You could probably guess that around here, we take good care of our windshields. We know that they’re an essential component in the safety of our cars, and they last longer when we take care of them! Your windshield keeps you in your car when you’re in an accident, it supports your car’s airbags, and if you’re in a rollover accident, your windshield supports the roof to prevent it from collapsing on you.
Your windshield has got your back, so it deserves a little TLC, don’t you think?
1. Choose the right product to use on your windshield
What do you clean your windshield with? When was the last time you cleaned your windshield?
Avoid any products containing ammonia on your windshield. That includes household products–many contain ammonia.
Ammonia can dry out plastic, vinyl, rubber, and leather and can also release fumes that are dangerous for you to inhale. Also, if you have tinted windows, you cannot use ammonia-based cleaners on them.
Fortunately, there are great products out there just for tinted windows. You can usually find it on the label. Just be sure that whatever product you use on your windshield states that it is “ammonia free” on the label.
Some people just use water to clean their windshield and, while it is safest for your windshield, it’s not strong enough to get rid of those bug guts. But if you really want to get those bug guts, you can wipe down your windshield once a week with vinegar or glass cleaner.
It’s also best to use a microfiber or cotton towel when cleaning your windshield, as they’re absorbent and won’t leave messy streaks all over your windshield.
2. Try to park in the shade.
Did you know that overexposure to direct sunlight can actually shorten the lifespan of your windshield? Yikes. In general, it’s best to look for a shady place where your windshield won’t feel the heat of the sun all day. And if you’ve read a few of our previous blogs on windshield winter care, you know that dramatic temperature changes can cause the cracks or chips in your windshield to expand. The temperature changes put pressure on the windshield which puts extra pressure on an already punctured part of your windshield.
With the same idea in mind, when you’re heating up your car in the winter or cooling it off in the summer, you should do so slowly. Cranking the heat or A/C can cause that same stress on your windshield. If you have a garage at home, but you’re not parking in it, clean it out today! By keeping your car in the garage, or a parking deck, you will protect it from extreme temperatures and random debri that can fall on your windshield. That’ll save you an unexpected windshield replacement!
3. Get rock chips repaired immediately.
In reference to #2, it’s in your best interest to get rock chips repaired immediately. If you’re driving down the road and a rock pops up, hits your windshield, and leaves a star-shaped crack right in front of your face, then you definitely have to repair that as soon as possible. Any cracks or chips that obstruct the driver’s vision could get you a ticket. Maybe you were lucky and it hit the passenger side of your windshield, but still left that crack. You still need to get it repaired quickly.
Even a small flaw is monumental when it comes to the structural integrity of your vehicle. Your windshield holds the roof of your vehicle, that’s a lot of weight. Just like you can’t help your friend move their furniture when you have a sprained wrist, it’s difficult for your vehicle to hold that roof up in the case of an accident because it’s strength is compromised by the crack.
The longer that chip or crack goes unrepaired, the more likely it becomes that you’ll have to replace the entire windshield, as opposed to just paying for a repair. As the chip or crack spreads, the less likely it is that it can be repaired.
4. Don’t slam your car door!
Next time you’re running late or just angry, think twice before you slam that door behind you. While it may save you a fraction of a second or give you an outlet for your anger, you’re going to regret it. Every time you slam that car door with all your might, all that pressure is sent to the windshield via vibrations. And those cracks or chips you have in your windshield? They can spread when those intense vibrations put pressure on them.
Do you have kids that are notorious for using all their weight to close the car door? Give ‘em a little lesson on how to properly close the door enough without having to throw their entire body behind the door, and then, essentially, into your car’s windshield.
5. Maintain your windshield wiper blades too.
Can you remember the last time you replaced your windshield wipers? If not, then it may be time to do that! A lot of the scratches and debris you get on your windshield come from those wipers. While you may only use them when it rains, they’re still always on the outside of your vehicle with no protection. Think about it, one day you’re driving down a gravel road with dirt and small rocks popping up at your windshield and falling down, right to the wiper blades. Then it starts to rain. Those sand particles and other debris just get stuck to the windshield wipers, which you then rub all over your windshield when you activate them. Whoops!
Not only should you replace them every 6 months to a year, as you notice a change in your visibility, but you should also wash your windshield wiper blades. It’s as easy as using a towel, soak it in windshield fluid washer, and wipe the blades to get rid of all that dirt that gets stuck.
Now you know how to keep your windshield in tip-top shape! If anything unexpected happens, you know to call Taylor Auto Glass at (336) 851-1380 and we’ll come to you!