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2013 Volt. We stopped to eat dinner and then got in the car to drive home. A little frost on inside of windshield so turned on the front defroster. The windshield immediately frosted over and had to stop in middle of the road until it cleared so I could see. Wife then told me this happens when she gets in it after work. She has to set for 3-4 minutes until it clears. This is a major safety hazard for someone new to the car driving down the road and goes to use the front defroster. Is this normal in Volts?
 

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Thanks for posting the model year. What were all your climate control settings?
 

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I dont think it is a "Volt" thing, but has more to do with the climate conditions.

I had never had the problem, but the other day, on our 2017 Volt, I did.
I can only thing that a mixture of Inside /outside temperature / Humidity can create the circumstances for it.

One way to avoid that, would be to first start the heater, and after a minute or so activate the defroster.
 

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I know a guy with a 2012 Nissan Versa who complains about the same thing all the time so it's not just the Volt.
I've found that cracking the windows until the defroster gets up to speed seems to help a lot even when it's super cold outside.
 

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I've had that happen to me before on a previous car. Driving along, starts fogging, turn on defroster, boom, all frosted over. Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do every day. Learn your car. Especially for winter (lived in north-east 40yrs). Be safe!
 

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This is common to most vehicles. This is one reason your AC will smell "musty" when you first turn it on. Often the system is still holding "damp/moist/humid air" from the last drive where the HVAC system wasn't used or used very little to "dry" it out before shutting the car down.

The simplest thing to do is crank on the heat but select the floor or face vents for a few minutes then switch to defrost.
 

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Definitely not a Volt thing. Has happened in almost all of the other cars I've owned. Best to wait for the blower to warm up before driving off. The first bit of medium-temp air can have moisture in it which will re-fog the cold windows upon contact.
 

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I have seen many drivers of all sorts of vehicles with defrost trouble in the winter. Many do not seem to understand the use of recirculate and leave it on year-round, even with multiple passengers all exhaling moisture-laden air.

So I agree, probably not a Volt thing. I don't have the problem. If I need maximum defrost in snowy or very cold conditions, I engage Hold mode and use the engine heat. Works great when I don't want to run down the battery fast.
 

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The 2011-2015 Volt has a large "Defrost" icon on the dashboard right below the touch screen. Pressing that once to activate it will set all the necessary settings to defrost your window as quickly as possible. It actually has two of those, the one below the left side of the screen with angled windows is for the front, the one below on the right that is more rectangular is for the heating element in the rear window.

I am sure that button won't work instantly, but if you are in a situation where the window might fog it is worth pressing before driving.
 

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2013 Volt. We stopped to eat dinner and then got in the car to drive home. A little frost on inside of windshield so turned on the front defroster. The windshield immediately frosted over and had to stop in middle of the road until it cleared so I could see. Wife then told me this happens when she gets in it after work. She has to set for 3-4 minutes until it clears. This is a major safety hazard for someone new to the car driving down the road and goes to use the front defroster. Is this normal in Volts?
Happens when you have a warm, humid interior and the outside temperature drops fairly quickly, chilling the windows. So long as the air in the car isn't moving, you still have that warm, humid center with a layer of cooler air insulating it from the frost-inducing glass. Turning on the defroster stirs up all that air and applies it to the window. As you note, it'll clear in a few minutes, which is an awesome case for preconditioning before heading to the car within an hour or two after sundown when the temps cross the frost line.
 

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2013 Volt. We stopped to eat dinner and then got in the car to drive home. A little frost on inside of windshield so turned on the front defroster. The windshield immediately frosted over and had to stop in middle of the road until it cleared so I could see. Wife then told me this happens when she gets in it after work. She has to set for 3



Pay attention you ERDTT whiners!


THIS is why it happens.
 

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I can remember those days when I lived back east and had to warm-up the car in order to clear the ice off the windshield--not to mention making it warm enough for human habitation.

As other's have mentioned, your warmer moist breath condenses on the colder glass. When you started those older ICE vehicles, it just circulated the air through the heater core and warm air would eventually come out and help dry the condensation off--if you didn't have a hole in that heater core. These would often make the glass foggier in certain circumstances for a short period before drying it all off. Soon engineers figured out that if they piped the air conditioner over the glass, it would dry the the glass faster--by drying the air by virtue of the normal functioning of the air conditioner I guess.

Enter the Volt and EVs in general. With no ready source of engine heat, you cannot depend on its drying abilities all that fast so you end-up waiting on the Air Conditioner to get to full operation and to clear moisture out of its system. So driving while defogging/deicing can be an issue. I'm not around all that icy weather so much any more but have experienced this as well. I still keep a cloth in the car--a habit from those Eastern winters--to wipe my windshield off when this happens.
 

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We need details from the hit-and-run OP.

Can you make the windshield fog over? Sure. You can also have it not fog over (even if the ICE is not running). What where the OP's climate control settings when it fogged? They seem reluctant to say, leading me to believe they don't know. We are left with, "my windshield fogged" and playing a guessing game.

So until they come back with details, I'll respond to the generic post with a generic answer, "you were doing it wrong". :)
 

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2013 Volt. We stopped to eat dinner and then got in the car to drive home. A little frost on inside of windshield so turned on the front defroster. The windshield immediately frosted over and had to stop in middle of the road until it cleared so I could see. Wife then told me this happens when she gets in it after work. She has to set for 3-4 minutes until it clears. This is a major safety hazard for someone new to the car driving down the road and goes to use the front defroster. Is this normal in Volts?
What was the climate temp setting? I've had this happen when that is set too low. Bumping up the temp clears the window right up.
 

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2013 Volt....turned on the front defroster. The windshield immediately frosted over ...Wife then told me this happens when she gets in it after work. She has to set for 3 to 4 minutes until it clears.... Is this normal in Volts?
Lots of responders have not answered your question, I will: no. not for 3 to 4 minutes. Under some specific circumstances and at certain specific setting I can make this happen, and yes, the road ahead disappears, which, as you note, is not safe. BUT I have never seen it last 3 to 4 minutes, more like 15 to 20 seconds, still it is disconcerting, and Volt drivers in humid cold climates learn how to avoid it. I have seen it in other cars as well before the engine coolant is warmed up, which is most of the time in a volt.
 

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I'll fill in the OP's blanks. They started the freezing cold car with the fan off, opened a big cup of steaming coffee, put the car in drive, the windshield frosted while the coffee steam and their moist breath condensed on the windshield. After the windshield was good a frosted, they turned on the defroster. :)
 

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You must create the proper climate before initiating movement of your vehicle regardless of the type of vehicle you operate or accept the risks associated with cold moisture forming on the windows and obscuring vision.
 

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Lots of responders have not answered your question, I will: no. not for 3 to 4 minutes. Under some specific circumstances and at certain specific setting I can make this happen, and yes, the road ahead disappears, which, as you note, is not safe. BUT I have never seen it last 3 to 4 minutes, more like 15 to 20 seconds, still it is disconcerting, and Volt drivers in humid cold climates learn how to avoid it. I have seen it in other cars as well before the engine coolant is warmed up, which is most of the time in a volt.
without key information as some have requested, you can't really answer the question :)
 
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