing a bit. The newspapers will give you the friction you need to drive out/ over of the spot.


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