As winter approaches and temperatures drop, one car expert has revealed his top tips for safely removing ice from your windshield.
Roger Griggs of Auto Repair and Service Company Quick adjustment has outlined the do’s and don’ts of dealing with an icy windshield, making sure you don’t damage your car while completing the task.
We will also reveal which myths about defrosting and recommendations from social media are definitely worth avoiding.
Engine expert Roger Griggs of Kwik Fit has revealed his top tips for safely removing ice from your windscreen. A major mistake? Roger told drivers that he never used the windshield wipers before the ice began to melt.
Roger’s first piece of advice is to plan well in advance and invest in the most important tool of all…
“It’s not a big secret, but many of us forget: buy a suitable window scraper.”
While several ‘hacks’ suggest that a credit card or old CD case can serve as a scraper, Roger says they should be avoided and that a specifically designed scraper will do the job much more effectively.
And there are some tactics you can use that could prevent you from needing to use a scraper, even when temperatures plummet.
Roger says: “Assuming you don’t have a garage (if you do, the car should be there if possible), then park as close to the house as possible. [as] The heat from the house could help prevent ice from forming.’
He continues: “If you can’t park near buildings, try to point the car towards the east so that the windshield is the first part of the car to receive the sun.”
The motoring expert also recommends covering the windshield during winter as an added precautionary measure.
He says: “Some owners have a full car cover, but if that seems a bit over the top or expensive, covering the windshield with a blanket or cardboard will help.” But make sure it’s safe: a windy night could cause your protection to disappear down the road.
“It’s not a big secret, but many of us forget: buy a suitable window scraper,” says Roger.
And Roger advises using the defroster preventatively the night before a cold snap, explaining: “Some de-icing sprays can be used on car windows the night before, preventing frost build-up.”
When it comes to defrosting your windows before driving, Roger recommends that you “give yourself enough time” to complete the task safely.
It says: “Time is better than pouring cold water on the windshield: let the hot air from the car gently warm the glass and melt the ice so it can be easily cleaned.”
The motorsport expert adds that it is necessary to “use all the capabilities of your car” to complete the task, noting that “some new cars can be heated remotely, without you having to unlock or start them.”
He also recommends spraying the window with deicer and giving it some time to work, before tackling it with the scraper. “If it’s an especially cold morning, you may need to spray another round of deicer,” he says.
The myths about defrosting that you should definitely ignore
What are the main mistakes that drivers can make?
Roger says you should never pour boiling water from a kettle onto your windscreen, as “the thermal shock from the contrast between cold glass and hot water can lead to a broken window and an expensive bill.”
Even warm water can be a danger, warns the AA.
Several motorists have shared videos of using a sealed sandwich bag filled with moderately warm water to rest against the glass to clean it faster.
DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN DEFROSTING THE WINDSHIELD
- Purchase a suitable window scraper.
- Park as close to your home or building as possible.
- Cover the windshield.
- Use defroster preventively.
- Take enough time to thoroughly clean the windows before you leave.
- Use all the capabilities of your car.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Use boiling water from a kettle.
- Use warm water in a sandwich bag.
- Spread half a potato on the inside of the glass.
- Use your windshield wipers before the ice melts.
- Don’t forget the rest of the windows, not only the windshield, but also the mirrors and lights.
- Start the engine and then leave the car.
- Get out before the windshield is completely clear.
Fountain: Quick adjustment
However, because glass expands rapidly when touched by hot or even warm water, it can contract quickly as it is cooled by cold air.
That flexing can cause the glass to break even if you use only warm water.
And this is especially dangerous if the windshield already has a small chip or crack.
Another mistake, he says, is forgetting to defrost the other windows, not just the windshield. That includes mirrors and lights, she notes.
Listing another common mistake, Roger says: “Don’t start the engine running and then leave the car; it won’t take long.” [for the windows to] of course and you should never leave the car unattended with the engine running… or with the keys in the ignition!’
Finally, Roger warns that drivers should never set off before all their windows are clear. He says: “All-round visibility is vital, not just a little ‘porthole’ to look through.”
And what about the recent trend of using potatoes?
The ‘trick’ widely shared online in recent years is to rub half a potato on the inside of your windows to prevent them from fogging up.
While this could technically work, it is not safe to stain any window elements that could reduce visibility when driving.
AA Patrolman Ben Sheridan said: ‘Driving safely means making sure your line of sight remains clear. If your vision is obscured, you may not be able to properly see the road ahead and could even create a blind spot.
“Use a lint-free cloth to wipe condensation off the windows without leaving any stains.”
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