Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Worries: More Than Just Snow

Clean 'er up!
Wanna know how to make a gazillion dollars in Upstate New York?  Open a car wash!

With all the snow, salt and turnip juices all over the roads, your car gets pretty nasty looking, fast.  And apparently, salt can eat cars too.  After time, the corrosive element can eat away the paint on your car, lead to rusting problems and even damage your vehicle's undercarriage.  Good for roads, not so good for cars.  Because the salt is activated by heat, the corrosive effects speed up when the temperatures rise.  Plus, it makes your car look really ugly, really fast.

He makes cars clean!
So, unless you want to freeze your fingers off, it's probably best to go through the automatic car wash.  But you better plan it into your schedule...up here the lines are usually a 20-30 minute wait.  Car wash attendants hand wash and hand dry so the water won't freeze your doors shut.  Those guys have some serious waterproof gloves and are earning their tips!

Daily view
Folks here are so fanatical about washing their cars, many places offer "car wash clubs."  For $29 a month, Heather can take her car through any Hoffman Car Wash for as many washes she wants.  It's a good deal since a single wash runs $11-$15.  Making sure she gets her money's worth, she's been going everyday!

All clean!
Having to wash our cars frequently is something we wouldn't have thought of in the South until warmer weather.  But we've noticed that keeping the cars clean helps clear the snow and ice from the windows easier.   Plus, we're trying to fit in with the road etiquette up here.  Apparently, it's considered rude/illegal to drive down the road with big chunks of snow flying off your car.  Anything that impedes other driver's vision or makes driving conditions worse are looked down on by the New York police.  Who'da thunk it?

New York has a lot of laws.  Turns out, you can get a ticket for starting your car to warm it up and not staying with it.  So no running out to get it going and then running back inside the house to grab your things.  Apparently, your heating car becomes a nuisance to society and tickets can start in the triple digits.  The only way this is ok, is if you have an automatic car starter and the vehicle is locked while running.

Another weather law up here is that you have a legal obligation to remove the snow from your property in a timely manner.  By law, sidewalks must be cleared of snow by four hours of the last flake falling.  However, shoveling can wait until the next morning if the snow stops falling between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.  Pretty sure that's a law you won't find on the books in Arkansas!  In NYC, fines for the violation start at $50 and can carry $100 penalties for further tickets.

Good grief y'all...all we thought we had to worry about was finding proper winter coats!


  1. It seems like you're loving NY more and more :)

  2. I've decided NY legislators have a lot of time on their hands...