Visibility is one of the most common factors in auto accidents, so a healthy windshield is necessary for safety on the road. Unlike the rest of your vehicle, a windshield has relatively simple maintenance. The steps you can take to boost its durability and effectiveness are easy and, with a little practice, can become pure habit. Here are some tips to help keep that windshield undamaged and fully functional:
- Sudden temperature changes on glass lead to broken glass so don’t be tempted to de-ice your windshield with hot water. Vehicles come with a defrost option for a reason; let the car warm up gradually and use an ice scraper to clear away the melting ice. Waking up a few minutes earlier to safely defrost your windshield is a small price to pay to prevent cracks.
- If possible, always park your car under an overhang or in a garage. Gusts of wind can blow small objects about, causing chips in the glass. During the monsoon season, hailstorms aren’t entirely unheard of. A windshield is a vulnerable target for hail, so having your car under even a tree branch can lessen the chances of coming out to a broken windshield. The same caution
goes for driving itself. The recommended ‘two car lengths’ between your car and the one ahead minimizes the chances of having a rock flung into your windshield.
- Accidents happen, and should a crack appear, don’t let it linger. Cracks can cause incoming light to splinter and make it difficult to see. It’s also illegal to drive with a windshield that has any damage which obstructs visibility. Finally, cracks can spread, resulting in much greater damage. A crack less than 12 inches in length can be repaired, but if the crack should spread or a star fracture appear, the windshield will have to be replaced by a licensed auto glass service provider.
- Until you have a chance to bring your vehicle in for repair, windshield cracks can be covered with transparent packing tape to prevent dirt clogging the crack and causing more damage. With a cracked windshield, parking in shade is highly recommended. Heat inside the car will increase the air pressure and can cause the crack to lengthen. Avoid washing a car with a cracked windshield; abrupt temperature changes aren’t kind to glass, and you don’t want to increase the damage you need repaired. Slamming doors isn’t recommended at the best of times, but when your windshield has a crack, abrupt impact can cause it to expand.
Windshield maintenance is low key and doesn’t require much effort on your part. Being conscientious will help you avoid damage to your windshield and preserve your clear visibility, so keep these tips in mind. The less damage to your vehicle, the easier basic maintenance is; protect your windshield and you’ll protect yourself and your wallet.