Winter driving can be a real hassle. Instead of enjoying the picturesque scenery, many of us dread slippery roads, traffic congestion, and frozen windshields. Dealing with frozen glass in the morning can add unnecessary stress to our already hectic routines. But fear not, there’s a convenient solution: heated windscreen technology. Rather than struggling with anti-freeze sprays and scraping tools, drivers with a heated front windscreen can just sit back, sip on a hot beverage, and watch as the ice clears from their view. Investing in a car with a heated windscreen is a no-brainer. Curious about which cars offer this feature? Let’s dive into the details.
Which Manufacturers Make Cars with a Heated Windscreen?
Ford was the first to introduce the heated front windscreen, called “Quickclear,” which has been available in Europe since the 80s. As Ford’s patent for this technology has expired, many other manufacturers now offer similar features. Here’s a handy list of brands that provide cars with heated windscreens:
- Ford Motor Company
- Land/Range Rover
- Aston Martin
It’s worth noting that there is a distinction between cars with a heated front windscreen and those with heated rearview windows or “defoggers.” Heated rearview windows, invented in the 70s, consist of parallel wires on or within the glass and are more commonly found across various brands nowadays. If you specifically want a car with a heated front windscreen, the manufacturers listed above are your best bet. Keep in mind that these brands usually offer heated windscreens in their higher-tier models or as optional add-ons. If this feature is a must-have for you, visit a dealership and let them know as soon as possible. You wouldn’t want to fall in love with a car only to realize you can’t afford the heated windscreen.
Why Don’t All Cars Have Heated Front Windscreens and Rear Windows?
The main reason not all cars come equipped with heated front windscreens and rear windows is cost. Traditionally, cars used an air defroster that relied on waste heat from the engine to clear the front windscreen in cold weather. This method is cheaper than incorporating the electric elements required for a heated windscreen, but it takes a significant amount of time for the engine to warm up enough to melt frost. If you’ve ever sat shivering in your car, waiting for the engine to heat up, you’ll understand the frustration.
Since rear windows don’t benefit from the same airflow as front windscreens, manufacturers have to choose different heating mechanisms. Adding extra air ducting for the rear window is more expensive than installing electric heating elements, which explains why heated rear windows are more common in cars. It’s simply a matter of cost-effectiveness.
Today, you can find many cars with both heated front windscreens and rearview windows. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these features come at a higher price. Depending on your budget and your aversion to cold mornings and car troubles, the added investment might be worth it.
How to Determine if Your Car Has a Heated Windscreen
Believe it or not, many drivers aren’t fully aware of all the features their cars possess. This is especially true for first-time drivers who are still learning their way around their vehicles. If you’re scratching your head wondering whether your car has a heated windscreen, here’s an easy way to find out:
- Look at the bottom of your windshield, where your windshield wipers are located. You should see fine wires running behind them through the glass in a zig-zag pattern, resembling hair.
- Check your front console, which is typically positioned between the driver and passenger seats. Look for a heated windscreen button near the rear window defrost button. Both buttons usually have wiggly heat lines depicted on them.
Heated Windscreen Repairs
The most common repair jobs for windscreens involve cracks and chips caused by rocks and pebbles thrown onto the road while driving. Fortunately, these damages rarely extend deep enough into the glass to affect the heating element of a heated windscreen. Therefore, heated windscreens are quite sturdy when it comes to wear and tear.
Failures in the heating element itself are more likely to occur. These failures can stem from various reasons and sometimes happen without any apparent cause. If this is the case, your entire windscreen might need to be replaced, which can be an expensive endeavor. That’s why it’s crucial to have a comprehensive insurance policy in place to alleviate some of the financial burden.
Alternatively, you can explore aftermarket heated windscreens available online. These can be more affordable than purchasing a brand-new windscreen, although the cost is often not significantly different. Unless you are an electrician, it’s highly recommended to leave the installation of a new heated windscreen to the professionals. While you might be handy, it’s best to steer clear of electrical cables—trust us on this one.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Car with a Heated Windscreen
Since heated windscreens can be more expensive and are not considered essential, many people choose to forego this feature. If you’re contemplating the decision, here are some arguments for and against investing in a car with a heated windscreen.
- Avoid spending money on de-icer sprays, which can accumulate over time.
- Heated windscreens melt ice quickly, allowing you to hit the road in just five minutes.
- Improved visibility during extreme weather conditions like rain, snow, or fog.
- Warmer glass is less prone to cracking in freezing temperatures.
- Adds to the overall cost of the car.
- Repairs and replacements can be pricey.
- Certain models may have slightly distorted vision through the glass.
A Few Final Tips…
In the end, whether or not heated windscreens are worth the extra money depends on your personal circumstances. If you find yourself frustrated during winter mornings, contemplating taking an ice pick to your front window, then investing in a car with a heated windscreen might be well worth it. While not necessary, it can certainly make your life easier.
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Remember, at the end of the day, your comfort and convenience are paramount. Stay warm and safe on the roads!