How to Stop A Vehicle’s Windscreen Misting in Colder Weather

4 02 2013


Image from Flickr creative commons via Ctd 2005

It’s a pain of a problem, but one which crops up for at least a few months each year. Every time the mercury in the thermometer dips below the zero degrees centigrade mark, you will find that your car’s windscreen becomes frozen over. And if you happen to have left any of your windows open, even by the slightest amount, or you have a piece of bodywork which happens to be slightly loose, you will find that condensation will find its way into the vehicle’s interior quite easily, causing the inner surfaces of your windscreen and car windows to mist over and become covered with condensation which, if the temperature is low enough, will soon freeze.

Many people spend large sums on products such as car covers, which are designed to keep away the frost, but if you have the problem of moisture getting into your car, and causing misting on the inside of the screen, you will need a longer-lasting solution.

One quick way in which you will minimise the risk of condensation appearing inside your car in cold weather is to ensure that all your air conditioning and heating controls are switched off whenever you park your car for the night. Sadly, as so many of these systems now work so unobtrusively, it can be difficult to remember whether you have a heater of air conditioning unit actually working. And, of course, if you only drive your car for short distances each day, you might not even realise that your heating or air conditioning is switched on.

Lower winter temperatures mean that the glass on the inside of a windscreen heats up far more quickly when someone gets into a vehicle than the glass on the outside, and therefore that the effects of the condensation this creates are exacerbated.

One thing not to do, therefore, is to turn your car’s heater on full blast, as this will merely stabilise, or already increase, the temperature difference which has caused the condensation in the first place. At its most extreme, this could cause the glass to crack, and so necessitate a windscreen replacement.

Firstly, you should always keep a lint-free cloth inside your car to clear the screen of the excessive condensation which causes misting, but among the ‘trade secrets’ which will help clear a screen quickly are the following:

–          Use a proprietary anti-glass misting product. These cover the screen in a protective film designed to equalise the temperatures between both sides of the glass

–          A budget version of this is to smear a layer of shampoo or soap on the inside of your windscreen, which will provide that important layer of protection to insulate the inside your screen

–          Switch on your rear screen heater some time before you need to set out, as this will get to work quickly in clearing the condensation and frozen liquid which has accumulated on the outside

–          Make sure your air conditioning is kept in good working order, but also that you use it regularly, even in winter. This will help keep moisture from gathering inside your car.

Surprisingly, one which many motorists seem to swear by is to squeeze a small quantity of washing-up liquid onto a dry cloth, and then wipe this over the windscreen. A forum poster on the highly-respected Money Saving Expert website commented that this “works a treat, I promise”.

Finally, any misting or condensation can be exacerbated if a car’s glass is damaged. So getting a glass repair as quickly as possible will avoid storing up problems for the future.





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