Ah, wintertime. Encountering a layer of frost on our windows—or even the entire car—can be an unpleasant surprise, particularly if you’re running late and need to have left 10 minutes ago. Even worse is when you have a layer of ice on the inside of your windows, as well (read on for how to prevent that).
Driving with obstructed vision from ice is extremely dangerous, and should be avoided at all time. Here then is a survey of best practices culled from the finest of Google’s search results:
1) Check your tailpipe – Before you do anything else, check that your exhaust pipe(s) are not blocked by ice. Many people hop straight in the car and turn their heater on where they then sit for a good five minutes waiting for things to defrost. But if your exhaust can’t get out, all that carbon monoxide could be pumped back into the main cabin, which would not be good. Get an ice pick, and always check your exhaust first.
2) Don’t recycle your air – When you turn on your defroster, make sure that it’s pulling in outside air, and not recycling what’s in the cabin. Why pull in the cold outside air when you’re trying to get warm? Because the moisture in warm air (aided by your breath) will just be converted into frost. Crack the windows, and endure the chilly air for a bit—it’s the fastest way to get those windows defrosted.
3) Check your fresh air intake – This is typically located outside your car, near the base of your windshield. Those vents are crucial to your defroster working (see above point). Also, check your cabin air filter. This might be different from your engine air filter. If your cabin air filter is obstructed moisture could be trapped inside the cabin, which would create ice on the inside of your windows overnight.
4) Don’t put vinegar on your windshield – Although this point is disputed, online research indicates that it could cause pitting in your glass, or even damage your paint and/or exterior.
5) To prevent, drain the warm air – If your car has ice on the inside of your windows in the morning there is an abnormal amount of moisture in the cabin. The chances of that happening are greater if your car was full of warm air as night descended. Therefore, before you turn in for the night, open your windows or doors and let the car become cold. If there’s no ice inside in the morning, you’ll know you have it fixed.
That’s it! What works for some people doesn’t work for others, so experiment and report back with what you find effective. Stay warm!