How to de-ice your car

How to de-ice your car

Winter months mean frozen windshields, be prepared and make sure you read our guide to avoid causing serious damage to your car.

Why should I de-ice my car?

De-icing your car in the winter is unfortunately a necessary evil for most people on most mornings. While those lucky enough to own a garage can avoid this task, the rest of the country still has to schlep outside with scraper in hand to clear our windscreens of frost.

Don’t think you can get away with it, either. Driving in the winter with poor visibility due to an iced-up windscreen is against the law, and can attract a charge of driving without due care and attention. Make no mistake, you’ll need to clear your windscreen fully – and if it’s snowed in the night, you must brush that from the roof and bonnet, too.

So, what’s the quickest way to de-ice my car?  

For most, the classic scraper will do the trick. Don’t be tempted to reach into your wallet and grab a credit card – you could damage it and scratch your windscreen. A dedicated ice scraper need only cost a few pounds, and it’s definitely worth the investment. 

Commercial de-icing sprays are also available, and often very effective. But the cost of these can mount up and you need to be very careful – the components of these can damage paintwork if you accidentally overspray.

If you think prevention is better than cure, you could get chemical. Mix a solution of salty water and soak a towel in it, before draping it over your windscreen. Provided the temperature doesn’t drop too much, you should have a clear windscreen come morning, as the salt lowers the freezing temperature of the water.

Of course, if you have a garage, consider using it! Far too many people consider garages an extension of the storage space within their house. However, just ask yourself – what do you care about more, your £200 lawnmower or your £10,000+ car? Garages not only keep cars ice-free, but they protect the paintwork from sun and inclement weather – they’re worth using all year round, if you can.

Is there anything I shouldn’t do when de-icing?

 Above all else, you need to keep your car both safe and intact – saving a few minutes from your day isn’t worth risking your vehicle for. So don’t be at all tempted to attack your frozen glass with a kettle of water. Hot water on cold glass is a surefire recipe for a cracked windscreen – if you must pour water, it should be lukewarm at the absolute maximum.

You could entrust the job to your car’s heater, but you should remain in the car at all times. Potential car thieves see the winter months as rich pickings, as owners turn their cars on to warm up and immediately hide back in their toasty houses. It’s then only too easy for a thief to nab the car – with the keys handily inside. 

The luckiest people during the winter months are those who own a car equipped with a heated windscreen. These fabled devices make short work of ice – a few seconds and it simply wipes away. If you’re sick to death of scraping your windows, you should be looking for a heated screen in your next car.

Here's everything you need to know before driving on snow and ice

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