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Keep Your View Clear this Winter

18th January 2024

With winter in full force, having a clear, unobstructed view is even more crucial when driving in unpredictable conditions such as ice, snow, frost or fog. In this guide, we offer helpful advice and tips for keeping your view clear this winter to ensure you stay safe on the road. 

How to clear ice off your windscreen

With winter, comes unexpected frosty mornings.  We recommend allowing an extra ten minutes before you set off on your journey, particularly when temperatures are expected to freeze overnight. This is to give yourself sufficient time to clear your car and make sure you can see out of all your windows. 

Before attempting to remove any ice, you should first switch your car on, turn on heaters and blowers and then let it heat up. This will start to warm and melt the ice and will give you a helping hand to demisting your windscreen. Next, you should use an ice scraper to scrape any ice from your windscreen, windows and mirrors. If the ice is particularly tough, you could also use a de-icer spray. 

Resist the temptation to clear your windscreen using your windscreen wipers as they could stick to the ice on your windscreen, causing the motor to blow a fuse or damage the wipers. You should also avoid defrosting your car windows with hot or boiling water. Whilst this is effective at removing ice quickly, it can also cause glass to shatter due to the instant change in temperature. 

To help prevent an ice-covered car, we recommend covering your vehicle with a tarpaulin sheet overnight to protect it from frost if you do not have access to a garage or a sheltered space 

How to remove condensation 

Once you have removed all ice from your windscreen, you will then need to think about the inside of your vehicle. Condensation in your car is caused when the temperature is low outside, and the warmth from your body causes the air to heat -  creating moisture. This causes the windows and windscreen to steam up and this can affect your visibility of the road.. 

To clear your windows, you need to essentially dry the moisture from the air. Simple ways to reduce condensation include closing your windows when it is wet outside or opening your windows when it is sunny to circulate dry air naturally. In the winter, you should use your vehicle's air conditioning system. To do this, switch your air conditioning on cold, as the cold air is dryer and ensures that the airflow is directed towards the front windscreen. If you do not have air conditioning, your heating can do this effectively although it may take slightly longer. 

If your air conditioning does not effectively clear your windscreen, it may be because the gas pressure in your system has dropped. This is common, as air conditioning systems need to be recharged every two years to keep them working effectively. Book an air conditioning recharge with Merityre here.  

Remember to check your wipers

During winter you may need to contend with rain, snow and sleet - so it is important that your windscreen wipers are fit for purpose. You should check them for any signs of damage including any tears or frayed edges and have them replaced as soon as possible, as continued use could cause damage to your windscreen. You should also invest in new windscreen wipers if they have started making noises such as squeaking, or if they do not effectively clear your windscreen with each wipe. 

You should also ensure that your screen wash is topped up to a sufficient level to keep your vision clear. To do this, simply open the bonnet and visually check that the liquid in the screen wash container sits between the maximum and minimum lines. If it does not, you should refill it using screen wash. Check your vehicle handbook for guidance before filling your container or book in for an essential service with Merityre where our specialist technicians will do this for you. 

Take caution of falling snow! 

When clearing your car of snow before setting off, don’t overlook your car roof. If there is snow on top of your car, it could fall down whilst driving and obstruct your vision of the windscreen or fall into the path of another vehicle.  

There is also a risk of ice panels forming on the roof of your car, that could loosen from the vehicle as it heats up. As they loosen, these sheets of ice could fall on your car and shatter the windscreen of the vehicle behind you.  

We recommend performing vehicle checks before you head out during the winter, to help ensure your car is safe on the road and to other motorists around you.  

How Merityre can help

Here at Merityre, we offer a wide range of services including a free 7-point safety check to help keep your vehicle safe during winter. If you are looking for more driving advice or looking to buy winter tyres – our expert team are on hand to help. Simply contact us today or head over to your local Merityre specialists.