Drivers swear by frozen windshield hack — experts say it can be dangerous | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Is the spud a dud?

A popular winter car hack making rounds on the Internet assures that a cut potato can prevent icy windshields during the cold winter months.

The trick, recently promoted by a British car sales group and previously revealed by the “Today” show, suggests that drivers slice and then rub down their windshield with a potato half to prevent the glass from freezing.

It reportedly also can be handy in preventing fogginess, as “the starch in the potato acts as a barrier between the glass and the air,” according to the John Clark Motor Group.

John Burkhauser, an auto expert at Bolt on Technology, also told “Today” that a similar trick is popular down south.

“Potato juice, a waste product of vodka distillation, has been used in the snowy mountain roads of Tennessee,” he said.

However, the potato trick commonly leaves a residue on the windshield, which can become dangerous, according to the UK’s Automobile Association.

Some people rub a potato on their windshield to prevent it from freezing up.
YouTube / Stating The Obvious

“Driving safely means making sure that your line of vision is kept clear,” Ben Sheridan, a mechanic who has won AA Patrol of the Year, told Cambridgeshire Live.

“If your vision’s obscured, you might not be able to see the road ahead properly and it could even create a blind spot. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe condensation off windows without leaving smears.”

Other common hacks — like spreading vinegar, rubbing alcohol or dish soap onto a windshield — may also not be the best course of action either, the American Automobile Association warns.

A common trick to clear a car windshield by using a potato may not be as great as it seems.
A common trick to clear a car windshield by using a potato may not be as great as it seems.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“They do remove car wax and over time will leave the finish exposed to the elements and corrosive chemicals such as road salts. Windshield covers soaked in a saltwater solution pose similar concerns,” AAA wrote.

“If you use windshield pretreatments or deicers on a regular basis, keep in mind the need for total car care and periodically wash and re-wax any affected areas of the car as weather permits.”

The safest bet, according to AAA, is the simple solution of blasting heat from within a car — after warming up the engine — so that it defrosts the windshield.

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