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De-Icing Your Car: The Dos and Don’ts

Drivers around the country are being caught out by the drop in temperature as they scrabble to find the de-icer for the first time in a few months! Did you know that you could get fines and penalty points for not de-icing your car properly?

Tempting as it may be to reach for a credit card, CD case, or even the kettle, for a quick bit of de-icing, it is not a good idea. Check out our dos and don’ts, to keep you safe and prevent you from inadvertently breaking the law.

DO get the heating on straight away. All the blowers, max heat is the best way to start de-icing your car.

DON’T scrape a porthole. Driving with limited vision is against the law and could earn you a fine of £60 and three points on your licence. Even if you are running late or have been caught out by the frost, it is not worth driving until you can see properly; just wait a couple of minutes until your vision is clear.

DO use a proper scraper; quick fixes might seem convenient, but they can scratch your windscreen, which can seriously impede your vision in certain lights.

DON’T pour boiling water over the screen. The shock of the change in temperature could cause your screen to crack. More importantly, it is dangerous; you could suffer from severe burns as the water hits the cold screen and forms boiling steam.

DO make your own de-icer. If you don’t have any de-icer to hand, a salt water solution or a mixture of vinegar and water are good substitutes; spray it on or rub on using an old towel. Don’t overdo it, though, as salt can damage the windscreen and cause metal to corrode. You can help to prevent your windscreen from freezing by spraying it with a vinegar solution the night before, too.

DON’T leave the car running unattended while you defrost; not only does it put your vehicle at risk, but it could get you a fine and three penalty points.

DO give yourself enough time; if there has been a heavy frost, give yourself an extra ten minutes to defrost the car.

DON’T take risks. It is not worth risking your life, or anyone else’s, for the sake of a few minutes. Don’t drive until it is safe to do so, and bear in mind that if your car is frozen, the roads are likely to be, too. Adapt your driving speed to suit the conditions to ensure that you stay safe.

If your windscreen is chipped, damaged or scratched, get in touch with a local windscreen company, who will be able to give you a competitive quote on repairing or replacement.

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