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Winter driving

What to do if your windscreen is frozen

Winter mornings can be challenging at the best of times, let alone having to deal with your car’s frozen windscreen.

However, there are some simple rules you can follow when de-icing it…

What to do:

  • 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 or a CD case, as you could end up scratching your windscreen.
  • Most good screen washes also contain de-icer. This 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) as well as all the other windows and mirrors. Do it before you set off, otherwise your view could be dangerously restricted.

What not to do:

  • Firstly, ignore all the advice about boiling 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. Also, the water may spill on the ground and freeze, forming a dangerous patch of ice.
  • Sitting in your car with the engine running and fan on (while you wait for the heat of your car to de-ice the windows) not only takes a long time but wastes fuel and increases wear on the engine.
  • It’s also not a good idea trying to get rid of ice or snow with the windscreen wipers - this can very quickly damage your wipers.

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