It’s peak frosted windshield season for us here in the Pacific Northwest and safe driving and peace of mind depend on a clear view forward.
Utilizing the defrost button is usually enough to accomplish the job, but sometimes it may not be enough, particularly in colder and/or wetter conditions.
Modern cars with integrated climate control, where you can set the cabin temperature at a specific setting, say 72 degrees, utilize both the heat and air conditioning as needed. This makes it easier, and faster, to clear the windshield.
One of the reasons for this is the simultaneous use of the air conditioning’s drying feature. Air conditioning removes moisture from the air, as you may have noticed from that puddle of water under your parked car when using it in the summer, or from being dripped on walking under an old window unit hanging out over the sidewalk.
You needn’t be concerned with the air conditioning function “fighting” the heater, and making your cabin colder than you wish, the temperature setting and heater will override that. You can set it at the temperature you desire and it will deliver.
Manually engaging the air conditioning while setting the vent controls to the windshield defrost setting and turning up the fan to high is your quickest and most effective way of clearing the windshield, whether it has climate control, or not. And this can be used anytime you need, not just when getting into a parked vehicle.
A clear windshield makes for safer stress-free driving, as do clear rear and side windows, so don’t forget them, either. Directing the vents at either end of the dash towards the side windows and engaging the rear defroster switch are also good practices.
Just because it's colder and damper doesn’t mean that your driving experience has to be uncomfortable. Use the tools that BMW and MINI have provided to make it more enjoyable.