As the colder nights start drawing in and the temperature has dropped significantly, it can only mean one thing, frost is on its way! Frost causes multiple problems when it comes to cars; it means you have to give yourself ten more minutes in the morning to defrost and take extra care on the roads to avoid the dreaded black ice. Ice is a killer on the roads and when defrosting your car, if not done properly, can cause damage to your beloved possession. Here are Scuff ‘N’ Scratch, we have many clients booking in paint work repairs in Milton Keynes during the winter after accidentally scraping the paint off their car while defrosting. To make sure that you are not one of the many unlucky car owners this year, here are a few ways to defrost a car quickly and safely.
Your Guide On How To Defrost A Car Quickly
Whether you are new to the roads after passing with driveJohnsons driving school in Oxford, or haven’t quite mastered the art of defrosting your car without it taking ages or damaging the vehicle, then it may be time to take a look into where you could be going wrong. There are a few techniques that can help you to ensure that your car is well protected while defrosting quickly. Through the use of a few tricks and products, defrosting your car couldn’t be easier, and you can ensure that your vehicle remains safe and well protected through the winter period.
As professionals in car body repairs in Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding areas, we have had our fair share of questions and queries from clients on how to avoid causing the same issues in the future. So, with our expert knowledge and years of experience, we have come up with the answers to some of the most common questions asked about defrosting:
Believe it or not, but taking precautions the night before can have a significant impact on whether your vehicle has ice on the windscreen in the morning. If you are looking for ways to make defrosting your car in the morning less of a hassle, then you may want to find some solutions that can help to reduce the frost. For a quick morning getaway, why not consider using some of these tips:
- Park under cover – if possible, park your vehicle inside a garage or even under a roof shelter. This will help to prevent the cold from causing ice to develop on your vehicle overnight.
- Park facing east – while the winter sun is a lot less invasive, it can still be warm enough to defrost your car. While this may not be beneficial for those heading to work in the early morning when it is still dark, parking your car facing the east will allow the sun to melt the ice on your car ready for use.
- Make sure windscreen wipers are down – it is important to make sure that your windscreen wipers are down when turning off your engine. The reason for this is that they can freeze to the windscreen, making it harder for you to defrost your car as you can’t use them to wipe away the ice as it melts.
- Open your window after turning off the engine – this one sounds a bit weird, but one of the reasons your car will frost up is because the warm air from the inside of the car tries to escape, and as it hits the windscreen, the surface begins to form ice. For this reason, if you have been using your car’s heating, then always allow the heat to escape from the window before turning off your engine.
- Spray with night-before de-icer – much like you may use de-icer in the morning to help melt the ice on your windows, an overnight de-icer is also beneficial. The product will leave a thin layer of film on the glass that helps to protect it and prevent it from icing up.
- Aluminium foil windscreen – much like hibernating your car in your garage, putting an aluminium foil windscreen cover on your car overnight can help to protect it and avoid the glass icing over.
Unfortunately, frost on your car can be inevitable during the colder weather, meaning that finding the perfect solution for ensuring that you can defrost your vehicle quickly and safely in the morning is important. There are a few ways in which you are able to help speed up the process of defrosting your vehicle, some of which we have listed below to lend you a helping hand.
Don’t Use Hot Water
One of the worst things that you can do when attempting to defrost your car, is to put hot water on it. Many people think that by putting hot water of the windscreen, you will melt the ice and therefore, defrost the vehicle. However, this can significantly damage your car, and could result in your screen cracking. The reason that this happens is because the temperature change causes the glass to expand quickly, creating a crack in the screen.
Use The Air Conditioning
A technique that is most commonly used to defrost the windscreen is to use the air conditioning. By turning your aircon up as high as it can go, on the highest temperature possible and have it facing the windscreen, it places a controlled level of heat onto the windscreen to melt the ice. Unlike hot water, the hot air slowly heats up the windscreen, which means that it is far less likely to crack. The ice will begin to melt from the bottom of the windscreen to the top, but meanwhile, you should either use your windscreen wipers or a scraper to remove ice as it melts. If you are in a rush and find that your aircon is not heating up quickly, another method you can try is to gently press down on your accelerator. By doing this, you are heating up the engine which will then heat up the aircon quicker.
Try Using A Defrosting Spray & A Scraper
While it may not work by itself, another method is to spray some de-icer onto the glass; this can help to safely melt the ice slightly to speed things up. However, you will need to accompany this with other defrosting methods, such as using a scraper and your air-con. If you do not yet have these products, then you can find a full defrosting kit over on Halfords, and we would advise that you keep this in the house rather than in the car in case your doors freeze shut!
While it is all fair and well having the products and technique to defrosting your car, it can be hard to know how to use these and in what order. The way in which you defrost your car can have an impact on how quickly it works and whether you are damaging your vehicle. To make sure that you are using the best method possible, we have come up with a step by step guide on the perfect way to defrost your vehicle:
Sometimes in the UK, we experience severe snow along with ice, so when preparing your car, you want to make sure that you brush off any loose snow or ice. Snow should be removed from the entire vehicle, not just the windscreen, as this can cause danger to yourself and other road users when driving. The reason for this is because loose snow can fall off your vehicle and onto either your own or another driver’s windscreen, disturbing your vision. Before the colder weather hits, we would strongly advise that you take a look at RAC for more information on the impacts of snow on cars and the consequences of not removing it before a journey.
When it is has been particularly cold, the ice can be too thick to remove from the glass; if this is the case, then now is the time for you to apply the de-icer over the windows and lights. Once you have done this, you will want to leave the de-icer to do its thing for a few minutes, so hop back inside and make yourself a nice cup of tea while you wait!
If you can open the doors, then pop on the engine and your aircon and then close the doors. Grab your scraper and scrape your windscreen, windows and lights to remove as much ice as possible. In between scrapes, be sure to apply another layer of de-icer to the surface to make sure that the ice continues to defrost as you go. If you find that the ice is still too thick, then just spritz on some more de-icer and wait a few minutes until the combination of the de-icer and the heat from the aircon starts to defrost the glass.
If the key lock to your car is covered with ice and you can’t open your car, then the best advice we can give is to either spray on some de-icer, or even better, some vodka. Vodka can do a pretty good job at melting ice, but you don’t want to pop this on the windscreen as it can leave stains. Alternative, you can apply some alcohol-based hand sanitizer on the key and then attempt to put it into the lock, which should help to melt the ice inside.
The best way to make sure that your vehicle is defrosted quickly is to continue using your scraper while your de-icer and aircon do their thing. But other than that, it is all a waiting a game, so make sure that you head outside to defrost your vehicle to leave you with plenty of time. It is not safe to drive your vehicle if there is ice covering the windscreen, lights and mirrors. You will also need to wait for the windscreen to demist before you head out, so make sure to keep your aircon on.
Defrost Quickly Without Damage
Waking up to frost on the car can be extremely frustrating, but it is vitally important that you safely defrost your vehicle. By following the advice above, you are able to find a quick solution to get you on the roads in no time. However, the winter can cause a range of damages to your vehicle, so if you do experience problems, then please feel free to contact our team. Scuff ‘N’ Scratch has been providing crash repair in Buckingham and car body repairs in Milton Keynes for many years, and are more than happy to help find you the perfect solution to restore your vehicle.