It might be the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness but, beware, it is also the season of misty murk and smeary screens, says motoring editor Andy Russell.
It’s been a funny old year so far with the glorious, but unexpected, spring weather giving nature a head start and the hot summer sunshine and timely showers bringing plants and crops to fruition earlier than normal.
But now I can’t help feeling that we are already heading into the autumn earlier than normal; the evenings are pulling in, the nights have become pleasantly and pleasingly cooler and I’ve noticed that the mornings are starting to have a bit of a nip in the air and a touch of mist lingers until the sun burns it off.
The combination of warm days and cooler nights means that we are starting to see condensation on the outside of the car windows and warm breath misting up windscreens in the morning. So the trusty rubber blade and cloth have come off the shelf in the garage to clear the condensation from the glass so I have clear views all round before setting off.
It takes only a couple of minutes at most to wipe them clean but makes driving much easier and safer so, if you don’t have a garage or leave your car out night, go out to the car a little earlier in the morning to dry off the car windows.
I’ve been using a water-repellent glass treatment on the outside of the windows of our car and it certainly helps encourage any water to run off, especially as there is no wiper on the rear screen. Now I am also using an anti-fog treatment for the inside of the windows after seeing it being used to stop the windscreens of stripped-out British Touring Car Championship contenders misting up during races.
If you haven’t got round to having your vehicle’s air conditioning serviced this summer don’t leave it until next year.
I’m feeling smug as I invested 60 quid in having our car’s air-con system serviced and re-gassed and the difference in its performance is remarkable.
The air-conditioning gets much colder, more quickly and, because it does not have to work so hard, fuel economy is slightly better too.
And, just as importantly, it tackles misty morning windscreen syndrome efficiently and effectively so while you are clearing condensation from the outside of the windows the air-con is demisting the interior.
With the sun getting lower you also notice how smeary the inside of the windscreen becomes which can be hazardous. You can buy special cleaning cloths, which are handy to keep in the car, but one tip I was given was to wipe the inside of the screen with neat screen wash additive to remove the grime and then buff it up with a clean cloth.
If you spot any little chips in the windscreen, it’s worth getting them repaired – if they can be – before the weather turns colder and frosts cause them to crack.
It might be the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness but, beware; it is also the season of misty murk and smeary screens.