The Ol’ Hot Water Escape

The Ol’ Hot Water Escape

Since moving to BC, I have enjoyed the beautiful views, temperate climate, and even the near constant rain from about October to March (which doesn’t mean you get off scot-free from April to September).

Rarely do we experience true Canadian winter conditions on the west side, save for maybe a week or two of cold and a day or two of snow and dangerous driving conditions.

This year has been a little different, though. In the last couple of weeks, not only has there been quite a bit of snowfall (which has only started melting in the last couple of days), temperatures have also remained well below freezing for at least a week.

Early last week, as I was parking my car, I felt the front tires descend into icy tire grooves. Having just returned from a gathering, I had no immediate need for my car, but in the back of my mind, I knew the car was stuck.

I was about to take a week off, and had some food in the fridge and cupboards, and so with no pressing need for my car, I didn’t panic. I checked the weather and confirmed that the cold conditions wouldn’t last for long (but the meteorologists were wrong – it stayed for the entire week).

The next day, I went out to start my car, so it had an opportunity to charge. And I confirmed that it was indeed stuck. And that pattern continued for the rest of the week.

Last night, at a small gathering, I shared my predicament with friends, and one of them suggested I take some boiling water out to the car to pour it on the ice. So, this morning, I did exactly that.

After about six rounds of warming water in my electric kettle, loading it up in my saucepan, taking it out to my car and pouring it on the ice, I started up my car and prayed for freedom.

I put the car in reverse, and at first, it wouldn’t budge.

So, I put it into the drive gear, and finally, there was a bit of give. So, I put the car in reverse again, gave it some gas, and at long last, was released from the clutches of the slippery ice.

The whole time, I was puzzled as to why and how my car go stuck. I drove out to Drumheller in March 2020 in winter conditions, on snow and everything, and there were no hiccups on that trip.

So, I went to examine the icy tire grooves that had held my car hostage and confirmed that there were fully four to five inches of ice on either side of each tire – probably more before I doused it in boiling water. Curious how the solution to frozen water is more water, only boiling water.

Icy tire grooves

If this hadn’t worked, of course I would have tried other channels like BCAA.

Either way, it’s nice to have my wheels back.  Now I can restock my empty fridge and cupboards.