Clearing your windows on a winter’s day is not just a pain in the morning before the commute; it means you’re also on the right side of the law. Section 229 of the Highway Code states “Before you set off you MUST be able to see in all four directions from your vehicle, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows”. Easier said then done and if we’re all honest we’ve all set off thinking the windows will be clear by the time we hit the main roads. So what is the best way to clear those winter windscreens and windows?
Start with the heater on cold to match the cold windows, then slowly increase the temperature. Ramping the heater up to full heat immediately makes the moisture from the windows evaporate into the air of the car so it will just resettle once it hits the cold windows again. Try to find a medium temperature to avoid the constant misting of your cabin.
If you have air-con then use it, as this will work more efficiently at demisting the windows and drying out the air. Don’t be a chicken here; your air-con temperature will still be warmer then the outside winter temperatures. If you’re a modern 4×4 driver then check through the climate control settings for a demister mode. Initiate and enjoy.
Having the windows open whilst driving or the vents drawing the cold air in from outside will help keep the windows mist free. Do Not open frozen windows to clear the glass. It will risk straining the electric motor, damage to the trim and possibly the glass its self.
When you’re dealing with iced windows it’s better and quicker to get out and remove it. Scrape it or spray it with de-icer or both if it’s particularly thick. Snow can be brushed of with the kitchen broom. Just console yourself with all that extra physical work you’ll have worked up some body heat.
DON’T pour boiling water on snowy or iced cold windows the sudden drastic change in temperatures could cause the glass to crack or shatter.
It is a bit of a no brainer but do double check the vents are all directed to the windscreen and side windows when demisting and not on your feet from the night before.
Don’t be tempted to wipe the inside of the screen with a cloth or worse your hand/glove. This short-term solution will just leave streaks on your windscreen.
A couple of minutes waiting for clear windows and a clear view before pulling off is worth anyone’s time to ensuring safety … and of course it is the law.