Categories: News

I scratched my car windows this morning with the engine running - is that allowed? -

The car was covered in a layer of ice – thin but rock hard. The scraper could barely get a grip on it. Then I started the engine and continued scratching with the help of the demisting function. Could I have been fined?

It's the other way around: I could have been fined if I had driven with a frozen windshield. Because it is mandatory to have sufficient forward and side vision when you drive. If you are on the road with snow-covered or frozen windows, this is extremely dangerous and the police can issue a fine of up to 240 euros.

And then you're in luck, because poor visibility to the rear in your (frozen) exterior mirrors can result in an extra fine of 140 euros. Added together that is a fine of 380 euros!


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No fine for ice scraping with the engine running

What I did is not prohibited in the Netherlands. While scraping ice, you may start the engine and use the demisting and defrosting functions. So no fine. But it is not recommended, because it is bad for the environment and for technology. According to the ANWB, the exhaust fumes from a cold engine are the dirtiest there are.

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And because the combustion engine has to make almost no effort when idling, it heats up slowly. This can cause the engine to wear out faster and you naturally want to prevent that.

Scratching, starting and immediately driving away also has a disadvantage

The fact that the exhaust fumes from the cold engine are so polluting is why I normally scratch all the windows first and then start and drive away immediately. That is also the general advice. But that also has a disadvantage, namely that you do not have optimal visibility for the first few hundred meters. Only when the demisting starts does the windshield clear. And in my opinion, the generally prevailing advice does not take that into account.

Running the engine while scraping ice may not be ideal, but the windshield was clean and clear once I turned onto the open road. In short, I'm still looking for the least bad balance between scratching and starting.

This post was last modified on November 30, 2023 12:27 pm


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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