Here's how to quickly and safely de-ice your car during winter weather

WINTER weather is looming and colder conditions will lead to many frozen windscreens.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 6:12 pm

The Met Office forecasts freezing temperatures in Portsmouth on Wednesday morning and drivers may need to de-ice their car.

It is against the law to drive with a frozen windscreen, so fully clearing windows of ice or snow is essential.

Rule 229 of the Highway Code states drivers need to clear all ice and snow from their windows before setting off.

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Preparing your car before de-icing it and using the proper equipment can make the job quick and easy. Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

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But how can you de-ice your car quickly and safely?

Here are some tips:

Prepare your car before de-icing the windows

There are some recommended steps to take to make the job quicker and easier.

According to the AA, you need to check if your wipers are on and switch on the engine.

On its website, the AA said: ‘Make sure your wipers aren't on before you switch the car on.

‘If wipers are frozen to the glass, the wiper motor could be damaged or the rubber could tear off if they start wiping.’

You then need to turn on the engine and the warm air blower on the front windscreen, and any heated mirrors and rear-heated windscreens.

The AA also advises motorists to turn on the air-conditioning.

They explained: ‘It'll remove moisture from the air to stop the car misting up.

‘Don’t use your hands to wipe misted-up windows – you'll leave greasy smears and a diamond ring could scratch the glass.’

Brush off any snow

If your vehicle is covered in snow, you need to clear it with a soft brush.

The AA state: ‘A soft brush is good for clearing the front grille (otherwise there is risk of the engine overheating).’

The brush can also be used to clear the headlights.

Use an ice scraper, de-icer spray or lukewarm water

After the snow is cleared and while the car is warming up, you can start de-icing the windscreen.

Vehicle recovery provider Green Flag recommends you use an ice scraper.

On its website, Green flag said: ‘The most effective way of de-icing car windows is still with a scraper.

‘A proper ice scraper will allow you to shift the ice quickly and effectively.’

Makeshift equipment such as credit cards could scratch the glass and make the job harder.

You can also use de-icer spray to quickly clear your windscreen while the car heats up.

Windscreen repair company Autoglass also advises motorists to use lukewarm water.

Information on its website said: ‘To avoid damaging your windscreen, you should only apply lukewarm water when you defrost your windscreen.

‘Apply the warmed water to the frozen area by pouring or splashing it directly onto your windscreen.

‘The ice should quickly soften and melt to the point where it can be wiped away with a cloth, glove or your windscreen wiper.’

Autoglass advises not to use boiling water for this method.

As hot water can freeze faster than cold water, so applying to a windscreen could cause it to refreeze.

Drastic changes in temperature can also damage windows and cause cracks.

Motorists should also stay by their car and wait for all the ice and mist to clear before driving.

How to prevent frozen windscreens

Autoglass said some steps can be taken to stop your car windscreen from freezing over.

They said: ‘At night, cover your windscreen with some cardboard, you can secure it in place with your wipers.

‘This protective layer should curtail some of the cold weather’s affect on your windshield.

‘In the evening, you can cover your mirrors with plastic bags that you have held in-place with elastic bands.

‘This little bit of forethought will take some of the struggle out of your winter commute.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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