Getting rid of stubborn frost can be a laborious task, but it is an important one. Many motorists don’t realise that driving with frost on your windscreen is against the rules of the Highway Code and is supported by law.
This means that those who ignore these guidelines could find themselves charged with a number of motoring offences including careless or dangerous driving, and be prosecuted under the laws* they are associated with: a fine of £60 and three points added to their licence.
The UK’s first winter frost is predicted to arrive in early November and motoring experts Carole Nash have pulled together several tips on how to safely and swiftly get rid of that icy frosting on chilly winter mornings.
Buy an ice scraper
First things first, invest in a good scraper. It may sound obvious, but this piece of plastic will become your best friend for the next five months, and if you treat yourself to one of the best ones available, it will save you a lot of time and energy in the mornings. Always turn on your car engine and direct heat towards the windscreen to allow the car to warm up before you start scraping; this way, the bottom layer of ice can start melting and make your job far easier. Avoid using any replacements such as a credit cards or kitchen spatulas as these risk scratching or even breaking the glass.
Avoid hot water
No matter how frustrated (or cold) you get, avoid pouring hot water over the frost to melt it. This may seem like a logical thing to do but can in fact crack or shatter a windscreen due to the extreme change in temperature the glass is subjected to.
Make your own de-icer
Chemical de-icers are not the best thing for your car’s paintwork so why not try making your own? Rubbing alcohol freezes at -89 degrees Celsius so will cut through ice easily. Mix with water (2:1 alcohol to water), add in a teaspoon of washing up liquid for every two cups, and decant into a spray bottle before applying to a frozen windscreen.
Prevent the frost from settling
Instead of investing in a car cover, use a few old sheets to cover up your windscreen and windows. Overnight the frost will settle on the sheets and in the morning, you can peel them off to reveal frost-free glass. Just make sure the sheets are nice and clean first, so they don’t scratch your paintwork.
Don’t forget about your mirrors
Your wing mirrors are crucial which is why it’s important to factor them into your frost-fighting crusade. Simply slip a plastic bag over them and secure with rubber bands each night to avoid frost settling on the glass.
And it’s not just cars that suffer from the frost. To keep your motorbike in tip-top condition this winter, you may want to consider the following:
Store any motorcycles in an enclosed area
Frost can cause a motorbike multiple problems such as freezing the ignition, deflating tyres, and reducing battery power. To avoid your bike getting too cold, store it in a garage or shed to prevent the frost and snow from getting to it. If this is not an option, you can also use a heated motorcycle cover to keep your bike from freezing when the temperature drops.
Defrost the ignition
Simply spray your key with a de-icing mixture (1:3 water to rubbing alcohol) and insert the key into your ignition so that the solution can get into the gears and de-ice the bike.
Mark Copper, Head of Product at Carole Nash said: “My best piece of advice is to allow yourself extra time on winter mornings – there’s nothing worse than having to rush a de-icing job as you risk damaging your vehicle. I’d also encourage preparation now as the first frost can strike at any point from the start of November. If you have time and the right tools for the job, winter mornings will no longer be a frantic, stressful start to the day.”