The winter poses special problems for those who are looking to stay safe on the road. We get snow tires, watch out for ice, and make sure that the antifreeze is topped off in our cars. But how exactly do we protect our windshields? Here are five windshield protection tips that you can follow to maintain your safety on the road and keep your windshield crystal clear in cold temperatures.
Clean Your Windshield Regularly
It goes without saying that keeping your windshield clean is a great way to improve visibility. But there is a special way to clean it. Having dirt on your windshield in winter can give more moisture for the windshield to cling to, resulting in ice on the glass in cold weather. Use a special glass cleaner and make sure you clean both the inside and outside of the glass on a regular basis. This will prevent ugly streaks to help you see better, and it will remove the dirt that could keep moisture trapped on your windshield which could turn to ice.
Warm Up the Engine
Keeping your windshield clear in the winter is about balancing the temperature between warm air inside and cold dry air outside. Before you drive off, and before you turn on the defroster, give your vehicle’s engine a chance to warm up. This may take about five to ten minutes but it is worth it. You need to make sure that the temperature of the engine reaches a sufficient level to be able to effectively work the defroster, or else you will simply be blowing cold air on your windshield, which won’t help your situation at all. Once your car is sufficiently warm, turn on the defrost and make sure the ice thoroughly melts and your windshield is clear before pulling out so as to avoid having an accident.
Preventing your windshield from cracks as well as snow and ice in winter is a top priority. One of the best windshield protection tips that can be given is to cover your windshield in winter. Park your car in the garage if you have one, this will help keep your windshield clean as well as reduce time in having to scrape ice before your morning commute. If you don’t have a garage it is recommended that you purchase a windshield cover for around twenty dollars. It is a good investment and will save you the trouble of having to clear the windshield of snow or ice. If you cannot afford the windshield cover, then a cardboard box laid flat could be used to cover the windshield. These precautions need not be taken all the time or every night, but if you monitor the weather and keep a close eye on the temperature then you will know ahead of time when the temperature is going to drop, and you can do something about it. This gives you time to prepare your windshield by covering it, or even rubbing half of a raw onion on the windshield is an old home remedy for preventing ice the next morning. Whatever you use to cover your windshield, make sure you get it protected before a big winter storm hits so that it will save you the hassle of having to clean it.
Make Sure You Defrost Before Scraping Ice
The Phoenix auto glass replacement industry has gone through many renovations over the years, but it is still sensitive to pressure and force. If you need to scrape ice or frost off of your windshield then make sure you turn on the defrost before doing so. Let the defroster run for five or ten minutes and then start to scrape the glass. If there are any imperfections in your glass then scraping too hard can cause you to put a chip in your glass or make a chip turn into an ugly crack. Having the warm air from the defroster going while you scrape your windshield should prevent this situation from happening. Make sure you manage your time wisely and get up in time to get out the door, run the defroster for a few minutes, and then complete the scraping. Remember to use a gentle pressure as you scrape; just enough to get the ice off but not too hard so that you end up chipping your windshield. A good way to stop the need for much defrosting can be to use vinegar in a three to one vinegar to water solution from a spray bottle on your windshield at night. This mixture should stop the windshield from icing overnight and save you time in the morning.
- Avoid Parking Under Trees
Having snow or ice dropped on your car from a tree branch can be a real inconvenience. But the real danger from doing this can be that the branches could become heavy from snowing, and snap off, falling on your car and destroying your windshield. Staying out form under trees during the winter when you park should be a top priority. Don’t overestimate the strength of the tree. No matter how long it has been alive or how strong you think it is, the tree branches can be weakened from the effects of snow, which weighs more than most people think it does. Parking out in the open is a good idea if you don’t have a garage to safely store your vehicle. This will reduce the risk of falling branches as well as keep you from having the annoyance of falling snow accumulating on your windshield while you sleep.
If you follow these five tips for protecting your windshield you should be as safe as you can be from winter hazards. Remember to clean your windshield regularly, warm up the engine, prevent damage by covering your windshield, run the defroster while scraping ice, and avoid parking under trees. If you do these things, you will be well on your way to surviving the perils of winter.