So, you made a good decision and chose South Wales Renault Dealer Leyshon Flint to buy your new car - and a few weeks later, you find yourself facing UK winter temperatures literally lower than the arctic. So how should you defrost your car?
There are lots of ‘tried and tested’ ways to defrost your car windscreen, but not all commonly held advice is good.
Do you know the methods which could potentially damage your car, or could see you being charged with a motoring offence?
Our motoring expert, Andy Leyshon, discusses how motorists can choose the right way to de-ice their car, and identifies the common methods you should avoid using at all costs:
1. Don’t: Leave your car engine running until you are ready
It can be really tempting when it’s freezing outside to stick the keys in the ignition, turn the heating on full blast and run back indoors, letting the idle car engine do all the work.
In case you are tempted to try this, DON’T! Stationary idling is an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and it could land you with an unwanted fine.
However, there’s another good reason to avoid this at all costs – leaving an unattended car with keys in the ignition is practically handing your car as a gift to an opportunistic thief.
Do this, and insurers will almost certainly refuse to pay should your car be stolen.
ADVICE: Don’t do it – enough said!
2. Do: Use a commercial de-icer spray
De-icer spray is handy, easy to use and won’t damage your car. However, if you are caught out without having it in your car, there are home made alternatives that work just as well.
ADVICE: Definitely a good move
3. Don’t: Use hot water
This is another commonly used method, but it’s one you should avoid using at all costs. The sudden warmth hitting your windscreen could lead to the glass cracking. On other parts of your car, too, hot water is a no-no. We’ve seen people pouring water on the inside of windows that have frozen shut, but the interior isn’t water resistant and the water can damage electronics controlling locks and electric windows.
ADVICE: just don’t do it. Ever.
4. Be careful: Using a scraper
A car scraper designed for the job is a great way to remove snow and ice – but if you don’t have one, don’t be tempted to follow the myth that you can make a substitute using a credit card or other sharp object. This can damage and scratch your screen.
ADVICE: only use car de-icing tools designed for purpose. Your credit card should stay in your wallet!
5. Help! I have no de-icer and no scraper
If you find yourself with no specific tools to help you clear your screen, the good news is there are home remedies which can help – and they won’t damage your car.
You can mix up either of the following solutions:
- • Water with a teaspoon of salt
- • Three parts vinegar to one part water
ADVICE: home made de-icers are easy and cheap
Footnote: Prevention works, too!
One thing you can do is to cover your car windscreen with a commercially available cover. However, if you don’t have one, you can soak an old towel in the salt water solution, and place it over your windscreen the night before. Come the morning, take off the towel, and voila – a nice defrosted screen.
It goes without saying Don’t forget too, if driving in snow, to keep a blanket or extra clothing, and a shovel in the car – and ideally a change of footwear, too. Hopefully, you won’t encounter any problems, but if you do, you’ll be prepared.