A frosted windshield when you are running late can be a frustrating combination of shivering, scraping, and waiting for the car to heat up. But no sooner do you get the ice off of the car and you have another issue to deal with, fogged up windows. In September, we talked about preparing your car for cooler weather, now let’s talk about how to defrost your car window and keep your windows from fogging up.

Use a Rubbing Alcohol and Water Mixture to Melt the Ice

A rubbing alcohol solution “melts” the ice off your windshield by dissolving in ice and lowering its freezing point. Isopropyl alcohol has a freezing point of -128.2*F (-89*C). So unless you happen to be reading this article in weather that breaks the world record coldest temperature of -128.6*F, you’re in the clear. While your car heats up, the alcohol solution will make clearing away the ice easier.

Clearing the Fogged Up Window

Once the ice is cleared from the outside of your car windows, you may still have an issue with foggy windows.

The reason your windows get fogged up in the winter is because of the cold air outside. Imagine an ice-cold beverage that develops condensation on outside of the glass except the cold beverage is the air outside your car and your windows are the glass. This is essentially what is happening to your vehicle.

Your car’s inner air is slightly warmer and more humid. The freezing temperatures just outside are chilling the air so that it is releasing its moisture against the inside edge of the windows. This can be an extra aggravation as you try to heat your car to melt the ice on the outside. Unknown to you is that you are simultaneously contributing to the the fog on the inside.

Here’s how you fix that:

  1. Turn your heater on full blast
  2. Turn on the A/C
  3. Turn off inside air circulation
  4. Crack a window to bring in cold air

Cleared to Drive

It’s important to note that even the fastest methods of clearing your car windows can take a little time. You never attempt to drive away without clear enough windows to see where you are driving, especially in wintry road conditions.

Once the outside and inside of your windows cleared, you are safe to drive. We know that winter can pose additional hazards to the exterior of your car. Read our previous post about what the salt on the road can do to your car’s paint and stop by a Flagstop Car Wash near you to keep your car looking great all winter long!

Putting salt down on the roads immediately after a snowfall is necessary to keep everyone safe. These chemicals on our roadways are specifically designed to dissolve into snow and ice, lowering the water’s freezing point to keep it in a state that isn’t as slippery. Mixing sand with the salt is also helpful to improve traction and keep the salt in place.

With the primary danger of a snowfall being the slippery conditions, this salt and sand mixture is the best strategy to keep you safe. But, what do these chemicals do to your car?

Salt Corrosion on Your Car

With safety being the top priority, the health of your car’s exterior takes a back seat. Corrosive chemicals from the road can embed themselves in your car’s undercarriage and eat away at crucial components. This can translate to expensive repairs when the shocks, brakes or other parts give way.

Your car’s coat of paint isn’t too keen on salt and sand either. Rust can eat away at the exterior until your vehicle becomes an eyesore of decaying metal. As your vehicle deteriorates before your eyes, its structural integrity reminds you of a fast-approaching date with a junkyard.

How to Fight Off Rust and Corrosion

Preventing car corrosion before it gets bad is a two-fold operation:

  1. Wash Your Car’s Undercarriage Regularly
  2. Use a Wax Finish on Your Car’s Exterior

Washing your car on a regular basis is not just about the skin deep beauty of your vehicle. Having a dirty car can lead to a lot of other issues. It is important to keep “wash the car” on your monthly maintenance checklist for your vehicle. Having a monthly car-washing habit or a planned day of the month to get the car washed will take the worry out of winter damage. By keeping up your car’s cleanliness on a regular basis, you’ll know your car’s next bubble bath is right around the corner.

Using a wax finish on your car’s exterior will also help to protect your coat of paint. The DMV recommends adding a wax coat before winter begins. Once the rust begins to bubble around the edges of the car’s body, it’s too late to begin preventative measures. But, if you can catch the issue before it starts, you won’t have to worry about trying to fight off the rust and corrosion.

In addition to prevent the corrosive elements of winter, you can also check out our checklist for cooler weather.

If you are local to the Richmond, Chesterfield, or Colonial Heights areas, Flagstop Car Wash makes regular car washes as easy as possible. For the price of a monthly gym membership, you can take your car to the wash as many times as you please and get our best wash on the menu. Visit our RVA Wash Club page to learn more.