Common windscreen defrosting hacks slammed

Driving tip: How to defrost your windscreen

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While many may be looking forward to the prospect of a white Christmas this year, the cold wintery weather could play havoc with drivers. Millions across the country have been waking up to frost, ice and snow covering their car and most importantly, their windscreens.

With the Met Office continuing to issue yellow weather warnings, drivers are being urged to keep an eye on the conditions to ensure their safety.

There are currently three yellow warnings for ice in Northern Ireland, snow and ice in northern Scotland and ice down the east of England.

One further warning has been issued for December 16 with snow and ice affecting much of Scotland, which has already dealt with dramatically low temperatures since the start of the month.

Ed Colley, head of marketing at Autoglass, warned drivers of the proper ways they should deal with frost and ice on their windscreen.

When clearing frost, any homemade methods could have serious impacts on the vehicle, and lead to excessive repair costs over winter.

He said: “Sudden changes in temperature are one of the most common causes of a windscreen chip turning into a crack, requiring the whole windscreen to be replaced, so anything that involves excessive heat is out of the question. 

“While running outside with a boiled kettle might be the quickest route to a clear windscreen, it’s also one of the riskiest, so we’d suggest giving it a hard pass.”

The dramatic change in temperature can easily cause the window to crack, which some motorists have found out the hard way this winter.

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A number of videos have gone viral on TikTok, showing drivers pouring boiling water on a frozen windscreen in the hopes of sorting the problem quickly, only for the windscreen to shatter.

Mr Colley suggested: “Turning the engine on and heating the windscreen from within might appear like a harmless method, but it’s hardly going to be the cheapest given price rises at the pumps this year, and it also comes with a completely avoidable environmental cost. 

“As tempting as it may be to reach for a random flat surface, such as credit card, lunchbox, or school folder, it’s also opening you up to the risk of small scratches that can jeopardise the structural integrity of the glass and could cause you to fail your MOT.”

Experts have continually urged drivers to only use proper scrapers when looking to clear a frosted windscreen.

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Despite the warnings, many will use any flat-sided object they can find, often including their credit card or old CDs.

Not only with this be less efficient than using a scraper, it can also cause damage to the windscreen and the object.

In some cases, insurance companies may also refuse to cover any damage done to the windscreen by using these homemade methods.

Mr Colley concluded, saying: “Instead, we’d urge drivers to reach for the humble scraper, or simple de-icing spray, which are guaranteed to remove frost and snow without risking costly damage to the vehicle. 

“Another option is covering your windscreen with a piece of polythene the night before. 

“For extra smug points, you can also apply a rain repellent product to the windscreen which makes de-icing easier, saving you time on these cold winter mornings.”

Drivers have been searching for many different ways to combat the harsh winter weather the UK has seen in recent weeks, especially when it comes to preheating their car.

Many have looked on social media to get quick new tricks and tips to clear their windscreen, with TikTok proving to be particularly useful.

The hashtag #frost has more than 730 million views, with thousands of creators sharing their own techniques of how to clear their windscreen or even how to deal with frost on their lawn.

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