This week in the UK we’ve once again been hit with icy temperatures and snow showers – which causes countless problems for motorists. From traffic chaos and an increased risk of accidents to frozen windscreens delaying your journey, wintry weather is posing a challenge up and down the nation.

Motorists are regularly waking up to ice or snow-covered windscreens, and the winter storms are going nowhere. If you want to drive anywhere, chances are you’ll need to de-ice your front and back windscreen. But did you know that there are some ways of removing ice and snow from your car which are classed as dangerous? You could even receive a fine from the Police if you are caught de-icing a vehicle in the wrong way. Here’s what not to do…

Leave the engine running while stationary

When it’s super chilly outside – and minus temperatures are the norm early in the morning – it is very tempting to leave the engine on to warm up the car before beginning your journey. However, not only is this an inefficient way of defrosting the car (you could be waiting 10 minutes or more) it’s also bad for the environment.

Stationary idling – which means leaving the engine on while the car is on a road and not moving – is also a traffic offence. Which means if caught, you could be faced with a £40 fine! This is to deter people from leaving the vehicle engine running unnecessarily.

There’s also another reason why you shouldn’t leave your engine running in an attempt to de-ice the windscreens. Because it takes so long, drivers are tempted to go back into the house and finish off any chores or grab their lunch before getting into the car. This is a fantastic opportunity for car thieves. You should never leave the keys in the engine unattended – and if your vehicle is stolen due to this type of carelessness, it is unlikely the insurance company will pay out for the loss.

Moral of the story… buy some de-icer or use salty water to defrost your car.

Winter maintenance check

All this freezing weather isn’t good for engines. If you think your car is in need of repair or a winter maintenance check (including battery and anti-freeze in the windscreen reservoir) then get in touch and book an appointment with our experienced mechanics.

Why you Shouldn’t Leave Your Engine on to Defrost the Car