During the winter, there are many dangers on the road and, believe it or not, one of them is your own vehicle. Too much ice and snow on your car is a recipe for road hazards, such as reduced visibility and flying debris. In many states across the US, you must completely deice your vehicle before driving. Before you hit the road this winter, take note of these top tips for deicing your car to help prevent accidents.
Start Early & Defrost Your Car
The key to getting the ice off of your car quickly and efficiently is defrosting your vehicle. It is best to allow at least 10-15 minutes before you need to leave for your car to defrost properly. According to the experts, defrosting your car includes three easy steps:
- Turn on your heat using the defrost setting
- Turn the air recirculation off
- Crack your windows (as long as it’s not snowing or raining)
Following these three steps reduces moisture inside your car, warms it up, and melts the ice most efficiently.
Use A Plastic Or Rubber Scraper
When it comes to getting all of the ice off of your car, it can be tempting to use the strongest and sharpest tool possible. Metal scrapers and other tools like razors or ice picks, however, can scratch your windshield and are dangerous to use on cars. For the best results and the utmost safety, it is important to use a plastic or hard rubber ice scraper. If you’ve allowed enough time for your car to defrost, you should be able to gently remove the ice from your windshield without too much force.
Avoid Deicing Solutions
Although there are several recipes online for deicing solutions, it is in your best interest not to use them. When deicing solutions are used repetitively, they can cause long-term damage to your vehicle, including rust and paint chips. Likewise, pouring hot water directly on your car can cause your windows to crack or break. If you forget to defrost your car before you need to leave in the morning, the best course of action is to call ahead to wherever you need to be and let them know you will be late.
Completely Clean Your Car To Avoid Accidents & Tickets
No matter what steps you take to deice your vehicle, the most important thing is that you get it completely cleared of all ice and snow. This means there should be no ice remaining on your windshield, car windows, or mirrors. Likewise, there should be no snow on the hood, roof, or sides of your vehicle. It is also essential to check the area around your tires for ice and snow and clear any away before driving.
Since 2002, New Hampshire drivers have been legally required to clear snow and ice off their cars before getting on the road. Driver’s who violate the law face fines of $250 to $500 for a first offense and $500 to $1,000 for subsequent offenses.