Frozen windshield

I live near Buffalo NY and we get a lot of thick hard ice on our windshields.

My Town & Country minivan has a huge windshield and takes a long time to warm up.

I have been using a pail of hot water to take the ice off my windshield. Everyone I have told about this is appalled, they insist it will crack the windshield.

I have been doing this for quite a while with no cracks. Does anyone have firsthand knowledge of anyone actually cracking a windshield doing this?

If there’s already a chip or a small crack in it, the hot water can certainly turn it into a big one. Better to use a commercial de-icer product, especially since hot water freezes faster than cold water.

If it’s below zero you have a very good chance of cracking your windshield. I had a neighbor who did this and I had to drive her to work since her windshield was in her front seat. I was stationed in northern Maine with the Air Force at the time. Using a good spray de-icer makes more sense.

I spent a long winter in Oswego NY and used warm (not hot) water to de-ice my windshield every morning. Never had a problem–even though my windshield had a large stone chip in it, it never cracked fully.

If someone tells you they saw a windshield actually crack from warm water, I GUARANTEE it was manufactured before 1980.

“Hot water freezes faster than cold water”? Please explain.

hot water freezes faster than cold water…yes…just google it…

That explanation does not say that hot water freezes before clod water, it says that under certain conditions it can. The usual demonstrations involve spraying hot and cold water into very cold air and the key seems to be that under these conditions the hot water evaporates much of itself away quickly, leaving a much smaller mass of the hot water to freeze.

I’m not going to pull the “friend of a friend” gambit here. I’ve actually done it myself.

I use Prestone windshield de-icer. Pull your wipers up off the windshield when weather is coming, that way they will not freeze to the windshield. Spray on the de-icer and put wipers down and go.

What have you done yourself?

I have tried Prestone spray deicer and have found it to be ineffective against the amount of snow and ice we get.

I am having a hard time figuring why her windshield glass fell into her front seat. Windshield glass (unlike side and rear window glass) is a sandwich of 2 layers of glass with a layer of clear vinyl in between to keep the glass intact even if a 1 1/2 lb. steel ball is dropped from 12 meters.

Two Possibilities:
–This happened before the invention of safety glass. (1930’s or 1940’s?)
–This happened in a movie and someone is remembering it as if it happened in real life.

When I have to park outside in such an environment I cover the windshield with a cover that sells in most auto stores. It has straps that will be held between the two front door seals as well as you can park the wipers in the “up” position to hold it down also.

Sells for about about $15 and will end your ice problem. I lived in the Great Lakes area for many years in the past and have seldom had your ice problem.

Hot water seems a dumb solution to me; you can buy electrically heated scrapers that really cut through the ice.

Just because it’s never happened doesn’t mean it can’t happen. I wouldn’t do it.

Use the deicing washer fluid.

I remember the event very well. It was probably 20 below and the neighbor was having a hard time clearing her windshield. She went inside and brought back a bucket of hot water and dumped it on the driver’s side of the windshield. I heard it “pop” and went over to see what happened. The water and most of the windshield was in the front seat. This was in the early 80’s and it was probably a late 70’s vintage vehicle. I think it was a Buick. Strange things happen when it gets very cold outside.

Why not just cover it at night? I bought a cover from Wallyworld for about $5-$6 about 3 years ago. Close the door on one end (or has a suction cup of you wish), pull it across and close the door on the other end. Any ice just falls right off the cover when you take it off the next morning.

You do not need to use hot water. Right out of the tap will work just fine…it’s about room temp after all, so way above what the temp of the ice is.

That’s exactly what I was thinking.

I do it myself on a regular basis. It relaxes and centers me. Thanks to mleich for challenging the “hot water freezes faster than cold” meme. I knew I had seen it before. It’s pretty simple: hot water cannot freeze. It has to become cold first (and as oldtimer 11 pointed out, during that time some of it evaporates).

An old cardboard box