What do I do if my windscreen is frozen?

Winter mornings can be difficult enough without stepping out of the front door to find your car's windscreen frozen. However, this doesn't need to be anything more than a minor frustration, as long as you know what to do.

Firstly, ignore all the advice about boiling hot kettles. It may seem logical that hot water will melt the ice, but if the water's too hot it could cause your windscreen to crack when the extreme temperatures meet. Also, the water may spill on the ground and freeze, forming a dangerous ice slick.

Another frequently tried method is to simply sit in your car with the engine running and the fan on, waiting for the heat of the car to de-ice the windows. Not only will this take a long time, but it wastes fuel and increases wear on the engine.

Sitting in your car and trying to get rid of ice or snow with the windscreen wipers is not a good idea, either, and will probably just lead to broken wipers.

The best method is to invest in a can of de-icer and a scraper. Spray the de-icer all over the windscreen and then scrape off the melting ice with the ice scraper. Don't be tempted to use a credit card, CD case or any other such implement, as you could scratch your windscreen.

Most good screenwashes also contain de-icer and can help clear the ice from your windscreen and prevent your wash bottle and spray nozzles from freezing.

Make sure you defrost the entire windscreen - not just the small area in front of the driver's seat - plus all the other windows and the mirrors before you set off, otherwise your view may be dangerously restricted.