Ways to Keep Your Windshield Clear in Winter

It’s an annoying part of winter driving that happens very frequently: after suffering cold temperatures scraping the ice off the outside of the windshield, only find once you’re inside the interior is clouding your vision. Here are some ways to get rid of the fog so you can start driving and see where you are going.

Clearing a foggy windshield is more difficult than simply turning on the dashboard defroster; it’s about achieving a balance of warmth and moisture inside your vehicle with the dry and cold exterior air. The “dew point” is reached from too much cabin moisture and causes fogging on the inside of your windshield. It is not until your inside moisture is reduced with outside dry air that your glass will eliminate the fog and make it safe to begin your trip. Here are a few examples of what you can do to help reduce the fog and keep your interior car windows clear.

  • Make Sure Your Windshield Is Clean: Be sure to remove any dirt on the inside of your windshield as it can cause moisture to cling to the glass. Using a good glass cleaner will remove any film or dirt from your windshield that may have collected.
  • Start the Engine: Always allow your car’s heater to warm up for a few minutes and then turn on the defroster. Your heating ducts need to reach about 50 degrees Celsius before the full defrost mechanism becomes effective. But don’t turn the car on and walk away for 10 minutes as the newer Honda’s do not take long to reach that temp.
  • Lower the Interior Moisture Air Level: The cause of fogging is from warm, moist air inside the car comes in contact with the cold air outside your windshield. Everything you bring inside the car with you, snow boots, wet gloves, and even hot steaming coffee, as well as your warm breath, creates moisture in the air inside your car. Obviously, you cannot hold your breath while you are driving, but if your coats or gloves get wet while clearing off the car, consider putting them in the trunk before you drive away and pick up a coffee on your trip after your interior climate has balanced out.
  • Blast the Defroster: Turn on the defroster on an, turn it up high, and pump some warm dry air over the inside of the windshield. The aim is to cover 90 percent of the glass with air from the climate control system in very poor weather (i.e., freezing rain or snow and very cold temperatures) for the defroster to work best.
  • Don’t Use Re-Circulate: Always make sure that you are bringing in fresh cold air from the outside that is dry and clear exterior vents if it’s snowing before leaving the driveway and always turn off the recirculate air button. If you have to recirculating air, remember you are simply recirculating your own moist breath. Meaning that the moisture inside your car never leaves and de-fogging this makes it very difficult, if not impossible to defrost the windows

In conclusion, partly lowering your windows to allow the inside temperature to equalize and dry out the interior cabin usually isn’t required, unless your inside air is extremely high moisture content. This is good news for those of us that live in our cold Winnipeg climate and you can avoid freezing your passengers and yourself to reduce the fog and get a proper vision in your Honda.

If all of the above tips seem a bit much, you may want to consider buying a Honda or Acura car that comes with automatic climate control. These automatic systems monitor and control moisture levels in addition to maintaining consistent temperatures so that windows never fog up. This feature is not always standard but is commonly found on new cars and trucks.

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