I’m a driving expert – here are my top 3 tips for safely de-icing your car

A MOTORING expert shared some little-known tips on how to safely de-ice your car – and save money.

While every driver knows that carrying a can of de-icer and a scraper is essential in winter, there are several not-so-well-known tips that can also help get you on the road faster.

A car expert shared his top tips for defrosting your car (file image)

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A car expert shared his top tips for defrosting your car (file image)Photo credit: Getty

Driving expert Graham Conway, Managing Director at Select car leasingtold The Sun: “Although not many people know this, when you turn on your heater in the car you should also open one of the front windows a crack.

“It sounds counterintuitive, but opening the window with just one touch means the cold, damp air can escape from the vehicle, while the hot air produced can warm the vehicle windows and melt the ice.

“This is effectively a catalyst for the hot air that circulates around the vehicle when the car’s heater is on, helping to heat it up faster.”

Mr Conway also advised that it’s worth investing in a cheap electric blanket as it can help minimize the time it takes to defrost the vehicle if it was used the night before

He said: “A cheap electric blanket, which costs around £14, costs around 3p an hour, which equates to around £1.37 if used seven hours a day. With this in mind, blankets over the seats help generate heat within the vehicle and minimize morning defrosting.”

There are electric blankets on the market that fit directly into a car’s cigarette lighter.

However, Mr Conway also warned of a hack recently circulating on TikTok that allegedly revealed a quick way to defrost a car.

He said: “Pouring warm water – as opposed to boiling hot water – into a sandwich bag before sealing it and slowly dragging the bag across the window is a relatively safe trick.

“But if you make the mistake of using glowing water, you’re asking for trouble.

“Just like pouring boiling water directly onto a windshield, the rapid change in extreme temperatures can cause the glass to crack.

“I think there is also a risk that people will use the wrong type of bag.

“A sandwich bag is smooth, soft and pliable and unlikely to scratch windshield glass.

“But something like a sturdier ‘bag for life’, one with sharp edges at the bottom, is not recommended as it could damage the windshield and damage the glass in the long term.”

While Mr Conway recommended reaching for the deicer should be your first stop, he did share a nifty backup tip if you’re stuck without a deicer.

He said: “Mix three parts vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. Vinegar is a natural antifreeze and even a quick spray will break the ice on your windows.”

Mr Conway urged motorists never to leave their cars unattended while de-icing as not only do you make yourself vulnerable to petty thieves who could simply steal your car, but it is actually a criminal offense which could subject you to a fine.

He said: “It is extremely important that motorists do not leave their vehicle unattended while it is being de-iced – this could just land you in hot water.

“‘Stationary idle‘ even constitutes a violation of the Road Traffic Act, which means that it is not permissible to leave the vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while the vehicle is on a public road.

“If you need to defrost your vehicle, make sure you stick with it and don’t leave it unattended with the keys inside.”

Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 prohibits leaving the engine running when not required.

This law enforces Rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states that “You must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road”.

If you leave your engine idling you could face a fine of over £20 or £80 in areas of London – under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations 2002.

Mr. Conway also shared his top tips for saving money when driving in cold weather, which reduces a car’s fuel economy.

He said: “There are several factors causing this, including longer engine warm-up time, generally decreasing battery performance and decreasing tire pressure, which increases the vehicle’s drag, which increases fuel economy.

“Therefore, drivers are advised to follow a few tips that will help keep fuel costs down.

“Fast shifting through gears can help save fuel because lower gears generally use more fuel, and when the vehicle is in a higher gear it has more momentum and uses less fuel. So try to use the highest gear possible when it’s safe to do so and don’t stay in lower gears for long.

“Another tip is not to brake too much. In general, when the vehicle is traveling at high speed, it uses more energy, and all the fuel you put into your car’s energy is wasted when you step on the brakes.

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“Try to drive slower and brake less.

“It also helps to take unnecessary weight out of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle, the more energy and thus fuel it consumes. So if you’re lugging a bag of golf clubs around in the trunk, it’s best to only transport them when needed.”

The advice could mean saving you pennies and getting on the road faster

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The advice could mean saving you pennies and getting on the road fasterPhoto credit: Getty

https://www.thesun.ie/motors/9960397/motoring-safely-de-icing-tips-cars-winter/ I’m a driving expert – here are my top 3 tips for safely de-icing your car

Fry Electronics Team

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