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Winter & Your Windshield

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Winter & Your Windshield

Winter is coming. Fact. Unless you live in a warm climate where it never gets cold and never snows or freezes, winter is coming. With winter comes the annoyance of a windshield that is no longer easy to see out of. Snow, ice, condensation… these will be our new companions for the foreseeable future. Never fear though, with some simple preparation, we will be able to see clearly once more.

Condensation

Condensation

One of the early signs of winter is waking up to your windshield having a layer of moisture over it. While easy to wipe off with your hand or a towel, this will cause smears and smudges that you’ll have to look through for the remainder of your life.

Instead, follow these steps to clear your view:

  1. Turn on the car. If you’re in the garage, be sure the garage door is open for ventilation.
  2. Turn the defroster on and the fan to the fastest speed. This will move lots of air over the windshield.
  3. Turn the temperature control to maximum heat. Hot air has more moisture carrying capability than cold air. Next, press the air conditioner button. Air moving through the air conditioner will have less moisture.
  4. Turn off the recirculate feature if it is not humid outside. This will draw in air from outside the vehicle that has less moisture in it than inside.
  5. If weather permits, crack the windows. This will allow the air inside the car to match the outside air.

AC Settings

Other considerations:

  • If there is snow outside, be sure to kick off as much snow from your boots before getting in the car. This will result in much less moisture being trapped in your vehicle.
  • You can keep some desiccant or kitty litter in a sock in your car to help absorb the moisture before it sticks to your windows.

Snow

Snow

Once winter really hits, you’ll often come out to a white landscape hiding your precious car. After a quest to find the lost car, you’ll need to get that snow off before driving. Here are a few steps to get the snow off quickly.

  1. Follow the tips for removing moisture from the condensation section (car on, defroster, heat, etc.).
  2. For light snow, turn on the windshield wipers to remove the snow.
  3. For heavier snow, use a brush to remove the snow.
  4. For snow too heavy for the brush (at this point your car is buried) you probably shouldn’t be driving anyway. Go inside and have a cup of hot soup.

Ice

Icy Windshield

 

Ice. The bane of the winter driver. If you find yourself unlucky enough to have an ice-covered car, here are some tips to removing it.

  1. Follow the tips for removing moisture from the condensation section (car on, defroster, heat, etc.).
  2. If the ice is light, scrape it away with an ice scraper.
  3. If the ice proves resilient, take a break for a few minutes while the car warms up and then try again.

A few other things to note:

  • There are commercial de-icers available that you can spray on icy windshields to melt the ice rapidly. You can also make your own at home by mixing one part water with two parts 91% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle.
  • You can cover your windshield and windows with a tarp or other cover to prevent precipitation from building up on your windows.
  • If there is a lot of ice on your car, there will also likely be ice on the road. Be doubly careful when driving in icy conditions.

scrape your windshield

Always be sure to clear all windows and mirrors before driving. The extra time spent will ensure you keep the road as safe as possible. Check out more Winterizing Tips to help you prepare for the cold and snowy months ahead.

Do you have an interesting winter story? Share it in the comments below!

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Caroline Rex

She's a graphic designer by trade, but loves writing blog posts on the side. As a closet car fanatic, Caroline enjoy sprinkling knowledge about the unique ins and outs of the underdogs of the auto world. #neonsruletheworld

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