Commuter Dude: Be careful while clearing ice from windshield

ATLANTA—As cold continues to grip metro Atlanta, a local mechanic is warning that a traditional way of clearing ice from your windshield could cause damage.

11Alive’s Commuter Dude spoke with mechanic Keith Hamby about drivers who pour hot water over their windshield during times of extreme cold.

“It potentially can damage the glass by cracking it,” says Hamby.

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He’s seen it happen. You can find videos on Youtube of at least one car owner’s experience as a dousing of hot water on a frosted windshield leads to a crack.

And even if you avoid a cracked windshield, Hamby says the method won’t solve your cold weather problems.

“What often times will end up happening is that very water will end up refreezing, and you'll have a new sheet of ice,” says Hamby.

Hamby would prefer that drivers fire up the engine and use their defroster.

“That's going to put luke warm to eventually hot air on the glass, giving it time to adjust to a radical temperature change,” says Hamby.

And running the engine for a bit, especially when the temperature is below 30-degrees, will allow the oil and other fluids to get moving.

Some people swear by a homemade de-icing solution of one part rubbing alcohol, one part water. The solution is applied to a frosty windshield using a spray bottle. AAA says it can be effective in speeding the de-icing process, but drivers need to be careful because the solution can remove the wax from the car’s body, exposing it to the elements.