Suppose you have a car in the winter morning where there are snows all over the car and the windows are frozen. What will be the steps that you would take before driving/


You don't specify a locale so this will be general advice and there may be specific requirements in addition but here's the basics:

  1. Clear loose snow off the windscreen, rear window and roof, I place emphasis on the roof because while you don't look out of it all that snow is going to come sliding down over the windscreen the first time you brake hard!

  2. If you can get the car open now do so and start it up... Set all window demist controls to max

  3. With the snow cleared off you'll want to de-ice any frozen windows, various ways to do this but a de-icer spray or a scraper are my preferred ways (an old credit card makes for a good scraper in a pinch!). Don't pour hot or boiling water over it.. It'll clear the ice quickly but can easily cause severe cracking or even shattering of the glass! And even if it doesn't it can refreeze surprisingly quickly!

  4. If the windows are suitably demisted to see through then drive off gently, this is the mechanically kindest and fastest way of getting everything up to temperature. Leaving it to idle will take ages!

  • Why not putting the heater on as the first step, and then beginning with the side windows? Once you get to the windshield or rear window, the ice is probably already half molten there. – Bart Feb 11 '18 at 15:44
  • @Bart I'm working on the assumption that the snow would need to be cleared in order to get in to the car, obviously if it's not that heavy then starting up first is the way. – motosubatsu Feb 11 '18 at 18:30
  • Remember also to switch on the electric rear window heater (and front one if fitted, a few cars have them) at point 2 - usually then the rear window is clear by the time you've finished scraping the side ones. Also switch on the headlights, the heat from them quickly melts the frost over the lenses... – Nick C Feb 12 '18 at 10:05

The fine for not properly clearing the windscreen, mirrors, headlights, rear lights and rear window is over 1000ChF, so I clear them.

Also, the law requires you to remove the snow from the roof either it can slide forward from braking and break the wipers or fall off the back as a hazard to other road users.

And when it is very cold I put a battery charger (intelligent one) and a small heater in the car that gets switched on by a timer at about 4am as I leave at just gone 7...

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