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The onset of winter necessitates a different approach to the way we go about cleaning (and clearing) our cars’ windscreens.

Plummeting temperatures, rain, ice and even snow mean we have to do things differently in order to maintain good visibility and ensure we look after our safety on the roads in winter.  Following a proper routine for cleaning your windscreen is important, but always remember the rule – if your visibility is impaired in any way, do not go out on the road as you may be putting yourself and others at risk.

Wintry weather is also very changeable – one minute you can be driving in clear conditions, and the next minute, you can be stuck in a massive downpour or murky fog and your windscreen is misting up.   Fiddling with the temperature dials or trying to wipe the glass with the back of your arm can be distracting and dangerous, so it’s best to know what to expect in winter and what you can do to keep your autoglass as clean and clear as possible.

Here are six simple tips to keep your windscreen clear this winter:

Make sure it’s CLEAN!

Moisture will cling to dust particles on the glass, so the dirtier your windscreen, the foggier it will be.  Make sure the glass is completely clean and use an approved auto glass cleaner and a soft, lint-free cloth to remove any grime or dirt.

Defog your windscreen

The inside of your windscreen will mist up when moist, humid air in the car comes into contact with the cold glass surface.  There are a couple of things that contribute to this humidity including human breath, wet shoes or clothes and a hot beverage in the vehicle.

Clearing up this condensation is all about regulating the temperature and humidity inside the vehicle in the correct way, so start by turning the heater setting to cold FIRST and then gradually increasing the temperature so that the air dries out.  Until the air is dry inside, the glass will remain foggy.

The vents should be aimed at the windscreen, so remember to check that you have the right settings.  Always use the automatic demist option if your air-conditioning system has one.

Use fresh air

Don’t set the fan to ‘recirculate’ the air – always have fresh air coming in.  Air that is being recirculated is more humid and therefore more moist and re-using the air simply continues to increase the relative humidity inside the car.   A quick option is to open the window a fraction to let in cold, dry air from outside which will lower the dew point and cause the fog to dissipate.

Resist the urge to wipe the ‘fog’ away

It may feel like it’s a good solution, but wiping away the condensation with your sleeve or a rag can actually make the problem worse.  The streaks will quickly fog over again so you just need to be patient and let the fan and the air conditioner do their job.

Clear the outside of your windscreen

If you live in a particularly chilly part of Australia, you may get a layer of ice or even snow on your windscreen.  This obviously has to be cleared before you start driving, and the best way to get rid of this debris is to use an ice scraper.  Remember, NEVER ever pour boiling or even hot water onto the windscreen in an attempt to melt the ice as this thermal shock can crack the glass.

Don’t wipe out because of faulty wipers

It’s also really important to make sure that your windscreen wipers are in optimum condition.  If the rubber has perished or if they are defective in any way, they won’t be able to do their job properly.  If they fail to clear away rain or any fallen leaves effectively, visibility will be compromised and your safety will be impacted.

Similarly, if the windscreen isn’t in peak condition ie if it has a chip or a crack in it, it may also affect the driver’s visibility.    A windscreen is also important for maintaining the structural integrity of the vehicle and harsh winter weather could further weaken the glass and cause major problems – so always pay close attention to your vehicle maintenance.

If you have a crack or a chip in your windscreen and need a quick, friendly mobile service to fix it, you should contact Jason at Autoscreens.  He brings over 15 years of experience to every job and is a preferred supplier to all major insurance companies for all types of windscreen repairs and replacements in Perth.   He offers fast, personalised attention backed by quality, affordable service and you can get in touch on 0400 200 086.

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