When people prepare their vehicle for winter driving, they probably worry about servicing their engine or tires. One important area that is often overlooked is the windshield. With proper care and maintenance, you can keep your auto glass in good condition and avoid a windshield repair or replacement. Here are some simple tips that you can follow this winter to prevent damage to your windshield and keep your auto glass in top working order.
Use an ice scraper to remove ice from your windshield and glass. If you find yourself without an ice scraper, you may consider using a spatula or some item you find in your car to remove the ice. This can cause scratches on the glass. A plastic scraper is very affordable and can be found in most stores you visit. Pick one or two up the next time you are out so that you do not get stuck without the proper equipment you need when your windshield is iced over.
Never pour hot water on your windshield. If you walk out and notice that your windshield is icy, you may consider pouring a large cup of hot water on the glass to melt the ice. This is actually a very bad idea. Large temperature changes can cause the glass to crack. It is best to turn on the car defroster and let the glass slowly warm up. The ice will melt away safely without damage to the glass.
Routinely replace worn out or old wiper blades. Over time, the rubber on your wiper blades begins to break down. As a result, the metal or plastic on the blades can scratch the glass, causing damage to your windshield. Replacement blades are very inexpensive and can save you money in glass repairs. You should replace wiper blades about every six months or more often if you notice the rubber is cracked or worn.
Spray on a de-icer. There are a number of sprays on the market that are designed to melt away ice on contact. In some cases, you may not even need a scraper.
Refill the windshield washer fluid. There are washer fluids available that are enhanced with an ice-melting component that is perfect for cold winter months. Do not fill with water, as it will freeze.
Park your vehicle in a garage or under a shelter. If possible, park your vehicle in an area where it will be insulated from the harsh environment. This will not only protect it from ice, but from falling limbs or other hazards this time of year.
Repair all cracked or chipped glass. Even if you have been driving around for months with a chip in your glass, the cold weather can cause that chip to spread quickly into a crack. It is much more affordable to have chips repaired before they spread. In fact, many insurance companies will pay the full price for a repair. Once the chip spreads into a large crack, the windshield will need to be replaced.
As you prepare for winter travel, do not neglect your windshield. It is an essential safety feature of your vehicle and should be given the attention it requires. With a little care and maintenance, your windshield should remain in good condition all season.