Snow worries this winter

By Hari McDermott
De-icing your car on a cold winter morning can be a miserable and frustrating task before work, especially when you're running late. On these chilly occasions, it’s easy to just reach for the nearest sharp object or use hot water from the kettle, but these quick-fix solutions could seriously damage your windscreen and even land you with an on the spot fine! 

Homemade de-icing solution

Homemaking your de-icing solution could end up saving you some money and you don’t need to be a scientist. Simply mix one-part water and two parts 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. Isopropyl is just a fancy word for rubbing alcohol, you can purchase a 100ml bottle for as little as 4.99 from amazon. You may think saltwater would do the trick, but this could damage the paintwork and in worse cases corrode the metal.

Anti-frost windscreen covers
Covering up your windscreen overnight could be a great way of saving time. You can find affordable ‘anti-frost’ windscreen covers for under £10.00 from amazon. Let’s be honest, what can’t you find on Amazon? 

Windscreen heaters
One of the more popular solutions is leaving the car running and using the windscreen heaters to gradually defrost the windscreen. But, under act 123 of The Highway Code, it’s stated that "You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road” and that doing this, could land you with a £20.00 fine.   

But that’s not the only thing you need to worry about. Did you know car theft raises by 25% in the winter? Due to longer nights and dark winter mornings, leaving your car unattended for ‘a few minutes’ is a prime opportunity for criminal gangs or an individual.

Keep a scraper and a can of de-icer handy
Keeping a can of classic Bluestar De-icer and scraper handy is a must for the winter. You can pick up cans of de-icers from around £2.50 from your popular high street retailers. Just don’t leave the can rolling around under your seat, that could be quite dangerous.

Scrapers come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and colours but keep in mind, you don’t need to fork out and get anything expensive.

Don’t use hot water
Pouring hot water onto your windscreen will definitely melt the ice but could easily shatter the windscreen due to the drastic change in temperature. We know it’s very tempting but is it worth the risk? The price of a new windscreen can vary depending on the make and model of your car, but we can guarantee it would be quite expensive to replace.  

Don’t drive with limited visibility
Driving with limited visibility could leave you with a £60 fine and three points on your licences. We’re not just talking about your windscreen. You should de-ice all windows, mirrors and especially number plates and lights. The Highway Code states, “You MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows” and “You MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible”.

Drive safe and don’t cut corners this winter. It doesn’t take long to gather and prepare the things you need for those unexpected frosty mornings. 

Photo by Alex on Unsplash