If you live in a place that experiences cold winter temperatures and snowstorms, it’s important to prepare your vehicle for those months each year. It’s common for people to replace their tires with snow tires or schedule a tune-up before winter but many people forget there is preventative maintenance that can be done to help preserve your windshield too. You don’t want to end up wasting time in the freezing cold outside dealing with a broken windshield or built-up ice. Keep reading to learn more about how you can protect your front windshield glass this winter.
Use Your Defroster
To help remove built-up ice on your windshield, try starting your car 10 to 15 minutes before you need to leave. You can start your defroster, which will help to loosen up the ice and make it easier for you to remove. While you can use lukewarm water on the windshield, you increase the risk of the glass shattering and cracking due to the sudden temperature change. The water can also refreeze on your windshield if the temperature is cold enough, which can be dangerous if you are driving. Once the defroster has melted some of the ice or snow, use a soft bristle brush or ice scraper to gently remove it from the glass. Try to avoid using your windshield wipers to remove ice or snow, as this can cause damage to them and the glass.
Make a DIY De-Icer
There are great commercial products available that are designed to help your windshield resist ice build-up and also help to melt ice and snow. You don’t have to rush to the store though because making the solution at home requires just a few ingredients! Add 1 cup of 70% isopropyl alcohol, 1 cup water, and a few drops of dish soap into a spray bottle and shake to mix thoroughly. This can be sprayed directly on your glass to help prevent ice from building up and to help melt it from windshields, side mirrors, and even door locks. Be sure to keep the spray bottle clearly labeled as de-icer and out of reach from any children or pets.
Don’t Park Under Trees or Hanging Branches
During ice or snowstorms in winter, there is an increased risk for falling branches and tree limbs. This is one of the main causes of broken windshields and can cause extreme damage to your car overall. During storms, heavy snow can build up on tree branches and start to weigh them down. In some cases, the weight is too heavy for the branch and will cause it to snap. If possible, try to park your car away from tall trees or overhanging branches when there is snow in the forecast. While it’s not possible to avoid damage from falling trees completely, parking away from them during storms is one way to prevent your car from being affected.
Keep The Glass Clean
The snow, sand, and sleet that builds up on the road during winter can make our cars extremely dirty if they are not cleaned regularly. The dirt and sand mixture can fly up from cars in front of us and cause dirt to accumulate on our windshield glass. The ice and moisture will stick to the dirt and make it more difficult to remove. It can also affect your visibility and make it very challenging to drive, especially if you need to use your windshield wipers. Washing your car regularly throughout the winter months will help you to be sure you can see clearly at all times.
Have Damage Fixed Immediately
If your windshield has any cracks, chips, or smashed areas, it’s crucial that you have them fixed by a glass professional as soon as possible. Even if the damage seems small, it can affect the functionality of other important systems in your vehicle, such as your airbag sensors. If your windshield is cracked and you get into an accident, your airbags may not deploy. You will also be at an increased risk of the roof collapsing. To be sure you and your passengers are safe while on the road, have any damage to your windshield assessed immediately after it occurs.
Keep Blankets and Ice Scrapers Handy
The winter months can be brutally cold, so the last thing you want to is get stranded after an accident or if your car breaks down. It’s simple to prepare for these unfortunate situations but if they do occur, you will be able to stay safe and warm. It’s a great idea to purchase a small storage container and fill it with items such as blankets, an ice scraper, a flashlight, a first aid kit, water, batteries, and any important phone numbers.
Preparing your car’s windshield for winter doesn’t have to be hard or expensive! Just following a few steps will ensure that your glass will function like new for years to come.