Despite the winter bringing snow and ice to our shores every year we still get caught out by the winter weather. I know I’m probably guilty of hoping that this winter won’t be too cold, maybe we’re all just ignoring the approach of the winter in the hope that it all goes away! Sadly this never works, and the weather this week has bought plenty of snow and ice. If you’re a driver you’ll have to de-ice your car before you set off to work in the morning. This could be something new for you – if your parents have been giving you a lift until now they’ve probably had to warm the car up before setting off. So what’s the best way to de-ice your car so it’s safe and ready to go quickly?
Most people these days know you shouldn’t pour hot (or even boiling!) water on their windscreens. You don’t need a cracked windscreen, and the shock of hot water is very likely to crack the glass. The water will freeze on the road or driveway, so you’re just causing a problem for another day, even if your windscreen survived. There are lots of ‘life hacks’ on the internet about rubbing all sorts of things (including a potato) on the inside of the windscreen to stop it from steaming up. We wouldn’t recommend adding anything to the glass, as it could obscure your view, and cause you trouble when you’re driving.
The best way of getting rid of ice on the outside of the windscreen is turn the car on, and the heater on full, ensuring the heat is directed to the screen. Turn the air-con on as well, this will help to keep the inside of the car dry. Make sure the windscreen wipers are turned off before you have cleared the ice away, as it’ll damage the blades of the wipers. You then need to use a scraper and/or liquid de-icer to completely clear the outside of the windscreen and the other windows and mirrors.
Using the air-con and heaters should also help to clear the inside of the windscreen. Something else that can help is to keep the humidity levels down in your car. You can get car dehumidifiers, these will absorb some of the moisture in the car to avoid some of the fog that collects on the windscreen. If you find you have a problem with the inside of your windscreen just use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the glass to make sure it’s clear and you can see properly before you set off. I know de-icing the car isn’t anyone’s favourite job, but if you’re a new driver you can think how much better it is in your nice warm car than having to walk!
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