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Car Talk

Olive oil good for many things, but not repelling snow

Dear Tom and Ray:

We had a big snowstorm this week. Not wanting to scrape the ice off my windshield, the night before the storm I looked around for something to put under my wipers to keep the ice off . Unable to come up with anything, I contemplated alternatives. Then it came to me: Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil! I smeared some Filippo Berio on the windshield and waited for the snow. The next morning, the snow slid off the windshield like a greasy zeppole. Great, I thought. When the snow stopped, I noticed a haze on the windshield. I figured it would wash off. Well, I was wrong — the stuff has adhered to the glass as if it were baked on. I’m still scraping off the hardened oil. Help! — Tom

RAY: Tom, it’s people like you who make great discoveries. You’re the kind of person who is unafraid to experiment. And once in a while, you’ll hit upon something that will benefit all mankind. This was not one of those times.

TOM: No. Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil has many excellent uses — my brother uses it as a hair tonic — but windshield cleaner is not one of them.

RAY: You’ve probably cooked with olive oil. When you’re done, you put the frying pan in the sink. And if you then let it sit and cool off for a while, you’ll find a hardened, whitish layer of congealed grease stuck to it. That’s what’s on your windshield.

TOM: If you had done this during one of those midsummer snowstorms, Tom, it might have worked. But the cold temperature is what congealed the oil and did you in.

RAY: So, how do you get it off ? Well, with a frying pan, you can use steel wool — not a good option for your windshield. You also can use hot water and soap, and try to “un-congeal” it. This would be best done in a heated garage.

TOM: If he had a heated garage, he wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place!

RAY: Good point. How ‘bout we suggest he just drive in reverse until late June?

TOM: Here’s what I’d do, Tom: Run the defroster with the heat on high for a good 20 minutes before attempting to remove the grease. The warmer you can get the congealed oil, the easier it will be to remove.

RAY: If soap and water are not up to the task, try a 50-50 mixture of water and methanol. It’s a mild solvent that’s safe for glass, and it’s pretty good at cutting grease.

TOM: And if all else fails, there’s always the glasscleaning tool of last resort: the hammer. Good luck, Tom.

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Bumps and potholes do more than merely annoy drivers. Find out what, and how you can ease the pain, by ordering Tom and Ray’s pamphlet “Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without Even Knowing It!” Send $4.75 (check or money order) to Ruin, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853- 6475.

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Get more Click and Clack in their new book, “Ask Click and Clack: Answers from Car Talk.” Got a question about cars? Write to Click and Clack in care of this newspaper, or e-mail them by visiting the Car Talk Web site at www.cartalk.com.

(c) 2010 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman Distributed by King Features

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