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Old 01-01-09, 04:47 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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How do I avoid needing a scraper for the INSIDE of my car?

This is a problem every winter with my car, which is parked outside to bear the NH winters. It's a cold day, I get inside the car to go somewhere, and there's a frosty layer on all the windows, though especially on the rear window and windshield. Only this ice isn't frozen on the outside, which can easily be scraped off -- it's ice on the inside.

I used to think it was my heater core that was failing, releasing water from the heater ducts. I do not believe this to be the case; I haven't lost a drop of coolant since I replaced my radiator and hoses last year. My theory is that when the car is warm, the moisture that I bring into the vehicle from my snowy boots is evaporated into the warm interior air. When the car is off for a while and the interior temperature reaches equilibrium with the outside sub-freezing temperature, the air is unable to hold the moisture anymore. As such, the moisture condenses on my windows and proceeds to freeze.

Is this correct? Why doesn't this seem to be a problem with other vehicles, such as my parent's VW? Can anything be done to ameliorate the problem? I would use the AC to dehumidify the air while driving, but it doesn't work for a reason I don't care to discover.
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Old 01-01-09, 05:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
This is a problem every winter with my car, which is parked outside to bear the NH winters. It's a cold day, I get inside the car to go somewhere, and there's a frosty layer on all the windows, though especially on the rear window and windshield. Only this ice isn't frozen on the outside, which can easily be scraped off -- it's ice on the inside.

I used to think it was my heater core that was failing, releasing water from the heater ducts. I do not believe this to be the case; I haven't lost a drop of coolant since I replaced my radiator and hoses last year. My theory is that when the car is warm, the moisture that I bring into the vehicle from my snowy boots is evaporated into the warm interior air. When the car is off for a while and the interior temperature reaches equilibrium with the outside sub-freezing temperature, the air is unable to hold the moisture anymore. As such, the moisture condenses on my windows and proceeds to freeze.

Is this correct? Why doesn't this seem to be a problem with other vehicles, such as my parent's VW? Can anything be done to ameliorate the problem? I would use the AC to dehumidify the air while driving, but it doesn't work for a reason I don't care to discover.
Hate to say it, but that's probably one of your only solutions. Your theory is correct that you are bringing in moisture (and exhaling it also), which is turning to frost on the inside glass. The only solution is to remove this moisture. Running the heater just warms the moist air. Wait until temps are above freezing and drive around for awhile with the windows down and heater blasting. Or maybe get a bunch of those moisture-grabbing chemical packets???
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Old 01-01-09, 05:11 PM   #3
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Running the heater makes driving possible . The previous owner said that the AC worked quite well when he sold me the car, but I never tested it....for 1.5 years, and it didn't work. If it's a minor thing, I might be willing to fix it. Otherwise it seems like I'd be better off buying an inverter and a small dehumidifier!
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Old 01-01-09, 05:34 PM   #4
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Dessicant?
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Old 01-01-09, 05:37 PM   #5
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Couple of suggestions, if you can leave the heater controls set on "vent" it allows outside to circulate in the car and may reduce the humidity a bit. Get some type of dessicant to absorb excess moisture, we use Damp Rid products here in the humid deep south with good results. Another thing to try is putting either Rain X or some type of anti fogging agent on the inside of the windows. I normally use windex on my truck windows at least once a month and have never had a problem with interior icing.

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Old 01-01-09, 05:54 PM   #6
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Leave a window slightly open while it's parked outside, just a crack. The moisture in the car will usually be drawn out by the drier outside air, and it won't freeze on the inside of the windows.
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Old 01-01-09, 05:57 PM   #7
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Leave a window slightly open while it's parked outside, just a crack. The moisture in the car will usually be drawn out by the drier outside air, and it won't freeze on the inside of the windows.
works better when used with window covers
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Old 01-01-09, 05:59 PM   #8
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Well I have begun leaving my window open a crack, but I often forget about it and snow gets in. This sort of defeats the purpose...

I'm curious why it seems to be less of a problem for, say, my parent's vehicles.
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Old 01-01-09, 06:13 PM   #9
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try stuff, for example searching.
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Old 01-01-09, 06:16 PM   #10
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I assume you've checked for a 'fresh / recirculate air' button on your dash? Most people use it to maximize their airconditioning in a car, however in the winter, this button should be used to allow fresh air to enter the car. If it's set on recirculate, all your moisture, including from your breath, keeps getting recycled in the interior of your car. If you don't have this button, then you can opt for the more expensive interior car warmer that needs to be plugged in over night.

