Preparing Your Car Windscreen For Winter

by Dave Humphreys | 2 min read     February 13th, 2019


Fill Up on Screen Wash

Aside from the likelihood of more rain, driving in winter months can result in more dirt, salt and other road grime being thrown up on your car. That means you’ll be using your windscreen washers more frequently and in colder temperatures. To make sure that it keeps working optimally, keep the washer fluid bottle topped up with the right mixture of screen wash.

This fluid is designed to have a lower freezing point than just water, so it should also prevent the washer jets from freezing up. However, if these do freeze over, don’t keep the washer lever pulled in as this can burn out the pump. Just pour some warm - not boiling - water over them and wait for a few moments.

Car covered in snow on a snowy mountain


Buy De-Icer Spray and a Scraper

We’ve all been there at some point, trying to hurriedly clear a car’s windscreen of thick ice in the morning while trying to avoid being late for work. Investing in a large can of de-icer spray can save you vital minutes in the morning and reduce the amount of elbow grease needed to clear your screen fully. Our advice is to keep some in the car, but ideally also keep a separate can inside your home, so that you can use it straight away on the screen but also around the door seals in particularly heavy frost. Doing so minimises the risk of damaging or tearing the rubber door seals if they are frozen solid.

No matter how tempting or time-effective it might seem to use a kettle of hot water to clear it, don’t. The sudden change in temperature can result in cracking the glass and can worsen any small chips that may already be there. The de-icer sprays are safe to use and work very quickly to break down even thick ice. When using it, also make sure to spray on and around the wipers themselves to free them from being stuck to the glass. Turning on your wipers to scrape away the ice will only lead to prematurely wearing them out and damaging the surface of them, which will make them less effective at clearing rain from your screen. You may want to consider replacing them with a new set.

If you find that you have a stone chip in your windscreen, contact your insurance company and have it replaced immediately. Under no circumstances should you start your car’s engine and leave it running unattended in an attempt to generate heat to clear a frozen windscreen.

For more tips on preparing your car for winter, check out the following blog posts:

Preparing Your Car Battery for Winter

How to Prevent Road Accidents This Winter

This guidance is for general information purposes only. Allianz accepts no responsibility or liability for any losses that may arise from any reliance upon the information contained in this guidance.

Information correct as of date of publishing. This blog will not be updated or edited so the information may become outdated.

Dave Humphreys
Motoring journalist on 2 & 4 wheels. Road Test Editor @CompleteCar, Editor @50to70 & @EngineRoomShow. Writer for @CE_editorial & more. AUTOBEST Jury member