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Vasstech Team Memebers

31st October 2017

How to safely de-ice your car

As winter closes in, we see a lot of concern from motorists; from erosion worries, to battery life and tyre pressure, to the universal concern (and annoyance) only the lucky few who live in warmer climates can escape from… de-icing!

The Importance of de-icing your car

As we trade in aircon for heated seats, it is important to realise that the shift in climate has a drastic effect on our cars. Ignoring the appropriate steps to de-icing can lead to long-term damage to your vehicle, but more particularly, your windshield! The most common mistake people make is applying hot water onto the windshield. This dramatic change in temperature causes rapid expansion and contraction of the glass, leading to potential cracks and general weakening. An even more damaging action is using a plastic scraper directly onto the glass. The friction between the two hard surfaces weakens the external layers of glass and can enhance or produce new cracks. Some of these layers may also incorporate UV protection and car sensors, which could have a knock-on effect on the safety and systems used within your vehicle.

Could you be breaking the law?

The Highway Code states that when driving in adverse weather conditions, while it is not illegal to drive with snow on the roof of your car, by law, the driver is required to be able to see out of every glass panel. Therefore, it is necessary that every glass panel and window have been thawed sufficiently, to ensure optimum visibility as well as prevent a further buildup of ice and snow.

If snow falls onto your windscreen, the road or path during transit, the driver can be penalised for creating a hazard to people and vehicles, or, as above, not being able to see out of every glass panel. A simple handheld brush will ensure your roof is left clear of any snow.

Still not sure you’re doing it right? Here are our top 5 tips on how to de-ice your car safely

  1. If possible, prevent the accumulation of ice by storing your car in a room temperature environment, such as a garage, carport, or even simply in a more sheltered area.
  2. Turn on your engine as well as heaters, this will begin thawing the ice and will aid in the de-icing process.
  3. Invest in a de-icing aerosol, applying a generous dose to the entire surface of your windscreen. De-icer can temporarily fog your windows, if this is the case be patient and wait for the glass to clear, this should quickly disappear.
  4. Remove any remaining residue with a scraper with a rubber skin to ensure no unintentional pressure or friction is added to the glass.
  5. Do not begin your journey until every glass panel is visible, and the surface of your car is clear of snow. It is advised that motorists give themselves additional time on frosty mornings to de-ice.

To ensure your vehicle is prepared for winter, contact us for a winter safety check for only £14.99, which includes a FREE care pack, containing de-icer, scraper, de-mister pad, and a £10 gift voucher! Book in today, at one of our branches!