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Woofrey
13th Dec 2007, 20:45
Recently we've had a couple a frosty spells, and one of my bug bears is people who drive off in their cars having just given the windscreen a quick scrape, and peer through a gap about the size of a letterbox, hoping that the de-mister will do the job.....eventually.
I suppose they get away with it, but usually thanks to other drivers looking out for them.
Reminds of another thread........

dontpressthat
13th Dec 2007, 21:02
Saw one of these idiots this morning... She came driving towards me down a tight little country lane and due to the fact that she couldnt see out of any other window other than the windscreen I had to reverse about 100yds so she could continue her journey peeking through a head sized hole in the frost..!!
:ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh:
DPT

HILF
13th Dec 2007, 21:05
DPT - shame you didn't have the time to just sit there and make her reverse back (after scraping the rest of her windows!).

HILF:p:p

dontpressthat
13th Dec 2007, 21:15
Damn, why didnt I think of that at the time.. she probably wouldve just sat and cried.. and then her little cherub wouldve been late for school and had to explain why mummy got stuck because she was to tiny to reach up and scrape the windows of her landcruiser!!:}

DPT

HILF
13th Dec 2007, 21:29
Yeah - late for school, but learning a valuable life lesson.

HILF

Rollingthunder
13th Dec 2007, 21:56
Over here, where we get lots of snow, it's a motor vehicle offence to have obstructed vision. Fairly hefty fine.

Mercenary Pilot
13th Dec 2007, 22:07
Did the cops not have a big crack down on this a couple of years back?

airship
13th Dec 2007, 22:15
You leave those starlings alone or else - I love dem starlings! :mad:

Oooops, sorry...?! :O

MadsDad
13th Dec 2007, 22:15
Over here, where we get lots of snow, it's a motor vehicle offence to have obstructed vision. It is an offence in the UK at any time to drive with obscured vision (but more likely to occur in icy weather).

Used to have a car, a Ford Orion, which had a heated windscreen. Magic when it was frosty or steam up type weather. You can, I believe, still get it (on Mondeos for instance) but as far as I know Ford are the only make to offer the option. Anyone know if they own the patent or is there some other reason?

ZH875
13th Dec 2007, 22:16
Over here, where we get lots of snow, it's a motor vehicle offence to have obstructed vision. Fairly hefty fine.

It is also an offence in the UK.

From the Highway Code (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_069859):

Icy and snowy weather

228

In winter check the local weather forecast for warnings of icy or snowy weather. DO NOT drive in these conditions unless your journey is essential. If it is, take great care and allow more time for your journey. Take an emergency kit of de-icer and ice scraper, torch, warm clothing and boots, first aid kit, jump leads and a shovel, together with a warm drink and emergency food in case you get stuck or your vehicle breaks down.

Before you set off

229

* you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows
* you MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
* make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly
* remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users
* check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted

[Laws CUR reg 30, RVLR reg 23, VERA sect 43 & RV(DRM)R reg 11]
Make sure your windscreen is completely clear

G-CPTN
13th Dec 2007, 22:30
as far as I know Ford are the only make to offer the option. Anyone know if they own the patent or is there some other reason?
'Tis in fact a Ford patent. Don't know whether Ford has allowed Volvo and Jaguar (or, indeed Aston Martin) to use it, but it's absolutely brilliant (had it on two family Fiestas). Get in, switch on and drive and the frost/ice dissolves within seconds and can be 'wiped' away (unless there's been an ice-storm when it takes a little longer).

Edited to add:- it seems you can get 'aftermarket' heated windscreens - don't know whether they supply the electrics too:- http://www.heatedwindscreen.com/acatalog/Heated_windscreens.html

Further edited to add:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quickclear

BAMRA wake up
13th Dec 2007, 22:41
Thick corrugated cardboard over the windscreen overnight helps.

The posh alternative is what a mate of mine in Sweden has - a garage with a heated floor, insulated door and walls.

airship
13th Dec 2007, 22:42
I just had a simply awesome thought.

What with this being an aviation forum and with global warming and all, there could be a huge opportunity here for aviation industry operators of aircraft de-icing equipment to diversify: during the northern hemisphere winters, southern hemisphere operators could delocalise their de-icing equipment to the European suburbs (especially the UK) where there appears to be a huge demand for de-icing cars. Obviously, the same could be true of northern hemisphere operators of de-icing equipment who might do the same in say the Falkland Islands, parts of Chile and maybe the extreme southern end of South Island in NZ...?! :8

PS. I have reason to believe that French starlings in the south of France probably migrate north during summer (I definitely notice their almost total absence during all the summer months here). But I remember from my winters in the UK that a substantial starling population remain in the UK even over the winter months. Maybe it was simply those of us that left out lots of milk-soaked bread and kept the bird-bath filled...in exchange for the spectacle of watching hordes swamping down to the terrace and annoying the neighbours?! :E

DX Wombat
13th Dec 2007, 22:45
An easy way to clear the windscreen is to place two hot water bottles filled with very hot water, on a folded towel on the dashboard but NOT in contact with the windscreen. It takes about 15 minutes for the warmed air to clear it completely. I used to use this method when I was on earlies and the temperature here has been known to be as low as -17C during the night (but very rarely thank goodness!)

