The UK’s leading provider of car care products, Autoglym, is advising drivers against the use of improper de-icing methods, which could risk cracking or shattering their windscreens.
A recent survey revealed that nearly a third of motorists resort to using a variety of household objects to clear ice from car windscreens.
The new research conducted by Autoglym suggests that almost a quarter (23.9 per cent) of motorists have used their credit card to clear frost from their car in freezing conditions, while 29 per cent have resorted to using their hands as makeshift ice-scrapers.
More than 15 per cent of those surveyed have also used boiling water to melt ice from their windscreen, putting it at huge risk of cracking or shattering due to the extreme change in temperature.
The survey, which questioned over 1,000 motorists of all ages, also shockingly revealed that over five per cent of young drivers (those up to 24 years old) have used alcoholic drinks as an alternative to a proper de-icing solution. More than a fifth of motorists aged over 55 were found to have used cooking utensils such as spatulas to remove frost in the absence of an ice scraper.
Motorists also said they had used books, newspapers, CD cases, clothes and kitchen towels instead of using an ice scraper.
Whether these improper methods are used because the drivers are in a hurry or whether it's just because they can't be bothered paying for the right utensils, they are still putting themselves at risks of having to fork out more for a new windscreen.
By failing to use a proper de-icer and ice scraper, motorists can cause permanent damage to their cars – notably by scratching glass or by damaging the surrounding rubber seals. Driving with ice still obscuring parts of the windscreen and side windows can also lead to a collision with other vehicles or pedestrians, and is an offence punishable by a fine and points on the driver’s licence.
“This survey highlights how ill-prepared some motorists are to tackle the icy conditions that will arrive in the months ahead,” explains Autoglym’s CEO, Paul Caller. “When it comes to de-icing, many people are improvising with a truly bizarre selection of items, causing potential damage to their vehicles, as well as risking a potential collision given the likelihood that ice deposits won’t have been properly cleared.
“Using anything other than a good quality de-icing solution and ice scraper will not effectively remove the ice, and makeshift substitutes can damage the car’s glass and rubber seals. Instead of attacking the windscreen with boiling water and a credit card, I’d urge motorists to prepare themselves with the correct equipment for the job.”
As a solution, Autoglym are offering a Winter pack- The Collection (RRP £15.99) which includes all the essential items that motorists will need to help maximise visibility in sub-zero conditions this year, including Autoglym De-icer, Ultimate Screenwash, Hi-Tech Interior Microfibre Cloth and a quality ice scraper.