We’re still getting used to the idea that summer’s over – but many of us woke up to a shock this week and a thick layer of frost on the car windscreen.
But what is the best way to deal with this chilly problem?
Here is a foolproof guide:
First things first – DO NOT use hot water to try and melt the ice
This risks cracking the windshield, especially if you already have any chips or small cracks in the glass. The hot water quickly expands the screen, which will then contract again rapidly in the cold – the laws of physics are against you here.
Also, if it’s REALLY cold, the warm water can simply turn into ice as it runs down the glass.
Hit the air-conditioning
Gently circulate warm air around the car with the fan system , and using the heated rear screen and mirrors (if you’re lucky enough to have them) will make your job much easier.
If you’ve got air-conditioning, remember it isn’t only for summer – it produces dry air which will help keep cold glass mist-free.
Former NASA engineer Mark Robert revealed a ‘fullproof’ four-step process to defrost your windscreen… c’mon, it’s not rocket science!
Stay with the car all the time – if you must go back indoors switch off and lock the car
Thieves look out for unattended cars being defrosted with the engine left running, so leaving your vehicle with the keys in for even a moment is just a bad idea. Full stop.
Don’t even consider driving off without fully clearing your windows
Your visibility will be drastically reduced, increasing the risk of accidents.
Remember not to leave your wipers on when frost is forecast
Windscreen wipers can become frozen to the windscreen, meaning you’re risking damaging the motor if you have them running when they’re stuck. Don’t try to force them off the glass either. Wait until the ice has defrosted.
Clear all snow from your car
If the weather gods have been particularly unkind, you may have snow right across your car – although hopefully not for a while yet. When, or if, this does happen, it’s important to clear snow off so if doesn’t fall from your roof onto the car windscreen, suddenly reducing your visibility while driving.
A soft brush is the best thing to use. Also make sure the front grille is clear so there is no risk of your engine overheating, and ensure your lights are clean and working
Don’t use your hands to de-mist your windows
Your own breath on cold windows brings with it fresh misery in colder weather – but use a lint-free absorbent cloth or pad to clear if off. Using your hand will leave greasy smears across the glass, reducing your visibility. And jewelry, such as a diamond ring, or a watch bracelet could scratch the glass.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Sunderland Echo