The Heated Windshield Trend: A Hit Or Miss?

In an attempt to find out how heated windshields work, we ended up unravelling how Kenyan motorists lose money trying to pursue a white elephant feature.

 Today’s topic may draw a lot of controversy from our readers but whatever we write is pure truth based on experience and research.

If you have ever enquired about how much a vehicle’s windshield would cost, I am sure the first question you were asked was: heated or not heated.

Heated windshields would cost you 3 to 4 times more than nonheated ones.

 How does a heated windshield work

Heated windshields are engineered to accommodate a heating element within  the windshield. The heater is wired to the interior of the vehicle and coupled to a switch via a fuse and a relay.

Depending on the mode of operation, some manufacturers may call it a heated wiper or a heated windshield.

  During winter, every other morning, ice would form on a windshield. Clearing the ice using a conventional interior heating system  takes a lot of time.

The alternative way is    incorporating a circuit that works magic at the touch of a button. When the switch is operated  the windshield heats up, turning ice into water and eventually clearing the windshield within a split second.

The second way the heating element works is by heating at the lower end of the windshield where wipers rest when not in use  in order to make wiper blade rubbers warm to reduce any chances of rubber sticking to ice which would make the wipers not able to turn.

Warm wiper blades transfers the heat across the windshield, which makes it hard for ice to continue forming while the vehicle is in motion.

All the above ways of heating must be activated by the driver via a button.

Depending on which region the vehicle is meant for, the switch may be incorporated or not. This feature also calls for extra costs on the final selling price.

Most cars may leave the production line with a heated windshield fitted but the activation button would be missing, which means the car is not for the extremely cold market.

On the dashboard, the wires from the heated windshield are not connected because the circuit is missing.

In Kenya, when the said windshield cracks, insisting on replacing it with a heated windshield is a waste of money because that prestigious feature is of no practical value at all. You may have been lucky for your car to come with a heated windshield because that’s the only available type on the production line.

However, your vehicle was not fitted with the heating wiring  switch. You will spend an arm and a leg for a dormant feature.

 Even if it happens that for one or two reasons, you have a vehicle that has  the windshield heating button, our climatic conditions do not allow us to encounter -10° for your windshield to get frozen.

Not even for people who live in Limuru or Mt Kenya where it is perceived to be the coldest part in the country.

 The market is flooded with  good quality windshields without the heating features that work well on your car, which costs less but because some think the one with heated core is the most authentic, they end up spending too much even when what one is being sold is still cheap quality with a fake heater core that will never come into action.

Remember it’s easy for a sales person to sell fear to you in order to make a big catch.

NB some models come with a printed circuit on top most corners of the windshield which usually acts as the FM antenna or navigation antenna which is easily transferable to any other windshield. 

Always look for all the other qualities that constitute a good windshield but do not allow yourself to be a victim of a heated windshield scam if you do not have any plans of shipping your vehicle to Europe and America.

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