Winter is here (December 21), but the cold and icy weather has arrived. This means that soon on a cold morning, you will find yourself greeted by an icy windshield.
A bit of snow on the vehicle is not a big problem, but icing on the windshield can be a major trouble, preventing you from getting where you need to go on time.
AAA public relations manager Ellen Edmonds (Ellen Edmonds) said that no matter what season, keeping the windshield clean is essential for safe driving. "If the driver's road vision is obstructed in any way, this may increase the likelihood of a crash," she said.
Cold weather makes visibility even more important because you may not be able to slow down and stop as quickly as possible. According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately one-quarter (24%) of weather-related vehicle collisions occur on snow, mud or icy roads, and 15% occur during snowfall or sleet. According to the agency, more than 1,300 people collide on snowy, muddy or icy roads every year, and more than 116,800 people are injured.
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The patient scraper will eventually win out in cold weather to clean the windshield and drive more safely. However, the shortcut to clear the windshield can cause bigger problems. For example, a common home quick fix recommends using a mixture of vinegar and water (usually three to one).
However, applying the solution to an already frozen windshield will not help. The Farmer’s Yearbook says its use may even harm your vehicle because vinegar will corrode chrome and paint. This is a similar finding from the fact-checking website Snopes.com, which claims that vinegar ice removal tips are posted online every winter.
Some people choose to pretreat the windshield with a solution, spray it with a spray bottle the night before, and then wipe it off. There is no harm in doing this, but AAA recommends not to leave the solution on the windshield. That's because its freezing point is not much lower than that of water, and vinegar may cause "micro-pitting" on the windshield. These are small craters on the windshield, usually caused by the abrasion of sand and other debris falling on the windshield at high speed. They can cause visibility issues and weaken the windshield, which may eventually crack.
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Do not pour hot water on the windshield to melt the ice, "because this will cause the glass to crack or break due to sudden changes in temperature," Edmonds said.
The best way to de-ice the windshield requires heat and time. AAA recommends starting the vehicle engine and setting the heater to defrost and adjusting the airflow for recirculation. Make sure the temperature control is set to full heat. As the air warms up and begins to melt ice, use a scraper, squeegee, or soft brush to start cleaning.
There is no best way to use a scraper, but it is better to use a plastic scraper because it will not scratch the windshield. Use light to moderate pressure when scraping-heavy pressure and striking or striking the glass will worsen any weaknesses in the windshield.
Also be careful not to scratch outside the windshield, because if you use a scraper to scrape other parts of the car, it may scratch the paint of the car. When removing ice from a car window, try not to scratch the edge of the car window, otherwise the mold or decorative strip may be damaged. If you use a brush, make sure to place it above the body to avoid scratching the paint.
If you are only dealing with frost or small ice, it should be no problem to scrape it clean, you don't need to start your car first. Josh Sadlier, editor of the automotive research website Edmunds, said that even with thick ice, most of the work should be done in about 10 minutes to defrost a car.
But Edmunds said that this may depend on factors such as temperature, ice thickness, and the time the vehicle was last driven. "Once the ice starts to melt, the driver can start to clear it, which will drive the whole process," she said.
"Consumer Reports" automotive editor-in-chief Jeff Bartlett (Jeff Bartlett) said that this time-tested real solution is less risky. "We haven't evaluated the pouring of liquid on the windshield. Being creative there is risky because some products may damage the wiper or paint," he said.
He pointed out on ConsumerReports.com that if you try to defog your car windows, please don’t use defrosting, but use the vehicle’s fans and air conditioners to direct a lot of warm, dry air to the windshield and windows.
Sadlier says that using a car's defroster and scraper to de-ice the windshield "has been a reliable combination for many years."
Remember to open the heated rear windshield so you can see behind. A heated front windshield can be found on some vehicles-if you own a car, you might not read this article.
If you expect a little ice or snow, lift the wiper blade from the glass, or consider placing a small piece of wood or the like between the wiper blade and the windshield. This prevents them from freezing on the glass and makes it easier to remove ice and snow.
If you can’t park your car in a garage or uncovered parking lot, you can cover the windshield so you don’t need to scrape it clean.
You can buy a windshield cover, which protects the windshield and wipers and is held in place by magnets or belts, such as those recommended by Volkswagen Machinery. They start at less than US$10 and may cost around US$30.
Or, large towels, sheets or tarps can be used as DIY windshield covers, AAA said. Use wiper blades, heavy objects, or magnets to hold it in place. AAA says that soaking the lid in a solution of one tablespoon of salt and one quart of water can make it easier to remove. When not in use, you can store the lid in a plastic bag or container.
It’s worth noting: If a lot of snow is expected, your windshield cover may not be easy to remove.
According to AAA, you can also pre-treat the windshield with frost "protection" spray. But they can be expensive (some cost $10 or more), and some anti-icing products contain glycol, which is toxic to pets if swallowed.
To prevent icing while you are moving, replace the windshield wiper fluid with winter deicing wiper fluid. If your wiper is currently not working properly, if you expect snow and icing this season, please replace it with a heavy-duty winter wiper.
If you can’t park your car in the garage, Sadlier says, these methods “should make dealing with frost and snow less frustrating.”
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.