With Bedford’s night-time temperatures creeping slowly towards zero, it will soon be time for that dreaded morning task – de-icing your car! The Highway Code states that, in adverse weather conditions, you must be able to see out of every glass panel in your vehicle before you set off. Your windows must be clear of ice and completely demisted, which takes up valuable time you could have spent having a little longer in bed, but is vital to ensure the safety of you and other road users. However, we know what it’s like to want to a bit more shut eye, so we’ve put together our top tips for clearing your windscreen as quickly and efficiently as possible, so you don’t end up like this…
How do I demist my car as fast as possible?
- Use the tech you have! Newer cars have windscreen heating elements or specific demisting settings, but if not…
- Use the heater. Start off cold and slowly heat them up. Make sure they’re pointed at the windows!
- Use your air con. Air con reduces the moisture levels in your car, helping clear your windscreen. No air con? Open your windows! Cold dry air from outside reduces amount of vapour in your car, too.
- Use a demister pad! They’ll clear your windscreen fast but don’t stop the condensation returning, so use in conjunction with the other points in this list.
- Don’t leave your car alone while it demists! We know it’s warm back in the house, but not only does leaving your car running make it easy for car thieves (and may also invalidate your insurance if it does get stolen!), leaving the engine of a parked vehicle on a public road running could result in a fixed penalty notice. This doesn’t affect you if you have a private driveway, though.
How about the best way to de-ice my car?
While your windscreen is demisting, do the outside of your car!
- Spray de-icer everywhere! Then ensure you scrape your windows, wing mirrors and front and back lights with a proper car scraping tool. They’re not expensive!
- Wipe off your numberplate. They get incredibly dirty in winter conditions, and it is an offense for your plates to not be clearly visible.
- Clear the roof of snow. Although driving with snow on your car roof is not technically illegal, if it falls off and hits another car or even your own windscreen you could be charged with offences such as “using a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition”. This could also cause insurance problems, with companies often withholding accident payouts if they feel it was caused by you not properly preparing your car for safe driving!
- Don’t use your windscreen wipers until all the ice is melted, as they’re not strong enough to scrape off solid ice and it may damage the rubber. If the wipers themselves are icy, trying to use them while frozen may damage the wiper motor.
- Do NOT use hot water! The sudden change in temperature is likely to make your windscreen crack, and that can be time consuming and expensive to fix.
How can I reduce misting and ice on my car in the first place?
- Park in a garage or other covered area. The fastest way to de-ice is to not have to do it at all! But if you don’t have access to a garage, then you could…
- Invest in a windscreen cover. If you put your wipers on top of the cover this also stops them freezing to your windscreen.
- Make a ‘de-icing’ kit for your car. Try and include the following:
- Professional de-icer – We’ve heard of plenty of home-brew de-icing fluids, but most of them contain vinegar or white spirit which can damage both the glass and paintwork of your car.
- Spare de-icer – For when the first one inevitably runs out on the day you have an early meeting!
- Scraper – The most effective ones are double sided with both a plastic scraping blade and a brush. Avoid using credit cards, CDs or anything else that may scratch your windscreen.
- Demister pad – Clear that condensation!
- Pre-mixed, high concentrate screen wash – You’ll use much more screen wash in the winter due to grit on the roads. Mixing it at a higher concentration means it’s less likely to freeze in the pipes.
- Warm gloves – If your car is iced up, then it’s definitely cold. Protect your fingers while you clean up.
- Dehumidify your car An in car dehumidifier can prevent or seriously reduce the mist on the inside of your windscreen by reducing the level of moisture in the air. You can buy specially designed ones at most auto stores, but there’s plenty of DIY designs that work well too.
Find more tips on how to prepare your car for the winter here!
Finally, to make sure you’re ready whatever the weather, why not pop in and see us for a free winter car check? No appointment required, and we’ll ensure you’re safe for the cold winter months.