The last thing you need when you’re running late for work on a frosty morning is a car covered in ice. No one enjoys scraping their windscreen, but there are some things you can do to level up your de-icing.
From favourite products to handy tips and tricks, we’ve got everything you need to kickstart your wintry mornings.
Get prepared early
The best way to avoid an early-morning meltdown (or freeze-down!) is to plan ahead. It’s easier said than done, but we promise it’s the best way to keep de-icing easy.
One really handy treatment – that will help in the rain too – is Duxback. This special fluid was originally developed for the airline industry and causes water to bead up instead of smearing. So, you can drive safely in the rain, wash dirt off easily, and prevent frost from forming on your windscreen.
Stocking up on some low-temperature screenwash will also help – since it’s suitable down to negative temperatures, it keeps your washer jets free from ice and once you’ve cleared your windscreen, it can prevent refreezing.
It’s also worth taking care of any suspicious chips or scratches in your windscreen – low nighttime temperatures will make the glass more brittle, meaning frost can get in and spread the crack. So, save yourself a costly repair and get any chips repaired before the worst weather hits.
Keep your car covered
One great way to avoid ice forming in the first place is to keep your car covered. The best way would be to park in a garage or under a carport, but obviously, that isn’t an option for everyone. Instead, you can use a car cover. These handy sheets keep your windscreen and other windows covered to stop ice and snow from settling on them, making your journey prep in the morning a lot easier!
Another handy trick if you haven’t got a cover to hand is to park your car with the windscreen facing east. Since the sun rises in the east, you’ll be guaranteed as much sunlight as possible before you need to leave, so there should be plenty of melting time!
Stock up on essentials
There are a few fool-proof, tried and true tools for de-icing your car – a good quality scraper and a can of de-icer can get you far. And thankfully, here at Halfords, you get these, plus some screenwash and a demister pad, in one handy bundle for just £10. (If you need any tips on clearing the inside of your windscreen, you can check out our advice article on how to demist your car.)
Keep these to hand and you’ll be ready to hit the road in no time (and you won’t need to try scraping the windscreen with your credit card!).
Keep moisture out
Speaking of the inside of your car, have you ever had the glass freeze on the inside? Well, that happens because there’s too much moisture in the air inside your cabin, which condenses overnight on surfaces like glass and begins to freeze.
There are a few ways you can stop this – a top tip is to leave a sock full of an absorbing material under your seat to catch this moisture and stop it from freezing. Some good options include rice, coffee powder, salt, or even cat litter.
Another thing you can do is switch off your heater around half a mile before you get home the night before – that’ll limit the amount of warm, moist air that can condense overnight.
Don’t compromise safety
While we know you’ll be in a rush to get moving, don’t let that put you in an unsafe position. Firstly, you should never just clear a circle in front of the driver’s seat. That’s called portholing, and not only does it vastly reduce your visibility, but it’s also illegal. Make sure you’ve got a full view out of all your windows before you set off to avoid a fine.
Our second safety tip is not to leave your car unattended with the engine running while you’re de-icing. Not only does it not really help (since it takes so long for a car to warm up in freezing weather), but it also leaves you at risk of theft or fine. You can pick up an £80 fine for leaving your car idling on a public road because of the wasted emissions, and many insurers won’t pay out if your car is stolen while left unattended with the keys in the ignition.
Stay safe with Halfords
This year, we’re helping you prepare for winter so you can conquer the cold. With our range of free car checks – and our Motoring Club, of course – there are plenty of ways to stay ahead of the bad weather.