Summer is way behind us, your suntan lotion is already buried somewhere. It’s getting colder, time to get out those lovely warm sweaters your grandma knits you every Christmas.
Of course, this is my favorite time of the year – there is absolutely nothing to make me go outside. Just have to convince my superior that “being too cold” is perfectly legitimate excuse for not coming in to work.
Colder weather is finally here, which some of you have already noticed while de-icing your vehicle.
I admit, this is not something that puts a smile on my face in the morning. Getting out of that warm bed is bad enough, but playing a penguin out in that cold? Not my cup of tea!
As the temperatures are getting lower and lower, freezing nights are bound to happen soon. This means the windscreens of your car will get that pretty glaze that prevents view to the beautiful winter world outside.
This implies that you now have to stand out in the cold and de-ice your car. Chills go down my back just thinking about it!
What’s more scary is that I have to cut at least 15 more minutes from my sleep, to account for the time spent defrosting the car. Doing it on company time is somehow not an option, if you can imagine that! Also, rushing the whole process is not an option, since that can lead to damaging various parts and systems of the vehicle.
One thing most people don’t know is that you can potentially break some laws in the process of defrosting your car. Many insurance companies state that if you leave your vehicle running and unattended, you run the risk of it being stolen.
We all know the scenario – you start your car in the morning and go back to your warm house. But in doing so, even for just a few moments, you create an opportunity for thieves to steal your car – which in this case is not covered by insurance. The thieves know this habit of people very well, and use it whenever possible.
Some insurance companies are now even giving advice on the matter, warning you to organize your time so that you have more of it for this activity in the morning. Others go on to suggest various aids in defrosting, such as scrapers, chemicals made especially for de-icing purposes, or even a simple small broom.
A representative of one insurer says that “Cold weather is one of car thief’s favorites”, adding that “security of the car is only as strong as the security of your keys. If you put your keys in the car and then walk away from the vehicle you cannot expect your insurance to pay out.”
He pointed out that people should not behave in an irresponsible manner that can put their property at risk.
Below are some fine points you need to know when de-icing your car.
1. Turning the engine on
The most effective, if not the most obvious way to de-ice your car is to turn the engine on. A working engine produces heat and also helps get air circulating around your car. Just don’t leave your vehicle alone with the engine running, as we stressed earlier.
2. Don’t leave your car unattended
As we pointed out already, if you leave your car unattended, you are leaving it vulnerable to thieves. Additionally, in case of theft, insurance will not cover it.
Apart from this, you could also be breaking the law. One thing many people forget is that by law, the driver has to be in control of their vehicle at all times, especially when the engine of the vehicle is on.
In the UK, drivers can get a fine of £30 for de-icing their car and leaving it unattended with a running engine. Just a reminder, is also illegal to leave a car running and unattended on a public motorway.
So, if for some reason you must get back inside your house, be sure to turn the engine off and lock your vehicle.
3. Remove any snow first!
One of the biggest mistakes is not cleaning the snow off the vehicle, especially off the front grille or other air intake holes, since free air flow is needed for proper work of the engine.
4. Remove frost from the outside of the windscreens
It best to combine the use of an ice scraper and de-icing solution agent in the mornings. Spray the solution, wait a while and use the scraper. Be sure to never wipe with your hands or gloves – you will only get blurred window surfaces.
5. Absolutely no steaming or boiling water on windscreens!
Yes, the temptation is real, but know that hot water and ice have great expansion and contraction properties. These can cause the windscreens to crack and even break. Since driving your vehicle in that condition is illegal, don’t even consider this an option.
6. Wait for the windscreens to be completely clear before you head out
Of course, you need the all the windows to be completely clear so you can see everything while driving down the road. That’s why it’s wise to wait until they are entirely defrosted.