With winter fast approaching windscreens and car windows frosting up in the mornings.

We tell you all there is to know about de-icing your vehicle.

Be prepared

The law says all car windows and mirrors must be clear. Driving while peering through a small de-misted hole in the windscreen can net you a large fine for driving with restricted vision.

So how can you avoid an icy windscreen? Carry out these steps to prepare for the worst.

• Keep an ice scraper and a can of de-icer in your car – they’re available from most garages or supermarkets
• Buy a portable demister which plugs into your car lighter and sits on your dashboard
• Check the antifreeze once a week or before long journeys

If the level is below two marks on the coolant reservoir, it’s too low. Refill with a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze.

Screen wash

Keep the screen wash levels topped up and check the levels every couple of weeks

1. Buy a bottle of windscreen washer fluid from a garage or motoring shop, and mix it according to the instruction on the container

2. Look for the transparent fluid container under your car’s bonnet – it will be marked with an icon displaying windscreen and a jet of water

3. Open the cap and use a funnel to fill the fluid to the top and close the cap and bonnet

4. Turn the washers on and test your windscreen wipers a few times.

What to do if you have ice on your car

1. Turn on the engine and switch the defroster to the highest setting

2. If you have air conditioning, turn it on (most cars will do this when the defroster is activated)

3. Brush thick lumps of snow off the windscreen, mirrors and windows

4. Spray de-icing fluid onto the windscreen or use an ice scraper to scrape all the frost from your windscreen

A 50/50 solution of water and vinegar is a good alternative to de-icer.

Don’t use credit cards or other makeshift scrapers like pen knives and CDs – these can break and cause damage to the windscreen.

Gently lift the wipers off the glass – operating them can split the rubber or damage the wiper mechanism.

Don’t leave the car with the engine running – you could be exposed to theft.

And NEVER pour boiling water onto icy mirrors, windows or the windscreen – it can refreeze or shatter the glass.