Looking after your windscreen in winter

You get up in the morning and rush out the house to find your car has a blanket of frost or snow covering it. You scrape it away only to find that the inside screen has misted up. Sound familiar?

Woman scraping ice of a windscreen

Here are some tips for clearing your screen and keeping it frost free to make sure you have a good view of the road.

Be prepared

If you know it's going to be chilly, get a cover and put it on your windscreen the night before. This will save you time defrosting the windscreen in the morning. Also, get up 10 minutes earlier to warm up and defrost the car. It all adds time to your commute.

Outside the vehicle

Set aside about 10 minutes to clear your windscreen.  Use a scraper and de-icer to clear the windows, mirrors and lights.

It's illegal to drive with snow or ice blocking your front or rear windscreen so don't take any chances. A few minutes extra clearing your windows will be worth it in the long run.

Always keep a bottle of de-icer in your car. Put it on the outside of the screen and use a scraper to wipe away the ice. You can also put de-icer fluid in your screenwash. In the snow and icy conditions there can be a lot of spray on your screen so this will help to clear it.

You can buy rain away fluid to clean the windows. This repels water and helps visibility.

It's tempting, but avoid pouring boiling hot water over the windows to melt the ice. The sudden change in temperature can crack your windows.

Inside the vehicle

If you have mist on your screen, start your heater off cold, then slowly increase the temperature until it clears. Never leave your vehicle alone while you wait for it to defrost as it could get stolen.

Avoid wiping the inside of the screen with a cloth. It may clear the mist but can leave marks on your screen making it hard to see out of. The heater will eventually clear the screen.

Using your wipers on a frozen screen can damage them so switch them off until the screen is clear. Always check your wipers as they can split in cold weather. Clean them regularly so they don't smear the screen.

Don’t drive off until all your windscreen, windows and mirrors are frost-free. Make sure you have a clear view out of all windows and blind spots so that you are safe on the road.

Chips or cracks in your windscreen

If you notice any damage to your windscreen, please call Glassline on 0300 037 9944. They can offer you advice and, if necessary, arrange for an Autoglass technician to visit you. You will need to tell them you are a Motability Customer and present your Certificate of Motor Insurance.

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