I can see clearly, or can you?

When driving you need two things to be able to see clearly, (1) good eyesight and (2) a clean windscreen.

We have all seen on cold frosty mornings drivers with windscreens iced up, trying to look through the narrow strip at the bottom of the windscreen where the heater has defrosted the ice. But it’s not just the cold mornings that drivers are impeded by a windscreen that isn’t fully defrosted. In summer the windscreen could be covered in dead insects.

The importance of screen wash cannot be understated. It is a legal requirement to keep your windscreen clean, so it is important that you keep your screen wash topped up.

But which screen wash should you use in your vehicle?

There are 3 main types of screen wash.  These are:

  • summer – this is used to clean dirt, grease and bugs of the windscreen
  • winter – this contains the same functions as summer but also has anti-freeze properties
  • extreme winter – this contains a higher level of anti-freeze agents and should be used when the temperature falls below -15 degree celsius.

Whilst we are looking at keeping our windscreen clean, we should also look at what else will obscure our view of the road ahead. These include stickers, air fresheners and other items hanging from the mirror, and cracks and chips on the glass. Your car would fail an MOT if you had a chip on your windscreen, and if there is damage of 40mm in size, anywhere on the windscreen, your vehicle will fail its MOT. The crack will need to be fixed before being re-tested.

However, even a 10mm-sized damage on a cracked windscreen results in MOT failure if it falls within what is known as windscreen Zone A. This zone is the section of the windscreen that is 290mm wide and centred on the steering wheel – in other words, directly in the driver’s line of vision.

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