Winter isn’t the best time of year to put your alarm on snooze. Due to freezing weather conditions, you’ll probably need to wake up early and prepare for winter driving. Of course, scraping ice off your vehicle at the crack of dawn isn’t particularly appealing, but knowing how to defrost car windshields, lights and mirrors safely will help you get on the road as soon as possible. With this in mind, here are the dos and don’ts for de-icing your car.
Mornings are hectic enough without the de-icing process, so be sure to leave plenty of time to get the job done properly. According to the Leicestershire police, you must be able to see clearly, you must make sure all lights are clean and that number plates are legible, and you must make sure all mirrors and windows are clear and thoroughly demisted.
If you’re late for work and don’t want to waste precious time preparing your vehicle, always start the car and let it heat up. Make sure the car defroster is working efficiently as this will clear condensation and thaw frost from the windshield, back glass and side mirrors. Before turning on the engine, however, check that the exhaust pipe and radiator grill are clear.
During the colder months, keep a scraper and some de-icer in your car at all times as you never know when your windscreen might freeze over. Use these two items to clear all ice. If there is a layer of snow covering the ice, use a broom to sweep this away before carrying on as normal. If the ice is thick you can hit it firmly with a flattened hand to help break it up. Never bash the ice with a large object such as a piece of wood or a shovel as this may damage your vehicle.
When de-icing your vehicle, always turn on the headlights as the heat from the bulbs will make it easier to gently scrape ice off the lenses.
Boiling water will clear snow and ice right? Well, the rapid change in temperature could also crack your windscreen, so never take the“easy” route and always stick to using a high-quality de-icer and scraper.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your car running with the keys in the ignition while you go and take a shower or polish off your Weetabix. While theft is a concern – after all, anyone could steal your car in that situation – your car might also overheat if the coolant is improperly mixed and the radiator is frozen.
If your windscreen wipers are covered in snow and ice, don’t turn them on in a bid to clear the glass as this could damage the motor or even the wiper blades themselves.
When using a makeshift scraper such as a CD case, you run the risk of scratching your windshield as well as the paint off your car. Both are not cheap to fix, so it’s worth investing in a scraper that’s purposefully designed for use throughout winter.