Motorists risk sustaining car damage by using a common method to de-ice a vehicle this winter, according to a leading mechanic. 

James Lett, Technical Editor at AutoData has warned that de-icer solution can harm car trims or bodywork which could lead to costly repairs near Christmas. 

He suggested the solution can cause parts to go “brittle” with motorists urged to not rely on additives when the temperature drops. 

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Mr Lett said: “I don’t like de-icers. 

“I think If you can, obviously it’s illegal to start your car up on the highway and leave it, but if you’ve got a drive there’s no reason why you can’t let it warm up itself. 

“I think it’s better for the car and you allow the engine to warm up at a nice steady pace as well. 

“People say on the tin that de-icer doesn’t damage plastic trims or bodywork. But you can see these plastic trims start to fade and go brittle. 

“I believe that’s to do with the de-icer. I’d rather not have de-icer on my paintwork either.”

Experts at CarLeasing have also pointed out a series of concerns surrounding de-icer solutions. 

The specialist warned plastic featured in some key car components can be affected by the solution, in particular de-icers containing methanol. 

De-icer solution can cause car windscreens to crack if it is not applied evenly or left on for too long. 

Highlighting other problems, the group explained: “One of the primary concerns is that de-icers can damage your car’s paintwork. 

“Many de-icers contain chemicals such as alcohol and ammonia, which can cause discolouration or even strip away the clear coat of paint over time. This is especially true if the de-icer is used frequently or if it is left to sit on the paint for too long.

“In addition, de-icers can also damage rubber seals and weather stripping around your car’s doors and windows. This can cause leaks and other issues that can be expensive to repair.”

Finally, they warn the fluid can be toxic to the environment due to the chemicals they contain. Safe Paw Ice Melter also warned that de-icer solution should not be used on any part of a vehicle such as the interior. 

Most importantly, they make clear the solution should never be used near the engine as this could cause massive problems. 

They commented: “It is not recommended to use ice melter for roofs or de-icer in any other part of the vehicle, including the interior and around the engines, because the chemicals do not mix well and may cause irreversible damage.”