Who would guess that there is such a thing as a “Windshield Strategy?”
Winter is here! In many parts of the country snow and other forms of frozen precipitation are upon us. Over the years I have used two strategies that were told to me by seasoned drivers. These techniques were passed on to me in the beginning of my driving career.
Hot Windshield Strategy:
This particular technique works best when the temperatures are hovering right around the freezing mark. During these conditions the snow is pretty wet and will clog up your wiper blades making it difficult for the wiper blades to clear the windshield. In this scenario I will turn my defrosters to the hottest setting and deploy my sun visors to trap the heat on my windshield. By lowering the sun visors this will trap the heat on the windshield and the wiper blades allowing the wet snow to be cleared by the wipers without the blades becoming packed with ice.
Freezing Windshield Strategy:
This technique is employed when the temperatures drop well below freezing and the snow is dry and fluffy. In these conditions if you have the windshield to hot it will cause the windshield wipers to ice up and not clear the windshield adequately. The steps I employ to take care of this condition are to first find a safe place to stop, followed by turning the defrosters to the coldest temperature possible, this process can be sped up by lowering the sun visors to trap the cold air against the windshield. After the windshield has completely cooled to the point of all of the precipitation freezing to the windshield I get out and clear the ice from the windshield and wiper blades with an ice scraper. I get back into the truck and return to the highway and the snow simply blows off without the snow every sticking to the windshield surface. To keep the windshield frozen I then turn the temperature controls to the foot wells to keep the heat off of the frozen windshield.
There have been many storms where I have had to utilize both of these strategies to ensure clear vison of the highway ahead. The only other thing left to do is to make sure your windshield washer reservoir is full and the windshield washer fluid has a freezing point that is adequate for the conditions at hand.