While 2022 was confirmed as being the warmest year in the UK’s recorded history, the first two weeks of December were the coldest start to a meteorological winter since the start of the previous decade in 2010. This brought plenty of frost, ice, and snow and those of us who can drive know the irritation of waking up and getting ready to set off in winter, only for our windscreens and cars to have frozen overnight.
It’s especially important to make sure your windscreen is completely clear of ice and frost when you’re driving, as obscured vision could mean you find yourself in a collision or land you a big fine due to Rule 229 of the Highway Code. It states explicitly that visibility is a must, and all obstructions should be removed.
If you need to get your car sorted quickly and head off to work, this article will go through the top five ways to defrost your car so you can get on the road faster.
Get your car running and check your windscreen wipers
Before you turn the key in the ignition, it is crucial to make sure that your windscreen wipers are not turned on before you run it. During the night when temperatures drop, your wipers can freeze and stick in place. Turning them on while they’re still stuck can damage the motors and there’s a chance that the rubber could be torn off.
The first key to defrosting a car is to get the engine running and switch on the air blower in the warmest setting. Make sure the airflow is focused on the windscreen, and if your car has the technology, turn on the rear-view and mirror heaters. An extra top tip is to use the air con as well, as the dry air circulating will remove moisture and prevent misting.
Scrape it down and sweep off the snow as it’s warming up
You must be able to see through the windscreen with the threat of a fine or worse, the risk of a collision. While you’re waiting for the internal heating to start warming the car through and beginning to thaw the glass, you can work on the outside.
Scraping off the ice and sweeping the snow off the car helps the process along. You can buy scrapers that are purpose-built for those cold winters with a stiff side to scrape the ice and a softer brush side to brush off the snow without scratching the vehicle.
Prepare your car the night before
It can be hard to reduce the amount of ice and frost that builds up overnight as temperatures below freezing will inevitably cause some hassle. Placing a purpose-built windscreen cover on, or even a blanket, overnight can prevent frost build-up and is easy to remove in the morning.
Similarly, if you park your car facing the direction of the sunrise, this could result in the added warmth from the sun preventing too much ice from building.
Try to avoid emerging trends
Every winter, there are always tips, tricks, and hacks that get posted all over social media sites that are “sure fire ways” of defrosting your cars. These range from zip-lock bags filled with lukewarm water, to half a sliced potato, to using shaving foam on the inside of your windscreen and windows.
While some of these may be able to remove some of the ice and snow covering your vehicle, they’re incredibly impractical in their own ways. If any water spills from the bag, there’s a chance that it could just refreeze to your windows or windscreen while driving, while the other two just look a bit daft to do. Especially as you can buy cans of de-icer spray for as little as £1 each, which are much more effective.
Keep an eye on the weather
De-icing on the day is important, but extra care can be taken by looking out for the weather reports on the evening or local news can help get ready for the freezing. This way you can plan ahead to wake up with enough time to defrost your used Jaguar E-Pace before you set off on your way.
You don’t have to let the weather freeze you out of your plans, and with these methods of thawing your motor through, you should be set for winters ahead.