You know that your car needs care. It’s a powerful, complicated machine, and life without it is a lot more difficult. So, you get oil changes. You get tune-ups. You try to do everything your car needs you to do. Despite all of that, there are still hidden dangers that can undo your hard work. Some of those dangers apply directly to your windshield. It can be damaged and worn in ways you may have never imagined. We’re going to tackle these mysteries, and you’re going to learn some of the ways you may have been harming your windshield without realizing it.
It’s easy to think that your windshield is so strong that you don’t have to do anything to take care of it. The truth is that it needs to be cleaned. If it isn’t, the buildup of dust and grime can end up entrenching marks into the glass. Even when dirt doesn’t get scratchy, it makes it hard to see through the glass. You should probably clean your windshield once a month. If the weather is particularly brutal, you might have to do it a little more than that.
You just got scolded for not cleaning your windshield enough, and now you’re getting it for doing the job wrong. It’s tough out there. But in all seriousness, it is important to clean the windshield properly.
While the glass is pretty strong, it is susceptible to scratching, and cleaning with the wrong stuff will prove that fact. A common mistake is using a sponge to clean the exterior of the windshield. It seems like you’re using a soft, gentle tool, but large sponges are notorious for picking up rocks. If that happens, you’re looking at sad damage when you were just trying to clean the windshield. Microfiber cloths are the safest things to use for getting that dirt up.
Similarly, you need to use the right cleaning products. The wrong stuff can leave streaks or residues on the glass. If they’re active enough, they can even damage the tint. Your best bet is to only use cleaners designed for tinted windows. This means forgoing ammonia products (which includes classic Windex).
As long as you use a safe cloth and good cleaner, then a light wash on a regular basis is enough to take good care of the windshield.
Huge Temperature Changes
This is inevitably going to happen to your windshield, but every time you avoid a big temperature change, you do your windshield a big favor. When temperature changes frequently or dramatically enough, it can stress and even crack the glass. In the worst cases, it can completely shatter the windshield.
This isn’t to say that running the heater in the middle of the winter is going to annihilate your windshield. But a gradual temperature increase is better for longevity. If you can tough it out, start off by turning the defroster to cool, and slowly shift to hotter temperatures. This allows the glass to thermally expand more slowly, and that protects the integrity of the material.
The same goes for air conditioning in the summer. The more time you give the glass to adjust to the changes, the better off you’ll be.
This brings us to the ultimate no-no. You should never defrost glass with warm water. Save yourself the trouble and watch YouTube videos of how devastating this is. Hopefully, you’ll find it convincing.
Hang on for a second. Using windshield wipers is important. You need to be able to see where you’re going. Windshield wipers are only really a problem in two scenarios.
The first is when they’re too worn out. The rubber coating can wear and crack. When that happens, wipers have been known to cut deep gouges into the glass. It leads to a total windshield replacement, which is neither cheap nor fun.
The second issue arises when the windshield is dirty. Sand is used to grind very hard materials. It can definitely scratch glass, and windshield wipers help that process along. Whenever you can, clean or rinse the windshield without engaging the wipers. Once you’re clear of large dirt, you can use the wipers normally.
Most importantly, check your wipers at least once a month to make sure they aren’t degrading.
Alas, despite your best efforts, windshield damage can still occur. If your best plans have been foiled and you need windshield repair around Fort Worth or Weatherford, check out the services of Advanced Auto Glass. We can get your glass fixed quickly and easily so that you don’t have to worry about driving with a compromised windshield.