There are some bold claims made about the Halfords Duxback product. Phil Huff puts it to the test on his own car…
Seeing where you’re going is probably the first step to driving safely, and a new windscreen treatment from Halfords promises to make that easier. Duxback is a hydrophobic coating for your car’s glass that keeps it clear of rainwater and even ice, according to the blurb.
Duxback needs to be applied at a Halfords Autocentre, which adds a little bit of complication but, once in place, should remain effective for six months. During that time, water should stream off the screen from speeds of roughly 40mph or above, and merge into virtually see-through beads at lower speeds. It’s like water when it hits a duck’s back, you see…
As water struggles to remain attached to the windscreen, it can’t freeze to it either, which handy as the temperatures drop over winter.
As a long-time user of Rain-X, a self-applied product that serves a similar purpose but doesn’t last anywhere near as long, I was keen to see how effective the Halfords treatment was. That explains why every window of my SAAB has now been treated, although it’s not cheap to have the concoction applied.
A single windscreen treatment costs £25, with a whole car coming in at £60. That compares to around £7 for a bottle of Rain-X that can be reapplied as frequently as you like.
Testing by TÜV Thüringen in Germany has shown that Duxback improves driving visibility by 35% in rainy weather and, while I can’t offer a percentage figure, it’s certainly easier to see. Wipers are still required at low speeds but, once 35mph has been reached, any remaining water starts streaming off quickly. At motorway speed in anything but the very heaviest of rain, wipers genuinely aren’t required.
On a frosty morning, a quick sweep of the glass with the windscreen wipers is all that’s required to clear any ice, although temperatures haven’t dropped too far yet. Still, it should reduce the need to resort to a credit card or similar.
A month after visiting Halfords Autocentre in Peterborough to have the treatment applied, which took around half an hour, it’s still going strong with no reduction in effectiveness. The promised six months should be a breeze.
Does Duxback work as advertised? Yes, and it’s every bit as effective as you would hope. It’s not cheap though, with cheaper self-applied alternatives offering the same level of function but with shorter lifespans. The windscreen treatment at £25 is just about worth it, especially if you spend a lot of time on the motorways, but do the rest of the windows yourself and save the £35 upgrade.