Content provided courtesy of USAA.
If you find your car coated in snow and ice, take the time to clear it properly before heading out on the road. It's unsafe (and illegal in some states) to drive with built-up precipitation impairing your vision.
Begin the de-icing process by starting the engine and turning on the defroster to warm the windshield. After a few minutes, use a plastic ice scraper or soft-bristle brush or broom to clear the ice. Make sure you clear all windows, not just the windshield. Be careful not to use the scraper, brush or broom on your car's painted surfaces.
When clearing the windshield, don't use metal tools, such as a hammer, ice pick or shovel; these could damage the windshield. And never pour hot water on frozen glass, as the sudden temperature change could crack it.
Next time snow and ice are in the forecast, leave the windshield wipers in the upright position so they won't freeze in place.