Condensation is something that happens in all cars and it can turn into a difficult or dangerous driving situation if not taken care of. Whether you’re in a cold region or a tropical paradise, condensation is something that will eventually appear in your car at some point. Since driving requires unimpaired visibility, here is everything you need to know about condensation, how and why it occurs, and how to get rid of it from your car.
Condensation is defined as the conversion of water vapour into a liquid. This process usually takes place when warm air comes in contact with a cool surface such as a car window or windshield. The moisture in the warm air condenses onto the cold surface in the form of tiny water droplets. For a driver, those hundreds of droplets look like fog and significantly reduce visibility.
There are quite a few reasons as to why your car might be fogging up but the biggest one is moisture. Here are some of the most commonly found causes of condensation inside a vehicle:
Before we get into some of the long-term solutions, here are some things you can try to get rid of excess condensation quickly:
If you want to ensure that you never have to face the problem of condensation and fogged-up windows, here are some helpful solutions that will keep any moisture away and keep your car smelling fresh and clean at all times.
Damp clothes, carpets, and upholstery are some of the major contributors to condensation build-up inside a car. By removing all traces of dampness from inside the vehicle, the amount of condensation also reduces.
The trunk is one of the most susceptible places for leaks or water collection. Check for any signs of water damage by lifting the carpet and feeling around for damp spots. If you find water in the spare wheel, you should get rid of it immediately and find the source for the leak.
On days when the sun is bright, you should leave your car windows open a bit to allow the warm air to circulate into the cabin and remove any moisture from it. This will also help dry off any damp spots in the car.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to accidentally keep your car windows or sunroof open on rainy days. Even if there is a tiny gap left open, water will get through and make everything wet which will eventually cause moisture build-up and condensation.
The idea of turning on the air-conditioning when there is excess moisture in a car seems illogical, but it actually helps. The dry air that comes out of the AC removes all the moisture from the air and keeps it dry.
Have you ever wondered what the “C” shaped arrow button in your car actually did? That is the recirculation button and it should not be used when you have a serious condensation issue. That feature recirculates the air inside the car rather than forcing in fresh air which doesn’t remove the moisture, only recirculates it.
As mentioned earlier, dirt particles attract more moisture, and therefore having clean windows will reduce the amount of condensation significantly. It is best to use a smudge-free cleaner and a micro-fiber cloth or newspaper to clean the glass. This being said, some anti-fogging products can leave behind a hazy film which not only reduces visibility but can be difficult to remove.
If your car seats are damp or wet, you can use the heaters in your car to gradually dry them out and get rid of any moisture. Another handy tip is to use a hairdryer to get the job done faster. If you can, leave the doors and windows open to allow the moisture to leave even faster.
When you have it, use it. A garage not only protects your car from the elements, but it will allow you to keep your windows open and keep the vehicle well ventilated.
Today, car cover manufacturers claim that their products are extremely breathable. However, the majority of people who actually use car covers say that their cars have a lot more condensation and moisture-related issues. While they are useful in keeping out rain, they don’t allow any circulation and increases the chance of condensation and fogging.
If you have problems with fogging and excess condensation in your car, give these tips a try and you’ll be surprised at how well they work. Or, if you have your own tried and tested methods of getting rid of condensation, let us know.