How to defrost your car during the winter

Has Jack Frost been leaving an impression on your car windscreen again of late?

The patterns he leaves may look pretty, but they can be a pain to deal with in the morning, as we suffer from windscreens we can’t see out of!

But despite many of us defrosting our cars for many years, some of us still get it wrong. In our latest blog, we look at the preventative measures we can take - and a guide to defrosting safely and effectively (and boiling water isn’t one of them!).

Defrosting your windscreen tips:

1. An obvious one, but 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.

2. Cover your windshield with rubber bath mats or a folded sheet the night before and use your wipers to keep it in place.

3. In addition, use de-icer the evening before to make your life even easier.

4. Don’t forget your wing mirrors either: Cover them with carrier bags the night before and secure them with rubber bands to stop them from freezing too.

5. 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.

What defrosting trends should you avoid:

1. We don’t recommend using newspaper as it's too thin and can freeze onto the windscreen.

2. Boiling water: This might seem the easiest thing to do but it can freeze again or even crack your windscreen. In addition, the water may spill on the ground and freeze, forming a dangerous patch of ice.

3. Don’t in your car with the engine running and fan on and wait for the heat to clear the screen. It not only takes a long time but wastes fuel and increases wear on the engine.

Be mindful of thieves:

Sadly, this time of year is a bad one for opportunistic thieves. They come out to play when commuters are defrosting their windscreens and there have been reports of numerous thefts across the country.

Always be in close proximity to your car and don’t leave it running out of sight for a few minutes in the morning, whatever you do. In fact, a few seconds could be fatal.

Additional car defrosting tips:

1. We can’t stress this one enough, but don’t leave your car running and unattended! If you must go back indoors switch off and lock the vehicle.

2. Make sure the whole windscreen is defrosted before driving off

3. Don’t set your wipers to 'auto' when frost is expected - if they are frozen to the glass the wiper motor could be damaged. Don’t try to force frozen wipers off the glass

In summary:

A bit of extra planning and some common sense is good enough to beat Jack Frost! And if your car does need a bit of TLC in the meantime, then look up your nearest First Stop centre. We’re here for you and are more than happy to check your car is in good working order – for free!