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How to keep your windscreen clear in winter

10 Dec 2012 at 15:35

Setting off to work in the morning can be an arduous task in winter. You often have to wait an age for the windscreen to defrost and clear, and even if you’ve scraped the ice from the outside, the inside seems to steam up the moment you get in.

Here are our top winter driving tips for keeping a clear view of the road ahead during the winter months:

  • Keep a bottle of anti-freeze in your car. Squirt it on the outside of the screen if it’s frozen over in the morning, using a proper scraper (not a bank card or CD case) to wipe away any excess water or ice crystals.
  • An important point here – DO NOT pour a kettle of boiling hot water over the windows in an attempt to melt any ice. The thermal shock (going from sub-zero temperatures to nearly 100 degrees Celsius in a matter of seconds) can crack your windows, leading to an expensive bill.
  • If the inside of your car’s windscreen steams up once you’re inside, turn your heater onto full force and full temperature, setting the flow of air to the windscreen. Even if it’s cold to begin with, it’ll warm up and the air will help clear it. If you have electric heated front or rear screens, use these too.
  • Moisture in your breath as you exhale can cause the windscreen to steam up – if your car has air conditioning turn it on to help remove some vapour from the atmosphere in the cabin.
  • Although it might be tempting to keep the warm air in, set your vehicle’s ventilation system to draw air from outside, this will again help in avoiding condensation build up.
  • Don’t be tempted to wipe the inside of the screen with a cloth. Although it might give you short-term relief it will leave marks on your windscreen, which could make it harder to see out of in the long run. Persevere with the heater – it shouldn’t take long to demist.
  • Finally, don’t move off until your windscreen, rear screen, side windows and door mirrors are free of ice, snow or any condensation. Not only is it highly dangerous – it could mean you miss that car coming as you pull out of a side road. It’s also illegal!