Also, make sure you brush away as much snow as possible off the exterior vent.

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Old 01-01-09, 06:17 PM   #11
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Dessicant?
Ding!

Damp Rid makes a gallon size moisture absorber. Unlike the smaller quart sizes it has a permeable cover that lets the moisture through but discourages spills.
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Old 01-01-09, 06:17 PM   #12
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window deflector
http://www.wooddashexperts.com/image...flectosr_3.jpg
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Old 01-01-09, 08:33 PM   #13
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When driving, wear a snorkel with the open end out the window.
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Old 01-01-09, 08:39 PM   #14
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you've got a leak, water's getting into the cabin somewhere. Other than fixing the leak, the next best thing is being able to run the AC and heater at the same time, if you're car's too old for that you're SOL my friend.
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Old 01-01-09, 08:45 PM   #15
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Migrate snow bird.
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Old 01-01-09, 08:47 PM   #16
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Some place was selling some type of wax you applied to the inside of the windshield that helped ****** frost or fog from forming. Rain X comes to mind.

Just keeping the inside of the windshield clean helps immensely. Any dirt or dust will make things a lot worse for buildup.
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Old 01-01-09, 08:48 PM   #17
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knock the snow off your shoes before entering

maybe you have water piling up under the carpet somewhere

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Old 01-02-09, 12:21 AM   #18
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Fix your a/c, use fresh air mode (recirc shouldn't be used very often anyway, IMO), make sure the floor's dry, try a bucket of dessicant, use large rubber floormats (if you aren't already) instead of relying on carpet mats or the floor carpet itself, do a better job of knocking the snow off your boots, etc.

One thing about a/c, though, is that it can be a liability in chronically cold weather. Canadian cars often are sold with the ability to turn the a/c off in defrost mode (I enabled it on my Honda with a sort of "cheat code" setting normally known to Canadian dealers). Using a/c collects moisture, of course, but if it freezes before it can drain, it can cause its own problems.
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Old 01-02-09, 12:40 AM   #19
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Use RainX on the inside of your windows...
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Old 01-02-09, 12:51 AM   #20
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Fix your a/c, use fresh air mode (recirc shouldn't be used very often anyway, IMO), make sure the floor's dry, try a bucket of dessicant, use large rubber floormats (if you aren't already) instead of relying on carpet mats or the floor carpet itself, do a better job of knocking the snow off your boots, etc.

One thing about a/c, though, is that it can be a liability in chronically cold weather. Canadian cars often are sold with the ability to turn the a/c off in defrost mode (I enabled it on my Honda with a sort of "cheat code" setting normally known to Canadian dealers). Using a/c collects moisture, of course, but if it freezes before it can drain, it can cause its own problems.
Good information. Here in Texas, I always leave my A/C turned on to dry out air when defogging in the winter, and I leave the vehicle in recirculate mode virtually always, because a lot of cars have bad exhausts that it helps minimize fumes being sucked in. Cars in Texas don't have the corrosion problems that other climates do due to no need to salt roads. So, older cars that barely run that belch black/white/blue smoke are still present and being driven.
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Old 01-02-09, 01:04 AM   #21
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Old 01-02-09, 07:08 AM   #22
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Most modern vehicles will run the A/C on defrost mode, though they have a temp sensor that won't run t if its too cold out to where it will freeze things.
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Old 01-02-09, 07:49 AM   #23
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you've got a leak, water's getting into the cabin somewhere. Other than fixing the leak, the next best thing is being able to run the AC and heater at the same time, if you're car's too old for that you're SOL my friend.
Yeah most likely a leak.

Try some Rain-x.
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Old 01-02-09, 08:49 AM   #24
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There is no leak, your problem is the Recirc button. Switch to fresh air only.

Assuming you are driving a Japanese car (this is a classic rice burner symptom), you can also switch on your a/c while using the heat. So it's temp guage all the way to the right (hot), fan on, a/c button on. You may have noticed it comes on automagically when you turn on your defroster.

And no need to worry, you're not "taking on water" lol.
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Old 01-02-09, 09:03 AM   #25
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you've got a leak, water's getting into the cabin somewhere. Other than fixing the leak, the next best thing is being able to run the ac and heater at the same time, if you're car's too old for that you're sol my friend.
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