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Winter driving: The best way to clear that iced up windscreen

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November 1, 2017
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Winter’s chill is almost upon us and before we know it we’ll all be waking up in the morning to an iced up windscreen.

Making your car fit for the road on a freezing morning is one of winter’s most wretched woes but it is vitally important you do the job thoroughly and safely.

Here’s the Adrian Flux guide to clearing your car’s iced up windscreen on a winter’s morning:

Clearing an iced up windscreen – get the engine running

Your first job is to get the engine ticking over. The most effective way of de-icing the car is to start the engine and flick on the air-conditioning – as the engine warms the warm air will circulate and begin to clear your windows. At the same time switch on your heated rear window.

Do not turn on the windscreen wipers. The rubber blades may be frozen to the windscreen and you run the risk of burning out the wiper motor or damaging the rubber blades.

And don’t be tempted to nip back into the warm while the engine is running. If you do, your pride and joy will be easy pickings for any opportunist thief wandering by. You will also be breaking the law as drivers must be “in control” of their vehicle at all times. If you do need to go back into the house turn off the engine and lock the car. Insurers rarely pay out if the keys are left in the car.

Get rid of any snow sitting on the bonnet and roof. Use a soft brush to wipe off all the snow from the car, making sure the front grille is clear. If you leave it on the roof it will likely slip off when you are driving and it could impair your vision. Clear around the wheel arches too as the snow can compact and create braking or steering problems.

Clearing an iced up windscreen

Clearing an iced up windscreen – not a job for bank cards

Start de-icing the outside. Make sure you keep a scraper and some de-icer for mornings when you are stuck. Buy a decent scraper, don’t rely on your bank card, it might do the job but a scraper is far more durable and efficient. As the engine warms the car from the inside get scraping from the outside. Don’t wipe windows or wing mirrors with your hands as it will leave greasy smudges.

You might think it’s a quick and easy fix, but never use boiling water on glass. The rapid expansion and contraction of the ice can cause the screen to crack especially if there are already chips in the glass.

Clearing an iced up windscreen – don’t be a ‘letter box chancer’

Wait until all the glass is clear before you drive off. We’ve all seen the chancers driving along the road peering through a tiny letter-box of clear glass because they couldn’t be bothered to do the job properly. This is foolish and very dangerous. It’s worth spending an extra few minutes to ensure your car is safe to drive.

It’s a good idea to pack a snow shovel, blanket, hot drink and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged in case the weather deteriorates. Also tune to a local radio station so you can hear localised weather reports and news of any impassable routes.

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