Desperate motorists using shoes to de-ice their cars

PUBLISHED: 13:19 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:58 15 June 2010

As the big chill tightens its grip on the UK, with even more snow forecast the rest of the week, motorists are facing hefty repair bills by using boiling water, CD cases, credit cards and even shoes in a desperate attempt to remove thickening ice from win

As the big chill tightens its grip on the UK, with even more snow forecast the rest of the week, motorists are facing hefty repair bills by using boiling water, CD cases, credit cards and even shoes in a desperate attempt to remove thickening ice from windscreens. A survey carried out by Nationwide Autocentre showed that over 36 per cent of drivers dangerously use hot water to de-ice their windscreens, with a further 27 per cent admitting to using a credit card, 12 per cent trying their luck with a CD case and 3 per cent resorting to using a shoe! Duncan Wilkes, managing director of Nationwide Autocentre, commented: "It is a complete urban myth that using hot water will successfully de-ice your windscreen. The drastic change in temperature as soon as the hot water touches the cold ice and glass could cause the windscreen to crack or even shatter! "With belts firmly tightened as the credit crunch continues, the last thing motorists need to worry about this winter is spending an extra £100 to have a windscreen replaced. "We were also astonished to see that drivers have been using their own shoes and credit cards to scrape away ice. No matter how redundant credit cards may seem in the current recession, unfortunately they cannot double as an ice-scraper. Items such as shoes and CD cases can cause permanent scratching, ultimately doing more harm than good." It seems that 'conventional' methods of de-icing are also creating havoc for drivers. Over the Christmas period Nationwide Autocentre customers have reported cracks in the windscreen as a result of using electric car heaters. Duncan continued: "We have seen an influx of customers coming to us with cracked windscreens as a result of using their in car electric windscreen heaters. The problem is that drivers are so desperate to clear their windscreens quickly, that they are turning on their heaters full blast onto a cold windscreen which has the same effect as pouring hot water onto it. "Our advice is to always turn your heaters on at a low level and allow them to heat the windows up gradually. If you are in a hurry, use a traditional ice scraper or some de-icer spray on the outside of your windscreen and a small rag or shamme sponge to remove the mist from the inside." Nationwide Autocentre has provided the following top five tips for windscreen care during the cold snap: - NEVER use hot water to de-ice windscreens- Only use an purpose made ice-scraper on car windows - Turn heaters up gradually to de-mist windows- Use washer fluid which contains de-icer to reduce the risk of water freezing on your windscreen while using washers- NEVER set off unless you have full visibility out of the windscreen, side windows and side mirrors


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