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Experts offer advice for clearing windshields

Monday, December 10, 2007 | 6:08 p.m. CST; updated 7:26 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — When an inch of ice covers the body, windshield and rear window of your car, you might attempt to pick up a hammer and start pounding.

Don’t.

“You can take a hammer out and beat the ice — it works well — but after you’re done, the car is dented and your windshield might be broken,” said Carl Toalson, owner of Toalson Glass in Columbia.

The business received more than 60 phone calls for glass repairs Monday morning, twice the average, Toalson said.

“We’ve been real busy,” he said. “We’ve had people that have chips in windshields starting to spread because they haven’t had them repaired.”

Chips in frozen windshields could end up as cracks, especially if the glass is warmed up too quickly with hot air or water.

Toalson advises against water, but says there aren’t any secrets to de- icing a car.

“Start the car, turn the defroster on and let it warm up,” he said. “Most cars have a rear window defroster — turn that on, wait 10 to 15 minutes, and then get the ice off the glass with a scraper.”

He recommends buying a decent scraper. Windows could be scratched and damaged if using soda cans, credit card or hammers.

“You just gotta give it time,” he said. “You can’t just get the ice off and go in 30 seconds to school or work.”

Joe Machens Ford has warmed up more than 1,600 vehicles with a lot of labor and patience.

“We do it the old-fashioned way,” president Gary Drewing said. “We scrape a lot and heat up the cars.”


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