As winter starts to grip us in its icy fingers, drivers better get used to waking up in the morning to find that your car windscreen has turned into an ice sheet.
No doubt you'll have many battles with slippery pavements and your frozen car as you race to de-ice your windscreen and get to work on time over the next few months. But in your frantic cold-sweat haste to get your old motor moving, it might not occur to you that you can not only write off your car, but you might also be breaking the law. Which doesn't sound like the smartest move.
Here are our top tips on how to defrost your car without wrecking it. Or losing it, come to that.
Turn The Engine On
Duh. It might sound blindingly obvious, but if you switch on the engine and let the air-conditioning circulate through your car, you'll have a key ally in your battle against icy windows. You might even be able to stave off the frostbite on three of your fingers.
Stand By Your Car
If you're the type to leave the car engine running while you run back in to grab your wallet, now's probably a good time to stop.
You might be surprised to learn that it is illegal in the UK to leave your car unattended with the engine running on a public highway. Yes, this includes outside the front of your house. You might even get fined.
And that isn't even the worst of your problems. Starting your car and abandoning it leaves it literally wide open to thieves. Think your car insurers will pay out? They'll probably laugh at your expense.
If you really need to go back in, turn off the engine and lock your car first. It might sound frustrating, but you'll look more of an idiot when you need to call work to tell them why you're taking the bus.
<em "="">Credit: PA
Wipe All The Snow Off
No one wants to drive to work in an igloo, so use a brush to wipe all the snow off your car, making sure to clear the front grille. Not too arsed about that last one? Well ok, but also remember that no one wants to drive to work in a car with no engine.
Begin The De-icing
A scraper and some de-icer will be your best friends on frosty mornings, so keep them in your car. As the engine warms the car from the inside, get to work on the outside. Don't wipe the windows with your hands - unless you want your car to look like Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have been in it.
Don't Use Boiling Water
Hot water will rapidly expand and contract the ice. Well done. You just cracked your windscreen.
Finish The Job Properly
Make sure that all the glass is clear before driving off. If you have a spare few minutes, make sure your car's safe to drive before braving the roads.
There you go. With any luck, you'll be swearing to yourself while stuck in traffic in no time. Have fun!
Words: Chris Ogden
Featured Image Credit: PA