How And Why to De-Ice Your Car Windshield
Posted on February 2, 2022
If you’ve been following us, you’ve hopefully come across our article, Everything You Need to Know: Wiper Blades. We thought it was important to spend some extra time discussing a very important element of wiper blade life longevity and car maintenance winter tips and tricks: how to de-ice your car windshield. Removing ice from your windshield is necessary for safety, not to mention failure to clean your vehicle properly can lead to a fine of $110 in Ontario but can be a real pain - especially given that the need to de-ice your car windshield typically comes when it is very cold and spending extra time outdoors is the last thing you want to do.
As “they” say, the best offense is a good defense. You don’t need to worry about something that isn’t there in the first place. Clearing a spot in your garage and/or parking under a carport are the most effective ways to reduce the likelihood of ice forming on your car windshield and therefore eliminating the need in the first place to have to de-ice your car.
If covered parking is not an option, covering just your windshield can work as well. Auto parts locations sell specific windshield covers that can simply be pulled off after a snowfall or ice storm. They typically attach using magnets or a piece of fabric that you close into the door. Be aware these types of covers can potentially scratch the paint if/when the magnets or rough edges rub against your vehicle. Reach out to our parts department for more information on what’s available for your vehicle and the safest way to use them effectively: https://www.carhub.ca/parts/. Tarps, towels, or old sheets can also be used in a pinch but may not provide the same protection as they are more likely to slip/move and allow for ice and snow to cover your windshield regardless.
When covering your vehicle is not an option at all to keep the ice from forming in the first place, it is good to have quick tips to de-ice your windshield easily and without damaging the wiper blades.
Things You SHOULDN’T DO:
You may find homemade deicers and commercial pretreatment solutions ideas online or in-store but beware; these products can have chemicals that are unsafe to pets and the environment and/or can cause damage to the paint or rubber parts of your vehicle. You may have also had the thought to use hot water to melt the ice but this is a definite no-no: hot water on a freezing windshield can crack the glass and/or using water not warm enough can cause more ice to form.
After a particularly bad ice/snow storm, you may have the inclination to hack or pound at the ice to break it up faster - always remember there is glass and/or car panels/paint under that ice/snow and it is never a good idea to smash at them. You don’t want to learn the hard way that your eagerness to loosen the ice caused dents, scratches, or a broken windshield.
Instead, here are some safe winter maintenance tips for removing ice from your car windshield:
- When a storm is expected, flip your wiper blades up so the rubber is not making contact with the windshield and therefore will not get frozen to the glass - if you ever come by our dealership before/during a winter storm, you will see we do this ourselves!
- If you have a remote starter when parking your vehicle, leave your defrost on high and the blower on recycled air so when you start your vehicle the defrost will start too at its optimal setting - of course, depending on the severity of the snow/ice build-up, this may not be enough to fully de-ice your windshield, but it will help
- If you do not have a remote starter, try to start your vehicle a few minutes before you plan to drive and set the defrost as described above
- Put some windshield deicer washer fluid formulated for cold temperature in a spray bottle and keep it in your home/car so you can spray some deicer solution on your windshield without turning your wipers on - this can also be used on the other windows of your vehicle to speed up the ice-melting process
- Once you’ve taken the steps above you can start scraping/wiping the ice and snow from your windows/windshield. Always use a plastic or rubber-tipped snow scraper/squeegee or soft bristle brush/broom
Remember, cleaning off your car in the winter is as Canadian as maple syrup and saying sorry - the sound of a snow scraper on a windshield in the morning is one of the very first signs of winter’s arrival. Hopefully, you’re now just a little better prepared for the inevitable.
Need to fix a cracked windshield for a mistake made before reading this article? Or ready to find a new car with a remote starter or more efficient defrost? Contact CarHub (carhub.ca/contact) today and discuss your needs with one of our trusted advisors.
Sharon has been in the auto industry since 2005 and has worked both in the Sale and Service Department of various New, Used, Domestic, and Import brands.