How do extendable snow brushes work?

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I've got a snow brush that can be set to various lengths by turning it in one direction to loosen the inside tube, setting to the length you want and then turning it in the other direction to lock it down. There are no pre-determined lengths, like indents or anything like that. It can be set to any length within it's upper and lower limits.
On rare occasions, it doesn't lock and just continues to turn regardless of what length I set it to. If I keep fiddling with it, it eventually locks and then it's good for quite awhile.
This morning while I was cleaning the Nor'easter off of a couple of cars, I loosened it to extend it and no matter what I tried I couldn't get it to lock down again. Assuming it was finally really broken, I brought it into the house with the plan to see what I could do to fix it. A few hours later I picked it up to have a look and when I turned it, it locked right down. I played around with it and it locked down at every position I tried.
So what is inside the tube that allows the tubes to loosen and slide and then tighten back down and lock? Could the cold affect whatever the locking mechanism is?
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Sounds like yours is defective. I have several of these. 2 are in vehicles and 1 kept at the side door. I keep them fully extended upon purchase. They're not very good quality to keep locking/unlocking.
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On Sun, 10 Feb 2013 03:31:23 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

There is a collet of some sort that applies pressure around the inner tube as you turn the outside part. Maybe yours got wet and slipped.
Forget the brush. I wish I knew about this years ago. I got one last year and it was great having it today (Amazon.com product link shortened)
One of the cars had about 3' drifted on top of it and it made quick work of it. Extended, you can easily push the snow right off the other side.
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+1 on that style-- I don't know where I found the one with locking levers to hold the extension, though.
Jim
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(Amazon.com product link shortened)

I didn't mention that the brush head of my unit can be rotated to be perpendicular to the pole, allowing me to use it a "pusher". It's not a piece of low quality junk like others have assumed.
How do get into the areas around the windshield wipers, mirrors, headlights, etc with your model...places that a brush can conform to?
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On Sun, 10 Feb 2013 14:00:40 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

It does well enough around the lights. The wiper blades will be close, then I pull them up to get the rest. I'm not so anal about every nook and cranny of the mirror.
As you already know, you really need a pusher to get the most snow off the easiest way. A simple brush is only good when you get a dusting as you can't get leverage in a lateral motion.
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I believe that most of these "infinitely" adjustable telescoping poles have an eccentric element that tightens / "jams" against the tube ID.
Patents are not the easiest way to understand a mechanism check this out & click on the "drawing" selection
http://www.google.com/patents/US4076437
cheers Bob
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-snip-

Yup-- The image there looks vaguely like the insides of a pool pole I took apart to see how it [didn't] work.
A little gook in there was what mine was suffering from. A good cleaning with clorox- and a shot of WD40 cured it. [5-6 years ago-- now I use it as a snow roof-scraper, but don't collapse it in cold weather.]
For cars I find the ones with locking levers are more reliable.
Jim
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Thank you for offering something other than "you have a low quality brush".
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On 2/10/2013 9:01 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

That sure is one possibility. I had one of those brushes and it was a piece of junk and worth the little I paid for it. I found a much better quality brush that was more expensive and it has survived maybe 8 winters and the twist lock mechanism still works fine.
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This one is not a piece of junk.
I don't really know how long I've had it, but it's been at least 5 years because I bought for the Dodge Ram conversion van that I drove prior to my current vehicle.
As I said, the only problem I've had is the very intermittent non-locking issue which is usually "fixable" with just a couple of tries.
Yesterday was the first time that I had any serious trouble getting it to lock, but as I mentioned, it cured itself a few hours later. This morning I played with for a while and couldn't get it to fail.
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-snip-

Bet you had a single drop of water in just the wrong spot. The locking thing depends on the cam being able to rotate with no resistance.
Jim
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On Sun, 10 Feb 2013 03:31:23 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

You probably got one that's only made to be used inside the house.
I prefer to use a plastic snow shovel, then use a push broom to clean off my car. Why piss around with that dinky shit that's poorly made to begin. Every one of those plastic ice scrapers breaks the first time I use it. I tried a metal cement trowel, but that leaves marks on the windshield. I'm not sure what to use for ice.
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On Sun, 10 Feb 2013 04:09:15 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

Push the button on the remote starter. In ten minutes, you just push away any slush left on the windows.
If I think it will be icy in the morning, I set it to "defrost" when I shut the car off at night. I also put the heated seat switch tot he "on" position too.
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How long did you have to run it this morning Ed? Seems like that frost was more than a foot thick in your neck of the woods.<g>
Jim
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wrote:

Not all that long. When I parked the car on Friday afternoon, the snow hit the warm car, melted, then made a coating of ice on the glass and some of the metal. By the time I pushed the snow off the top surfaces, the glass was slushy and easily moved. It was less than ten minutes.
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I have had remote starters in all my vehicles for as long as I can remember.
The timing to melt the ice depends on 3 factors:
1 - The temperature 2 - The thickness of the ice 3 - Whether or not I remembered to turn the defroster on, the blower to high and the temp to high.
I remember to do #3 much more often than my wife does so it often requires some scraping on her car.
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On 2/10/2013 10:34 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Even better if you apply rain-x before winter. I hit the remote starter and after just a little warmup I can easily push off the whole coating. If I wait a little longer it slides off.
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You must live at the equator. I had the defroster on high speed and temp at the most hot. Cleared off a spot on the window to see and floored the car out of the drift and into the sunlight. Car sat there idling and in sun for about 45 minutes while I cleared off all the snow. Still kept it idling while I plowed the drive with the truck. After all that there was still ice hunks clinging to the wipers. I ordered one of those snow pushing things. It'll probably still be snowing in April.
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Remote starter..... NOT! It's costly to burn up several gallons of gas to defrost a half inch coating of ice, not to mention having to wait a half hour or more before I can drive.
And my old farm truck heater is nearly worthless. I suspect it dont have a thermostat, but I'm not screwing with it in the cold.
I used to pour hot water on the ice, but was told by a mechanic that it will crack windshields, so I stopped doing that.
There has to be something that will scrape the ice, but those cheap plastic scrapers are worthless. I was wondering if a piece of brass sheet metal would work, and not leave marks? I thought of cutting a groove in the end of a hardwood 1" dowel, and gluing a piece of brass in it, about 3" wide?
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