With the fall season in full swing you have probably already encountered a frosty windshield in the morning. This happens when the temperature outside is very cold, and the temperature inside of the car is warm. The ‘fog’ that builds up on your windshield accumulates from the inside and cannot be wiped away by using the windshield wipers.
Instead, you have to turn on your defroster and ‘warm up’ your windshield so that the glass does not conduct the cold temperature from outside.
When your windshield is ‘foggy’ it can significantly limit your visibility and makes it unsafe to drive your car. In fact, if your car’s defroster is not working properly, all of the windows in your car can get ‘foggy’, making it impossible for you to drive safely to your destination. This could mean you can’t go to work and the kids can’t go to school.
There are many things that can cause your car’s defroster not to work:
- Low levels of antifreeze in your radiator. This is usually caused by a leak in your cooling system and will need professional repair.
- The thermostat is bad and the engine is not able to warm up. The heat that comes out of the defroster is from your engine getting warm. If you engine is not able to warm up efficiently because of a malfunctioning thermostat then the defroster will not work.
- A failing blower fan. Once your engine heats up, the blower fan engages and blows the hot air from your engine into the vent system for your cabin. When you turn on the defroster, the cabin vent system re-directs the hot air out the top vents to warm up the windshield. If the blower fan is failing, the hot air from the engine will not be re-directed.
The best way to prevent a problem with your defroster is to get proper maintenance for your car. Many newer models are built to not need maintenance for this system until 60,000 miles. But, if there is any issues with your defroster, it is important to take your car in to a professional and have it looked at. A malfunctioning defroster can cause serious impediment to your ability to safely drive your car, and could cause an accident.