Dark, cold, frosty mornings can make getting out of bed even harder than it already is. But with temperatures continuing to plummet as winter takes hold, many UK drivers will need to think about defrosting windscreens on their cars or vans before setting off on their journeys.
This is a collaborative post
After all, it’s illegal to drive without a clear, unobstructed view of the road. Whether you have a vehicle of your own or you’ve opted for van hire in Warrington, there are a few things you should and shouldn’t do on icy mornings.
Let’s take a closer look at them.
Dos: What you should do when defrosting windscreens
Allow extra time to de-ice your windows
If the weather forecast has you reaching for your thermals, be sure to set your alarm clock a couple of minutes earlier than usual. This way, you’ll have enough time to grab some breakfast, defrost your van, and get your journey underway safely.
An even better idea would be to cover your windscreen with a sheet or cover to reduce the chances of it freezing over – allowing you to get on the road a little sooner.
Check your windscreen wipers are turned off
Most modern vans come with rain-sensing windscreen wipers, which monitor the amount of moisture on the windshield and automatically turn the wipers on – adjusting the speed by the amount of moisture that is detected.
These will need to be switched off – either before you leave your van in cold temperatures or before you next start the engine – as they could cause damage when they sweep across frozen glass.
Start the engine
Whether it’s your personal van or a hired van, before you start scraping your windscreen, turn the engine on and give it some time to warm up.
Whilst the engine is running, make sure the heaters and de-mister are on full. This will help to warm the vehicle, glass, and you at the same time.
Spray de-icer or use a scraper tool
Once you’ve given the vehicle a chance to heat up, you can spray the front windscreen and side windows of your van with de-icer to melt the ice.
A proper ice scraper will also allow you to scrape away ice from your glass windows (as well as the lights) without causing any damage. When the ice has started to thaw, you can turn on your wipers to help the process along.
Try to park in a sheltered spot
Depending on the size of your van, if there’s room in your garage, it’s a good idea to park it inside – then you shouldn’t need to wait for it to defrost in the morning.
Alternatively, if you’ve got a driveway, consider pulling your van right back (as close to the house as possible). The chances are that your home and neighbouring properties will shelter it from the weather a little.
Donts: What not to do when defrosting windscreens
Pour boiling water on your windscreen
Most people reach for the steaming kettle when they realise their windscreen is frozen, especially if they’re in a hurry – but this is not recommended!
Hot water can freeze much faster than room-temperature water and can also damage your windshield. If there is a chip or crack in the glass already, it may cause the screen to shatter – meaning you’ll need to splash out on a repair, sooner rather than later.
Leave your vehicle running unattended
Though you might be tempted to leave your van running with the keys in the ignition while you make yourself a nice brew or get your belongings together, don’t.
Thieves love an icy morning, and every winter, unattended vehicles are stolen whilst their owners nip indoors to stay warm.
Set off until all your mirrors and windows are thoroughly demisted
Even if you’re pushed for time, you must never attempt to drive off without being able to see out of all your windows (not forgetting the wing mirrors!).
Driving in winter can be challenging at the best of times – so be patient and always plan ahead, where possible. The more time you can allow for defrosting and the journey itself, the safer you, your passengers, and your goods will be.
Make the safe choice this winter
If you need a reliable vehicle to see you through the cold spell and beyond – either to deliver commercial goods, transport bulky equipment, or help move your belongings when moving house – it’s worth considering van hire in Warrington.
Not only will you receive a well-equipped vehicle that’s maintained to the highest standards, but you can hire it for as long as you need – be it a day, week, month, or even longer.
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