Desperate motorists are resorting to using shoes and credit cards to de-ice their car windows during the cold weather, research has shown.
Drivers are too impatient to wait for their windows to de-frost gradually from their in-car heaters, and are instead using unconventional objects such as CD cases and shoes.
This is causing damage to car windscreens, and people are having to fork out money to pay costly bills to repair the scrapes and scratches.
As Britainâs financial crisis threatens to worsen over the next few months, motorists are taking huge risks from their hasty attempts to remove the thickening ice from their cars.
Research from Nationwide Autocentre showed that 27% of drivers admit to using a credit card as their preferred form of de-icer, while 12% try their luck with a CD case and 3% often use a shoe.
Duncan Wilkes, managing director of Nationwide Autocentre, said: âWith belts firmly tightened as the credit crunch continues, the last thing motorists need to worry about is spending an extra Â£100 to have a windscreen replaced.
âNo matter how redundant credit cards may seem in the current recession, unfortunately they cannot double as an ice-scraper. Items such as shoes and CD cases can cause permanent scratching, ultimately doing more harm than goodâ.
More worryingly, 36% of drivers dangerously use hot water on their windscreens to melt the ice, which can cause the glass to shatter.
Mr. Wilkes said: âIt is a complete urban myth that using hot water will successfully de-ice a windscreen. The drastic change in temperature as soon as the hot water touches the cold ice and glass could cause the windscreen to crack or shatterâ.
Likewise, putting in-car heaters on full, rather than allowing them to heat up gradually, can have the same costly effect, and Nationwide Autocentre has dealt with shattered windscreens as a result of this over the winter months.
For those commuters in a hurry, Mr. Wilkes advises that people âuse a traditional ice scraper or some de-icer spray on the outside of the windscreen, and a small rag to remove the mist from the insideâ.
This way, customers can avoid de-icing their car barefoot, and enjoy their music without the occasional icy glitch.
By Kay Taylor