Winter cold snap: Top de-icing tips

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Author: | Updated: 01 Dec 2023 15:08

Winter has returned with a vengeance. It’s cold. It’s dark when you wake up. It’s dark when you drive home from work. And the thermometer is below zero.

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a garage that keeps your car nice and toasty, we’re sure you’ll be starting to de-ice your pride and joy.

De-icer and a scraper are still best

It’s dangerous and illegal to get behind the wheel unless all your windows are clear, so it’s imperative you take time to do it. But are you doing it correctly? Some methods are more effective than others, while others can do your car more damage than good.

Here’s five top tips for de-icing…

1. De-icer and a scraper: Still the unbeatable duo

De-icing solutions

Over the years, various myths and unconventional methods for clearing frost from your windshield have emerged, from using a raw potato to leaving a hot water bottle on the dashboard overnight. Perhaps you throw a blanket or towel over your screen.

However, the most reliable and effective approach remains using a high-quality scraper and a can of de-icer. Investing in these tools and keeping them in your car is a smart move. Avoid makeshift solutions like hard cardboard or credit cards, as they could potentially scratch your windshield.

2. Protect your wipers

If your car has automatic wipers, remember to turn them off before starting your vehicle. Additionally, try not to leave your wipers in the middle of the windshield if they don't have an auto-park feature.

Freezing conditions can cause the wiper blades to become stuck, and any sudden movement might harm them. On extremely frosty mornings, consider lifting the wipers off the windshield entirely.

3. Skip the boiling water (at all costs)

Keep the boiling water for tea-making duties

While pouring boiling water on your windshield may seem like a quick solution, it's a practice you should avoid at all costs. The abrupt change in temperature can lead to a cracked windshield. To protect your car, it's best to reserve the kettle for making tea and opt for safer de-icing methods.

4. Don’t forget to de-mist

Misted screen

Clearing frost from the outside of your car is essential, but don't overlook the importance of de-misting the inside of your windshield. Using your car's air conditioning can help reduce interior condensation and keep the windshield clear.

Avoid using your hand to wipe misted windows, as it can leave smudges and potentially scratch the glass, especially if you're wearing jewelry.

5. Consider a car with a ‘quick clear’ windscreen

QuickClear windscreen Ford

For the ultimate convenience on frosty mornings, you might want to explore vehicles equipped with a heated 'quick clear' windscreen. While this feature was once exclusive to Ford cars due to a patent, it's now available on various makes and models, often as part of an optional winter package.

Brands like Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Fiat, and Hyundai now offer this handy feature, making cold mornings a bit more bearable.

In conclusion, as winter brings its icy challenges, following these five top tips will help you effectively and safely de-ice your car, ensuring clear visibility and preserving your vehicle's integrity.

Stay warm and drive safely during the frosty season!

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