G-CPTN
13th Dec 2007, 22:49
I remember from my winters in the UK that a substantial starling population remain in the UK even over the winter months.
Indeed! As a UK resident myself I always assumed that all starlings were sedentary birds, but a period living in Denmark revealed that starlings there were transitory and appeared only (so it seemed) when the cherries were ripe.

mini
13th Dec 2007, 22:57
DX, for guys like me, said preparation and patience is not an option... :sad:

Full kettle well applied gets you going... always remember the rear window - If you couldn't see out the front you wouldn't drive - the rear is almost as important.

Not into the de-icers TBH, car smells like a brewery after application, not good when the traffic taleban are into morning breath checks. :sad:

G-CPTN
13th Dec 2007, 23:05
Please be aware that pouring boiling water onto a frozen windscreen CAN crack or shatter it! You have been warned . . .
(by all means use luke-warm water - which will work almost as well and reduce the risk significantly).

Standard Noise
13th Dec 2007, 23:06
I find that my work security pass doubles up nicely as an ice scraper. No need for de-icing fluid, it's nasty smelly stuff and far too expensive, besides, I need the cash for diesel.

gingernut
13th Dec 2007, 23:07
"Stoozing" credit cards work well. Ice clearance being indirectly proportional to interest rates:)

airship
13th Dec 2007, 23:09
The safest way to defrost a windscreen then is probably to pee on it - the first thing most of us are simply dying for upon awakening (on a frosty morning), are we agreed G-CPTN?!

Standard Noise
13th Dec 2007, 23:13
Look if you think I'm standing on the bonnet of a Discovery pissing on the windscreen at sparrow fart you've another think coming!

JustaFew
13th Dec 2007, 23:14
Thought heated windscreens were becoming more widely available as a standard fit on higher spec cars. Some manufacturers offer them as an option at no extra cost, eg. SEAT. VW, however, offered it as the 'winter pack, along with heated front seats. Shame they charged 2000 for it... And what happened to heated steering wheels, obviously the world has become so warm car makers think we don't need them.

G-CPTN
13th Dec 2007, 23:18
Absolutely, airship, also for frozen door locks, though less convenient (!) for females . . .

The Flying Pram
13th Dec 2007, 23:44
If I'm using the car on a daily basis in this sort of weather I put a thermostatically controlled fan heater inside it the previous evening, and connect it (via a waterproof socket) to a plug-in timeswitch in the garage. I set it to start up as I'm having breakfast and by the time I'm ready to leave the car is warm, all the windows are clear, and more importantly they will remain clear long enough for the engine to warm up and provide some heat.

How long before somebody starts shouting "Global Warming" or "Carbon Footprint".....

airship
14th Dec 2007, 00:08
Absolutely, airship, also for frozen door locks, though less convenient (!) for females . . . The mind boggles - all of that US camera-equipped cop car video may now have a much more profitable exposure featuring in future XXX documentaries, instead of the run-of-the-mill "real" TV drunk-driver or stolen vehicle chases...?! :ok:

Are those cop-car cameras auto-focusing of will everything still be very fuzzy? Personally-speaking, I'm all for hairy cop-car chases but I'd appreciate a clear-cut commentary somewhere along the way I guess.

groundhogbhx
14th Dec 2007, 00:12
Focus C-Max, start engine and switch on seat and screens, scrape others with ID card. Defrosting nicely by the time bum hits warming seat :}. Drive 5 minutes to work. Do that for a week and the battery is less than happy :bored: What happened to global warming anyway?? I thought it was supposed to make winters warmer and summers wetter, the last bit seemed to happen this year but what about the first.

dontpressthat
14th Dec 2007, 00:21
At least her little cherub would know how to spell.

Aimed at me AIDU?

DPT

AMF
14th Dec 2007, 00:41
Jeez you guys. I know they rape you on petrol taxes so severly you even shut your cars off at red lights, but try warming up your car for a few minutes before you go driving in cold weather to defrost it instead of using hot water bottles, peeing, etc. Your side windows need to be unobstructed too. Also, many times if you hop off in a cold car with cold windows merely scraped it'll frost/freeze up as you drive until the defrost air is heated up and the windshield is warmed.

For really cold weather to reduce the chance of your winshield cracking, turn your defrost to full max heat and airflow when you start your car. This allows the windshield to be gradually warmed as the cool air heats up as the engine warms instead of hitting it with a blast of hot air after it already has.

