At this time of year, the ground is totally waterlogged and the air is damp, and it’s impossible to prevent that moisture from getting inside your vehicle, whether it’s a car, a 4X4 or a commercial vehicle. The moisture doesn’t just seep into your upholstery and carpets; it rests on your vehicle glass, causing reduced visibility. If you allow the dampness to persist, when the frosty mornings arrive and you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, you end up with the delays involved in scraping the outside of your windscreen and windows. Not only that, you have to defrost the inside of your vehicle glass as well which only adds to the delays.
A bit of prevention can save you a great deal of time and effort, so here are a few tips to get your car ready for winter and ensure your windscreen stays frost-free.
In winter, your feet are wet when you get into your car, and your clothes may be damp too. Running your car heater will ‘dry’ the moisture, but it doesn’t actually go away, it stays in the air inside your car, and then settles back when the car gets cold. If you’re lucky enough to get a dry, sunny and relatively warm day (we wish!) you can always park your car in the sun and open the windows for as long as the sunshine lasts – don’t leave it open for too long or you will make matters worse.
If you’re not so lucky with the weather, you may need to rely on a dehumidifier. There are a number of these portable devices available, but the safest ones for use in a car are the types that contain silica gel. You charge them up in the house to dry out the gel, and then put into the car overnight, and they absorb any moisture. It’s not a good idea to run a mains powered dehumidifier inside your car, as leaving it unattended is a real fire risk!
Prevent the Ice
There are loads of screen protectors on the market, so get yourself a magnetic windscreen shield, remember to fit it over the windscreen when frost threatens, and hey presto, no scraping required. These items really do work, they’re much less fiddly than the shields that fit with straps, and they make great gifts for the motorist who hates using an ice scraper.
Remove the Ice – Safely
If you don’t have a shield, or you forget to fit it, make sure you have plenty of de-icer and a decent ice scraper. Yes, your credit card will do the trick, but using it to scrape ice doesn’t do a lot of good to the embedded chip. There are a number of cleverly-designed ice scrapers on the market, so get a good one with a blade that is flexible enough to remove all the ice, but not so rigid that it can damage your windscreen seals.
The key to winter windscreen care is preparation, so make sure you’ve got all the materials and equipment to hand, and keep your eye on the local weather forecast for frost warnings.