As temperatures have taken a plunge and expect to get colder we need to be careful and mindful when driving. It is also important to defrost and demist your car correctly before hitting the road but so many of us make the same mistakes year in, year out.

Vantage Leasing reveals the most common mistakes car owners make when de-icing their windscreen so try to avoid as the mornings get colder. It could be a costly mistake

READ MORE: Never defrost car by leaving engine running on its own as you could face fines €2000 or jail

Boiling water on windscreen

According to Google Trend Data, the search term boiling water on windscreen has received a 10,0000% uplift in the last month alone. This method can cause the glass to crack due to the sudden temperature change and this effect could be even greater if there are any small chips or cracks already in the windshield. It is best practice to just avoid this method but if it is your only option, it is best to use lukewarm water, but it's generally not recommended.

Leaving your engine running

Leaving your engine running while de-icing your windscreen and popping indoors while it warms up is a common mistake that some car owners make. While it may seem like a convenient way to warm up the interior and melt ice, it's not recommended as it can lead to the possibility of fines and penalties. It can also lead to an opportunity for thieves that see your car running with no one inside.

Forgetting rear and side mirrors

Many people focus solely on the windscreen and forget about the rear and side mirrors. Clearing ice from the mirrors is crucial for all around visibility so use the same, safe method that you would use to clear the front windshield.

Frozen doors

If your car doors are iced shut some people might make the mistake of pulling on the handle, the problem is that you could end up damaging the internal parts on the car door. The best method is to spray a fine layer of a de-icing spray of your choice in between the door and panels, waiting a moment and attempt to open the door again. If it doesn’t open it may require more spray. To stop having the issue in the future you can prevent them freezing entirely by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the car doors seals. This stops ice building up in between the seals.

Using windscreen wipers on hard ice

If you use windscreen wipers to try and clear ice before you have applied any defrosting solutions to the screen, they may get damaged when wiping over the hard ice leading them to become less effective when turned needed in heavy rain or snow. Only use the wipers after you have cleared the ice. (Using de-icer couldn't be simpler, as all you have to do is spray it on to the windows and windscreens. As the liquid dribbles down the glass, the ice melts.)

Adding anti-freeze to the windscreen washer reservoir

Although adding anti-freeze solution to the windscreen washer reservoir might seem like a good idea to clear your windscreen it will damage and cost you money in the long run. Anti-freeze is corrosive solution and can corrode the metal components of the windscreen washer reservoir including the pump and seals.

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