Fight the ice on your car's windshield

Fight the ice on your car's windshield

See clearly by preventing and removing ice
AAA Staff
Scraping an icy windshield

Icy, snowy windshields and windows are common every winter in Western and Central New York. Clearing the ice and snow away can be a challenging task, but you can get the job done quickly by following these simple steps:

  • Start the engine
  • Set the heater to defrost
  • Adjust the airflow to recirculate
  • Move the temperature control to full heat

If your car has an automatic climate control system, simply set it to defrost. If your car is one of the few with an optional electrically-heated windshield, turn it on to rapidly clear ice from the glass.

As the ice begins to melt, use a plastic scraper, the windshield wipers, a rubber squeegee or a soft bristle brush to remove it from the glass. Never use metal scrapers, which can scratch the glass and damage wiper blades.

Another no-no is hot water, which can crack glass by causing thermal shock and result in an expensive auto glass repair. For the same reason, never try to melt ice with any type of torch.

Finally, tapping on the ice with a ball-peen hammer or other tool in an attempt to break it up is just asking for a windshield replacement.


Vision Safety

It can be tempting to remove the least amount of ice necessary before driving off on a frigid winter morning. However, the proper procedure is to remove ice and snow from all glass on your vehicle. If you cannot see clearly out of the car in every direction you are driving in an unsafe manner and your odds of being involved in a collision go up.

In order to avoid bodily injury or a costly car repair, it is best to play it safe and remove all snow and ice. In addition, at least 11 states have laws that require snow and ice removal before driving a vehicle. Failure to do so could result in a citation … or worse.


Is your car ready to make it through the winter? Plan ahead by finding an auto repair shop and technician you can trust before you need them. Connect with one of AAA's 7,000 Approved Auto Repair facilities today.

AAA Approved Auto Repair