How to de-ice your car appropriately

  • Barrowford MOT Centre

Slowly and safely

If you can not see out your windscreen, it is not safe to drive. In fact, in the UK, by law you must be able to see out your windows, and have your number plate clearly visible and legible so you should always remove snow and ice from your car’s windscreen, greatly increasing visibility and improving the safety of you and any passengers.

If you live in an area with terrible winter weather, there are even steps you can take to prevent ice buildup. At Barrowford MOT, we have put together a little guide for you:

Removing ice

  1. Start your car and let it idle warm the car up. If your car has a “defrost” setting on the temperature gauge, put it on. Wait at least fifteen minutes for the glass to warm up.
  2. Spray your car with a saltwater solution. This will dissolve the ice via chemical reaction rather than melting it with heat. The ions in salt also lower the freezing point of water, making it difficult for water to refreeze. Apply the saltwater sparingly to your windshield since heavy salt exposure may cause damage to the glass.
  3. Apply an alcohol and water solution to melt the ice. Make a 2:1 rubbing alcohol to water solution and fill a spray bottle with it. Spray the solution onto all desired windows.
  4. Buy a commercial de-icer if the homemade solutions fail. Most commercial formulas work well but tend to be costly. Like scrapers, these formulas shouldn’t be hard to find at your local car supply store. Almost every auto store has a section dedicated to de-icers.
  5. Use a squeegee, soft-bristled brush, or your windshield wipers to scrub away the residue. Once you have applied your chosen solution, wipe away the liquid and ice from your windshield and car.
  6. Keep an ice scraper in the car all winter to chip ice off your windshield. You should purchase one for your car well in advance, then leave it in the boot or glovebox to handle ice if you have no other supplies around. Push it into the windshield and use short, powerful strokes to chip the ice away.

Cracked windscreens

If you have even a slight crack in the windscreen, this can be detrimental in the freezing temperatures. As water gets in and expands as in freezes it can make the crack larger therefore increasing the risk of it shattering putting yourself and passengers at risk.

Don’t let you car get to this point. Windscreen repairs are easy to fix if they are caught early, you will not need to replace the full windscreen.

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