Defrosting Your Car and Dealing with the Elements | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

Defrosting Your Car and Dealing with the Elements

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A young adult brunette woman that is scraping the snow and ice from her windshield.

Have you ever been in a hurry to get to work and you’ve realized it’s winter and you didn’t defrost your car? This can leave you in a hurry to get your windows clean so you can be safe on the road. Use these tips for getting where you need to go faster with the cold elements!


Defrosting Your Car Properly

A major part of being safe on the road is actually being able to see the road. You can’t do that with a frozen windshield. There are a few tips to defrost your car properly and quickly. Those include:

  • Keep an ice scraper with you. Having it inside the car won’t help if your car doors are frozen shut. Keep a small one in your bag.
  • As soon as you get to your car and can get inside it, turn the car’s defroster on and crank up the heat to full blast. This will get your defroster going before you scrape your windows.
  • Never use a spatula, metal objects or other items to scrape your windows. This can scratch up your glass. Ice scrapers are designed to not scratch your windshield.
  • Keep a deicer with you. You can buy these at the store or make your own at home. If you do the at-home version, you mix ⅓ parts water with 2/3rds part rubbing alcohol. The freezing point of rubbing alcohol is 138 degrees lower than water, so it wills tay liquid in your car in the cold. These deicers can melt ice in seconds.
  • Some studies suggest that you turn off the air circulation in your car as you have the defrost heater on. This keeps all the heat flowing to your windshields.
  • Keep the defroster on as you drive to avoid fogged-up windshields
  • Never pour water on your windshield, especially warm or hot water. This can cause cracks in your windshield because of such opposing temperatures of the water and the ice.


A view from inside the car looking at a man outside the scar that is scraping the ice off of a windshield with a white ice scraper.

Dealing with the Elements

In the winter, you want to always keep an ice scraper in your car to remove snow and ice. Keeping a second outside the car to remove heavy snowfall that prevents you from getting your scraper inside the car. Keep enough wiper fluid in your car to wipe away salt streaks that are common with melting snow on the roads. In a bind, keep some napkins or a cloth in your car that can work for wiping the windshield or mirrors if you must pull over. These come in handy for car spills and for wiping the seat down when it’s wet.


In heavy snow areas, it can be common to get stuck in accidents or on the snowy roads, especially during high-traffic times. In snowstorms, people could be stuck overnight in their cars. Prepare for those times with warm blankets, food and water storage tucked away in your trunk. These can be in your emergency kit. It may not be a bad idea to get snow tires on your car in the winter that you switch out with your regular tires in the off-season. Snow chains kept in the trunk can help for mountainous terrain.


You have a bit less to worry about in the summer, as you can more easily get out of the car and walk to find help. With freezing temperatures, that’s not so easy. It’s still smart to keep food and water in the car that can withstand the high temperatures of summer. If you can’t stand burning hot seats during the summer, get fabric car covers that can reduce the heat that leather seats commonly get from summer temperatures. Keep extra fabric in the car


A close-up view of a de-icer solution being used on a lock and door handle of a car.

Car Prep Is a Must

No matter if it is the dead of winter or a warm summer night, you should always be prepared when you’re going out on the road. Anything could happen, as no one plans for car accidents, traffic jams, or a tire blowing out. Especially in the winter, it’s smart to have an emergency pack with you that can hold you over until you can get to your destination. Many people get stuck on the side of the road with car issues or they get stuck on the road in snowy conditions. Sometimes, snowstorms or road conditions can cause traffic jams for hours and you don’t want to run out of food, water, or a way to communicate, especially if you have to stay in your car for any reason.


It’s always smart to have a pack that you keep in your car with you for emergencies. This pack should include things such as:

  • Food and water for a day or two, which you can keep in a small cooler to control temperatures
  • A cell phone charging adaptor or a charged portable charger
  • Weather radio
  • Cleaning wipes for spills
  • A spare tire, car jack and lug wrench to change a tire
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Multi-tool pack that includes hazard triangles for the road and a reflector vest for you
  • Jumper cables or a jumping unit you can use without outside assistance
  • Flares for lighting or emergencies
  • Tow straps for getting your car off the road
  • Duck tape, cords and other items for quick fixes
  • Kitty litter and/or salt. The litter can be used to get traction in snow and to absorb odors from spills. Salt can be used to melt snow or to weigh down your car if it’s needed in the winter.
  • Fire extinguisher for emergencies


Stay Safe on the Road

Whether it’s with defrosting your car windows or keeping an emergency kit, it’s best to always be prepared. Use these simple tips to do that defrosting right and call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto at (970) 682-4202!

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