•  Gain traction with bleach

If your car has become stuck on an icy patch and can’t get enough traction, pour a small amount of undiluted chlorine-based bleach over the tyres. The bleach will react chemically to soften both the ice and the rubber, thereby improving traction. Wait for a minute to let the chemical reaction take place and then try driving away. You can also get traction by spreading sand, salt or cat litter over snow in front of the tyres. (Because bleach accelerates the wear on tyre treads, you should only do this in emergency situations.)

  •  Shovel snow with a hub cap

If your car gets stuck in snow, ice or mud and you don’t have a shovel handy, take off a hubcap and use it to dig the car free.

  • Use oil to prevent stuck doors

Prevent car and boot doors from freezing shut in winter by spraying or wiping the rubber gaskets with a light coating of WD-40 or vegetable oil. The oil will seal out any water that could later freeze, while causing no harm to the rubber gaskets.

  •  Tape a door lock in a car wash

Put a strip of tape over your car’s door lock before going through a car wash in cold weather. This will keep out water that could later freeze and make the lock inoperable. Once you’re out of the car wash, remove the tape.

  •  Thaw door locks with a straw

If the lock on your car door freezes and you can’t insert the key, don’t get left out in the cold. Try blowing your warm breath into the keyhole through a straw. The ice should quickly melt, after which you can unlock the door.

  •  Flame frozen locks

If the lock on your car door is frozen, hold the key in your (ideally gloved) hand and heat it with a match or cigarette lighter. Press the key into the lock and turn it gently without forcing.

After a few seconds, the hot metal key will melt the ice and you will be able to open the door. Better still, if you have electrical power handy, use a hair dryer to direct hot air into the lock to melt the ice and free it up.

  •  Keep ice off wipers

To keep ice from forming on the blades of your car’s windscreen wipers and from stopping them working in cold weather, wipe each blade with a soft cloth soaked in full-strength surgical spirit.

  •  Raw onion windscreen rubs

To avoid the tedious job of scraping ice off your windscreen on a chilly morning, slice an onion in half and rub the cut sides against your windscreen and car windows the night before to stop frost from forming.

  •  Shield a windscreen with rubber bath mats

To keep your windscreen from frosting over-night, position inexpensive rubber bath mats over the glass. Hold them in place with the windscreen wipers.

  •  Yogurt-tub scraper and scooper

Scrape ice from windows and the windscreen using an empty yogurt tub. When you scrape with the edge of the rim, the pot will scoop up the ice. As you scrape, empty the ice onto the ground with a quick flick of the wrist.

  •  Bag your side mirrors

On cold nights, slip plastic bags over the car’s side mirrors and hold them in place with clothes pegs. In the morning, remove the bags and your mirrors will be ice-free.

  • Don’t get steamed up

Winter driving can be dangerous when the inside of a windscreen keeps steaming up. Here are three ways to deal with foggy glass:

  1.  Use a clean whiteboard eraser to wipe the inside of the windscreen clean.
  2.   Squirt a little shampoo onto a cloth and wipe the glass with it.
  3. Use ‘outside air’ instead of ‘recirculated air’ and run the de-froster.