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How to Defrost Your Windscreen?

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How to Defrost Your Windscreen?

Winter is an exciting time of year, but often brings unwanted surprises, especially for commuters, who try to set off to work in the mornings only to find their cars impersonating snowmen! As if leaving the house isn’t enough of a hardship in freezing temperatures, spending an extra 15 minutes every morning defrosting and defogging your windscreen certainly isn’t something that winter drivers look forward to!

The Causes

There’s nothing more to windscreen frosting than a blend of condensation and precipitation. Because the inside and outside of the car experience a considerable difference in temperature and moisture, with cold and dry conditions outside and warm, humid conditions inside, the windows fog up. It’s humid inside because your breath and body heat are trapped within, whereas outside, the air is quite dry, regardless of the slushy snow. Once condensation sets in at low temperatures, it’s only a matter of time before icing starts to occur, with or without snowfalls.

The Facts

Windscreen frost seems to be causing more than driver frustration. RAC Auto Windscreen research points to the fact that nearly half of all drivers set off on their journeys without bothering to defrost their windscreens, and that more than a quarter of reported commuter delays are due to icy windscreens.

Not only are people who don’t defrost properly susceptible to a hefty fine and penalty points, but they’re also likely to become one of the statistics that show how driver vision impairment causes nearly 10% of accidents!
That’s why we’ve put this handy list of tips together, to help you get your windscreen defrosted quickly and safely each morning:

The Don’ts

  1. Many people seem to believe that pouring hot or boiling water straight onto the windscreen is the quickest way to defrost it – but actually the sudden and extreme change in temperature can put the glass under pressure, causing it to crack!
  2. Research shows that almost half of all motorists admit to using their car wipers to remove the snow or ice on the windscreen. This inevitably causes the wipers to weaken and break.
  3. More than 50% of vehicle owners will leave their engines running in their driveways to speed up the melting process. This seems sensible as you get to stay warm inside while your car defrosts itself, but actually, not only does this make you more vulnerable to theft, it also has an alarming environmental impact that you may not have considered.

The Dos

It’s extremely important to have de-icing liquid and windscreen scrapers close at hand, both at home and on your journeys. One set of defrosting tools at home and one set in your car should be enough to get you through most winters.

  1. Regularly check that the windscreen washers are properly adjusted and be sure to use a windscreen washer fluid that has anti-freeze.
  2. Use a proper scraper to remove ice and snow from the windscreen and windows – but avoid using it on a heated rear windscreen, as you could damage the elements.
  3. If your windscreen has fogged up, use the defrost setting to blow air over the windshield, which helps evaporate some of the moisture. Don’t use the air recirculation feature, because your aim is to get rid of humidity, not to re-circulate it.
  4. If you are in a hurry, you could also use cold air, or open your windows, to lower the temperature inside the car, which will also reduce fogging, but might make driving to work a little unpleasent!

Hopefully, our short list will serve you well, and you’ll be able to keep your windscreen, wipers and sanity intact over the winter months.

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