Windshield deicing

Is it possible to build a car with heater wires to deice and de-snow the windshield glass faster than the windshield blower? They work so well in the back window. The wire size is so small that I can’t believe that it has anything to do with obstructing vision. It seems so logical to make them this way. Even on high-end vehicles they don’t show up, so it can’t be a cost factor. Maybe the car people just haven’t thought of it yet! I should get a royalty. Any ideas on what gives?

The windshield defrosts faster than the rear glass anyway. There is just no need for anything better. Driving a slightly warmer vehicle is an OK thing to do, regardless of what we hear about how much better it is to drive a car without warming it up. In cold weather, I can’t get the passengers to ride in a cold vehicle anyway.

I seem to remember that there once was a car with electric de-fog de-ice built into the front windscreen. It was a film not wires like the back has. I also remember it was only available for a year or two. It was not very good.

Of course it is doable. Many Subarus have this exact type of system on the lower 2 or 3 inches of the windshield in order to keep the windshield wipers from icing up, and I have found it to be very effective.

It could be extended to cover the entire windshield IF a manufacturer perceived that it would be a popular option, and therein lies the problem. I don’t think that this is something that sufficient numbers of people are clamoring for, and as a result, would not be practical for car makers to offer–either as a standard feature or as an option.

Good idea, little chance of coming to fruition, IMHO.

Addendum: Mr. Meehan is correct. For a couple of years, Ford offered an optional windshield coated on the inside with an electrically conductive film. A flip of the appropriate switch would defrost the entire windshield.

I believe that the main reason for its demise, aside from the fact that VERY FEW people ever ordered this feature, is that you cannot use a “toll transponder” with that type of windshield (In NJ, we call it EZ-pass. Other states use other names for these devices that automatically bill the car owner for tolls and prevent you from having to stop at toll booths.) I strongly suspect that a system of embedded wires would also interfere with the use of these toll transponders.

Many upscale and luxury cars already have a windshield deicing system. It makes use of the windshield washer. The washer fluid is heated by the liquid in the cooling system, so it can deice wipers and glass during snowstorms. The catch to this system is that the engine must be nearly warmed up before the deicing is effective. Therefore the delay is similar to the wait required for the normal defrost system.

I suspect some states would prohibit any wires in the windshield glass at a level that could block vision.