First aid for frosted windows

First aid for frosted windows

ŠKODA WORLD INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY

There are many well-known and less well-known tips for dealing with iced up car windows. But it’s best to ignore the old wives’ tales and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Make sure you tackle ice the right way.

19. 1. 2021

Not many people know, for instance, that the de-icing fluid is also an effective form of prevention. Apply it to the car’s glass surfaces at night and you’ll have nothing to do the next morning. Where you park also plays a role. If you can, park your car so it’s facing southeast. The rising sun will warm up the windscreen, either leaving you with no ice to remove or at least making the job easier.

What is good at tackling ice and what shouldn’t you bother with? 

Ice scraper YES

An ice scraper is a tool every driver should have in the car. ŠKODA car owners have the advantage that their ice scraper is stored in the fuel tank cap or, in the new ŠKODA ENYAQ iV electric SUV, in the boot door. Why there? Why not in the driver’s seat door? It’s a tried-and-tested Simply Clever idea: when you open the fuel tank cap or boot door, there’s no risk that snow will fall off the roof onto the car seats. When using the ice scraper, it’s best to start on the side windows where the layer of ice tends to be smaller. This lets the windscreen heater soften up the ice on the windscreen in the meantime. First use the side with the indentations to break up the ice; then sweep the ice off with the flat side. 

Windscreen cover YES 

There’s no harm in leaving a blanket or plastic sheet on the windscreen overnight. If you want something stylish, you can buy a windscreen cover designed specially to fit your car’s windscreen. Some are held in place by tucking them inside the doors before closing them, but other models use magnets that stick to the car body. The rise in online news means that hardly anyone uses print newspapers these days - and we certainly don’t recommend them, because they get damp easily and freeze onto the glass. Cardboard is not recommended either for the same reason.

De-icing fluid YES

De-icing fluid, which is part of the winter pack you can buy from the ŠKODA e-shop, does a very good job. It gets rid of ice fast and effectively. In an emergency you can also use ordinary household items. If you have a spray bottle that used to contain window cleaning liquid, for example, fill it with one third water and two thirds vinegar, which is just as good at removing ice as it is with limescale. After spraying it on, leave it for 30 seconds and then scrape off the ice with an ice scraper. Another reliable solution is a 1:2 mixture of vinegar and alcohol or a 2:1 mixture of alcohol and water. 

Payment card NO 

Never use items that will scratch the glass, even in an emergency. Payment cards are not a suitable tool either. Not only are they largely useless, but they’re also very likely to break, leaving you having to wait a week for the bank to send you a replacement.  

Windscreen wipers NO

If your car’s windscreen wipers are frozen stuck, never try to free them by force, and don't activate the wipers until the windscreen is completely ice-free, otherwise you'll damage the rubber blades. So it’s a good idea to make sure that the wiper stalk is definitely in the “off” position before you start your car.

Hot water or candles NO

Despite what someone in the pub might have said, you should avoid using hot water to remove windscreen ice. The sudden change in temperature could cause the glass to crack, and the water is likely to freeze again anyway. You should also avoid methods causing a sudden temperature change inside the car, like a candle or any other open flame. This too could cause the glass to crack.

What if you have ice on the inside as well?

It can happen that you open your car door in the morning and find ice on the inside of the windscreen as well. The reason is just the same: moisture has condensed on the inside of the glass and then frozen as the temperature dropped below zero. In that case, the best thing to do is to try to get the moisture out of the car. Open the doors for a while and ventilate the car. If that doesn’t work, reach for your ice scraper and turn on the heater to blow onto the windscreen. If it’s a fairly thick layer of ice, lay a towel or cloth across the dashboard to soak up the water from the melting ice. You should never use de-icing fluid in the car’s interior – the vapours can be harmful to health. 

In one of its Simply Clever ideas, ŠKODA decided to store the ice scraper in the fuel tank cap.

In the electric ŠKODA ENVAQ iV you'll find it in the boot door. 

To prevent your windows fogging up, ŠKODA cars have an integrated moisture sensor that helps the air-conditioning system assess the dew point effect on the windscreen. “In AUTO mode, the system reacts in advance to prevent fogging before it happens,” says Ondřej Radina from the air-conditioning development team at ŠKODA. He explains that to do this the system increases both the flow and the temperature of the air blowing onto the windscreen. If the surrounding temperature permits, the compressor is activated as well. Another cause of windscreen fogging can be having air recirculation constantly activated or the air-conditioning switched off, both of which result in an increase in humidity inside the car. Ondřej Radina therefore recommends keeping the system in AUTO mode.

This original ŠKODA product helps prevent ice forming on your windscreen, saving you time and effort. It is effective in a wide range of temperatures, from -30 °C to +3 °C.

The best prevention against windscreen fogging and ice forming inside your car is keeping it dry. That’s why you should make sure you knock the snow off your shoes before getting in. And taking the mats out and drying them in your home overnight is a great help. For the winter months, you can also replace them with rubber mats that make it easy to drain off any water. You can find the right sizes for your ŠKODA model in the official e-shop. Whether your windscreen freezes up on the outside or inside, it's a problem that's always easy to solve. So always make sure your vision is not obscured before you set off!

OLD WIVES’ TALES

If you don’t have a new car with state-of-the-art functions or if you simply like experimenting, you can follow the advice of old wives’ tales to tackle iced up or fogged up glass. 

ONION
Older drivers will claim that halving an onion and rubbing it over the windscreen prevents ice forming. Onion is well-known as a reliable cleaning agent in the household as well. The compounds in onions will prevent water molecules from condensing on your windscreen. 

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PLASTIC BAG
One emergency trick for preventing ice forming on your rear-view mirrors is to pull a plastic bag over them for the night, securing the bag in place with an elastic band. 

SHAVING FOAM
Shaving foam is an effective alternative product that prevents windscreen fogging. Apply some on the inside of the glass, then rub it in with a paper towel till no trace is left. The shaving foam creates a microfilm that prevents water molecules from clinging to the glass.  

But the safest and most effective way is always to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations and original accessories.