BTW, anyone saying they don't want to warm their car because it increases their carbon footprint is really just an ultra-cheap bastard who's looking for a socially-acceptable way to hide it.

G-CPTN
14th Dec 2007, 00:59
I suspect the restriction isn't cost but time. It's easy to say go out earlier and start the engine so the car warms up whilst you finish dressing (but what if someone gets into your car and drives off with it?). Get a second key.
Or just get up ten minutes earlier and use those ten minutes to listen to the car radio whilst the car defrosts before you set off.

spekesoftly
14th Dec 2007, 01:15
Get a second key.With the majority of cars now locked by a remote / transponder / immobiliser alarm system, would you be able to lock the car from the outside with the engine running?

shedhead
14th Dec 2007, 01:55
interestingly not long back someone did start their car and go back inside while it warmed up next thing pc plod turns up and informs him that this is against the law and issues a fixed penalty notice. sit in it and listen to that nice wogan fella thats what i tend to do

Devlin Carnet
14th Dec 2007, 09:38
Why doesnt someone invent an instant electrical heater element, which is integrated into the dashboard heater matrix for immediate windscreen defrosting.

Ancient Mariner
14th Dec 2007, 09:44
I use engine block water heaters and electric fan heater for the car interior, both hooked up to a timer. Keeps wifey in her Grand Viagra and myself in my Nissan Nirvana happy every morning. Also electric outlet at office so same happiness in the afternoon. Wouldn't buy a car not so fitted.
My old Discovery had a heated windscreen, was very nice. Best thing I'd say about that piece of rubbish.
Per

west lakes
14th Dec 2007, 09:53
Why doesnt someone invent an instant electrical heater element


I think you'll find them available at most car accessory shops, mini fan heater plugs into cigarette lighter/auxillarty socket in most cars

Mini fan
14th Dec 2007, 18:47
Try scraping the ice off the inside of your windscreen....

My friend has Intellistart so he sits having breakfast while the car warms up!

lexxity
14th Dec 2007, 19:58
I will admit to being a scraper and runner, but in my defence it's something I only do at 0400hrs on earlies 'cos I'm too scared of the dark to be running in and out of the house getting warm water or looking for my can of de-icer. I too use my work id.

I must get more deicer too, I used all mine up this morning when at 1000hrs my car was still covered in ice! BAH!

Out Of Trim
14th Dec 2007, 20:49
Tried to get my de-icer spray out of the boot a couple of days ago - after finishing my night shift to find my Boot was frozen shut. It just wouldn't budge. So only had access to the scraper.. Took about 10 mins to get all the windows clear - but I don't do "Letter Box Driving!"

Lamenting Navigator
14th Dec 2007, 21:41
Back in February I had to drive up to High Wycombe. It was about -6C. The RD unlock wouldn't work so put the key in, got the key stuck, breathed on it, didn't work. Went back inside to boil the kettle and ended up pouring hot water onto it.

And was ten minutes late for the meeting. I said I got stuck in traffic on the M25 :O

Rollingthunder
14th Dec 2007, 23:17
I keep a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol in the car. Deals with a frozen windshield lickety split. Great for door locks as well, if you can get into the car to get it.

con-pilot
14th Dec 2007, 23:36
None of the above really does much good when there is an inch and a half of clear ice all over the car, trust me on this. :(

It takes all of the above. :p

G-CPTN
14th Dec 2007, 23:50
Isopropyl alcohol was readily available in Denmark for windscreen deicing, either as an additive to screenwash or as a concentrate for direct application. Don't know what UK 'antifreeze' comprises (I'm not talking about engine coolant BTW).

As an aside, have all of you checked the freezing-point of your engine coolant? Recent mild winters may have lulled everybody into a false sense of security (those in North America and Scandinavia or Northern Europe excepted of course). I haven't.

ShyTorque
15th Dec 2007, 00:48
If it's going to be a really cold night, I just take a pair of the wife's Damart bloomers and drape them across the windscreen and clip the elastic over the rear view door mirrors to hold them in place. She's a big girl but she has her uses. :E

Actually, I have a couple of other secret weapons. Some "night before" screen de-icer and a plastic scraper, which cost me about 75 pence.

Trouble is, she says the de-icer is too cold without the bloomers on and the scraper tickles.... ;)

Out Of Trim
15th Dec 2007, 00:50
I remember that many folks stationed in Germany during the Eighties used to use Vodka for a Screenwash as it was cheaper! :}

ShyTorque
15th Dec 2007, 00:54
Yes, we used to drink the vodka and blow on the screen... :}

Whirlygig
15th Dec 2007, 00:57
Yes, we used to drink the vodka and blow on the screen... :}
Whaddya mean, "used to..." :E

Cheers

Whirls

Flintstone
15th Dec 2007, 01:23
Far easier to spray the screen with pre-icer the night before, that way the ice/frost never forms.

