We probably don’t need to remind you that defrosting and demisting all windows is an essential element of active safety that should not be neglected. If someone goes into traffic with only a tank visor on the windshield, sweep them up to the municipal office, where we recommend that the person in question hand in their driver’s license.
However, you must not forget that the weather is not always to blame. High humidity in the interior, when the glass fogs up mainly from the inside, can also be caused by a leak in the car itself. In addition, a humid environment favors mold and bacteria, then the cabin smells, and we’re not even talking about potential health risks. So how are things?
Users of cars with built-in independent heating can have warm feet and a smile on their face, which takes care of preheating the engine or the interior itself. Some Skodas, Bavarians or even Uazes already have this feature from the factory.
Owners of electric cars or vehicles with built-in electric heating (e.g. Opel Insginia) are the lucky ones, because they will receive warm air relatively soon after starting the car.
Another breed of people may be heartened by a heated windshield or the mere presence of a working air conditioner, however, this does not completely solve the problem of all frozen windows. In order to get rid of unwanted deposits on the windows as soon as possible, warm and dry air must be blown on them, which absorbs more moisture, thereby eliminating unpleasant fogging.
Pay attention to antennas and transitions
However, the basis of everything is the good technical condition of the car. In order to prevent water from entering the interior from the outside, it is necessary to have the seals of all doors and windows in good order, there must also be no wetness under the door panels (a common problem with older Volkswagens) and the drain channels under the windshield must be cleaned. Sometimes water gets into the cabin through the antenna, damaged wiring harness transitions, sunroof, improperly glued windshield, leaking radiator hose, or the (damaged) radiator itself.
Even the liquid lines of the windshield washers can betray you. If you add winter antifreeze late, the water or lean mixture in the hose leading to the rear window freezes, it disconnects, and after it warms up, the driver cheerfully sprays the filling into the interior.
Do you change the cabin filter regularly? No? So this can be one of the reasons for the constant fogging of the windows of your car. A clogged filter lets in less air and is, among other things, a source of mold and unwanted bacteria. The heating fan, the internal air circulation flap or possibly the air conditioning must also work at 100 percent.
How to defrost a car quickly and efficiently
The actual procedure for effective defogging and defrosting should be as follows: clear snow from the driver’s side door, the windshield, your clothes, and tap your shoes before sitting down. Start the engine, set the fan to maximum power, switch the air flow to the windows, activate the heating of the rear window and turn on the air conditioning (on some vehicles, it activates itself when the air flow is set to the windows). If your car has it, also turn on the heated seats or steering wheel. Any added electricity consumption will put a strain on the alternator and thus the engine, which will then heat up faster.
Also check if you have the internal air circulation on, as it must be off. Watch out for automatic rain sensors that can interpret the ice layer as drops and activate the frozen wipers, which can damage or even injure you. Before the windows warm up, do not use the washers (especially not while driving), the alcohol contained in the winter mixture evaporates in a few seconds and the water in the form of fresh frost remains on the window.
For faster removal of the winter supply, sometimes it is enough to open the driver’s and passenger’s windows a little, because the sucked-in air leaves the cabin faster, but beware of frozen glass to the door frame or seals – the window closing mechanism may not withstand much resistance.
After that, there is nothing left to do but scrape the ice from the windows (here we praise Skoda for the ice scraper integrated in the tank cap), sweep the remaining snow from the car, including the roof (you can be fined for a snow cap), make sure that all the windows are clean, tap your clothes, shoes again and then hit the road safely.
We would like to thank Mr. Marko Mašinda, a motoring expert from Eastern Bohemia with more than 30 years of experience, for his cooperation on the article.