Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Suthan Man's De-Snowing Primer

I had hoped to create this in advance of the snow, but since just about the entire country is covered in white flakes, I figured I had best get it in now.

Here in the south, we get very few snow storms in a single season. We get lots of rain and sometimes ice, but snow is relegated to only a few times in a given season and yet at those times we do get enough snow to cover everything and require 'de-snowing'* of one's car. Regardless of this frequency or amount, one should be able to clean ones car of any amount of deposited snow in a manner that is conscious of both safety AND the law. Growing up in Colorado I have much experience in the ‘de-snowing’ of cars, with the expected number of mistakes. Suthunahs, not so much.

Therefore it is with great relish (and perhaps ketchup) that I present the Suthun Man’s De-Snowing Primer - Complete with photos! (Come on now, you expected this, right?)

The best way to describe the amount of snow to remove from the vehicle can be done in one word: completely. Clean the snow from the car as completely as you can. There are reasons for all this the least of which is fuel economy. Snow is heavy and causes your car to need more fuel as it drives. Some feel that a cursory attempt is all that is needed to de-snow a car when in fact, one should always remove any and all lose snow from the car before moving it. Not being diligent means you fall into one of the great Snow Jerk Categories.

Let’s take these one at a time.

The Phantom: It snowed while you slept/worked/shopped/ate at a nice restaurant. Turn on the lights and The phantom is what you get.
Many people will scrape the car windshield, yet leave (forget?) the lights. Drive with the lights like this and you get: The Moving Phantom: At night this is another accident waiting to happen. And happen they do! No one can see you with the lights covered so clean the snow off the bumper so that the lights are visible. (Front AND back!)
Now, about that windshield….

The Tank: Some people feel that all they need to do is clean a small section of snow from the windshield. They feel that snow is an “emergency” situation which allows this.

(Note the Phantom lights, too!)
Other people feel that as long as they get everything they can reach, it's ok. Again, heavy snow seems to denote some sort of emergency situation where the rules of both common courtesy and dangerous driving seem to blur or become nonexistent. Then you get the "Half Tank" or this

Like the Tank, there is also the Venetian Blinds: A few think that all they have to do is remove SOME of the snow from the windshield, or maybe HALF, also figuring that the fact that they are cold means they don’t have to do a good job, and perhaps they are also secretly hoping that the hot air from the interior windshield vents will complete the job.

See No Evil: These folks leave the back window full of ice and snow with the same reasoning as the roof: They don’t NEED to see through it. Give these guys a wide berth, as they can’t see you and what’s worse, they don’t want to. (No photo, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there!)

The Mini Blizzard: I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve seen. They clean the windshield and maybe even the front and back windows, only to leave a large amount of snow on the top of the vehicle. Their reasoning is sound: you don’t need to see through the roof (sunroofs notwithstanding). They forget that once the car begins to move, every car behind them is driving in a blizzard created by the snow blowing slowly off the roof. There’s a reason so many of those scrapers come with brushes (or maybe they need a big push broom.)
The Personal Blizzard: Forgetting to remove the loose snow from the hood. The loose snow now blows up into the driver’s vision and becomes an accident waiting to happen…well, maybe not waiting too long either since most of these folks won't pull over and correct the situation. I guess they also consider snow an emergency situation which somehow forgives them this requirement.

ok, so now ya know. Whether you live in the Suthun States of Americuh or in "Tim Buck Too," you too can de-snow your car with ease. Now, if only we could just get rid of the cold weather and go back to shorts and flip flops.


* (“De-Snowing”, the art of removing snow from one’s vehicle(s).)

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