Jimmy Macintosh
15th Dec 2007, 01:30
When scraping the windscreen, don't forget to free the wiper blades. Making the wipers free themselves is the quick way to ruin the blades and bunring out their motors.

Flap 5
15th Dec 2007, 10:21
Having read all of the above the best method would be to put more water than you need for your cup of tea / coffee in the kettle. Once it has boiled pour out your drink, wait for it to cool a little and use the rest on car windscreen and windows. You just need to get going before it freezes up again - but that just encourages you to be quicker.

AMF
15th Dec 2007, 10:49
Mike Jenvey A useful tip for frozen locks - if you have access to another (unfrozen!) car, borrow the cigarette lighter & position the heated lighter carefully almost touching the lock in question (don't touch heated element directly to the chrome!!). One or 2 goes is all it takes to unfreeze the lock.
(Works on aircraft locks in Moscow at -25C too!)
This tip will work for a winter or two, but in the UK a cigarette lighter ban is probably already in the works since people still smoke and the thought of that annoys somebody, somewhere, who's gonna do something about it.

corsair
15th Dec 2007, 10:54
interestingly not long back someone did start their car and go back inside while it warmed up next thing pc plod turns up and informs him that this is against the law and issues a fixed penalty notice. sit in it and listen to that nice wogan fella thats what i tend to do

Only in England eh? I can't imagine the mindset of a policeman who takes to trouble to do that.

I used to do that but far less risky and time consuming is simply to get a jug or bottle of warm water from the tap. We all have hot water don't we? Pour it over the windscreen, get the wipers going, while that's happening use the rest of the water to clear the side windows and mirrors. Simple, fast, easy.

Gainesy
15th Dec 2007, 13:09
Once had a Volvo and in winter there was a scramble to see who got the driver's heated seat. Then one day when cleaning it out, I noticed that the pax seat was also the heated type, just not connected. Quick crimp and voila, both seats heated. Guess it was cheaper to make all the seats heated but then charge for the "option". Might be worth checking you cars.

Blacksheep
15th Dec 2007, 13:56
Please be aware that pouring boiling water onto a frozen windscreen CAN crack or shatter it! You have been warned . . .
(by all means use luke-warm water - which will work almost as well and reduce the risk significantly).I used to fill the kettle with warm water from the kitchen tap and pour it on the windows to clear the frost. You get clouds of steam. Took the kettle back into the kitchen and came out in time to see the chap across the road pour boiling water on his windscreen and shatter it. He saw me clearing my screen and thought it was boiling water... :uhoh:

Come to think of it I'll be back to the same game again soon. :(

G-CPTN
15th Dec 2007, 14:14
I noticed that the pax seat was also the heated type, just not connected. Quick crimp and voila, both seats heated. Guess it was cheaper to make all the seats heated but then charge for the "option". Might be worth checking you cars.
Having the actual heated seat is surprising IMO, but many options are, indeed, partially-installed (particularly wiring harnesses, so that purchase of a simple part can upgrade a model). One manufacturer used to market a stripped-out basic model (to get down to a price point) but expenditure of a few pounds enabled the full specification to be achieved.

ShyTorque
15th Dec 2007, 15:24
Ah, yes, I remember those old British Leyland models, such as that supercar, the Morris Marina, latterly Ital.

Would Sir prefer the optional working engine, or back axle? :E

S'land
15th Dec 2007, 15:46
Once had one of those Morris Marina thingy's as a company car- 'Twas the 1.8 twin carb'ed MGB engined super version. Engine was OK, shame the brakes were for a normal 1,3 version. Needed brakes seeing to every 1,000 miles or new discs as well if you went over that. When I complained to the BL garage, they said that the car was meant for long distance driving and was not meant to be used in traffic where the brakes were to be used:confused:.

Sound stupid, but the garage were serious:ugh:.

corsair
15th Dec 2007, 17:14
Speaking of options not been connected. I seem to remember someone saying that the basic BMW Mini could be upgraded to the Cooper version with the simple addition of the appropriate chip for considerabley less money. I suppose you could even buy the appropriate badges too.

Dan D'air
15th Dec 2007, 17:26
Blacksheep, made me nearly spray my coffee!!!

Up in Norway, I think it was Bardufoss, the local SAR instructor once showed us a demo of how cold it actually was, by throwing a pan of boiling water up into the air and seeing the looks on our faces as it came back down as ice!! Ah those were the days...............

srobarts
15th Dec 2007, 17:33
We go for the fan heater on a time switch...

Maybe worth saying that most UK insurance companies have added a clause that means the car is not insured if left unattended with the key in. I walked past two cars today engines running whilst owners were inside finishing coffee...