Imagine waking up for work, rolling out of bed, getting ready, and heading out of the house. You tap the ‘unlock’ button on your wireless key without looking, all while you check your email on your phone. You glance up and notice your car or truck is covered in a thick layer of frost. You’re already running a few minutes late – we know, there isn’t any better place than under your comforter in the winter and hitting snooze is so easy – and now you have to defrost your windshield before you can even think of backing out. Five minutes of scraping can feel like an eternity.
Luckily, there are number ways to protect your windshield from the cold – and we’re going to share them.
One of the best ways to protect your windshield from the cold is to protect it ahead of time. Keep tabs on the weather, watching for a sharp decline in temperature overnight. If you know the temperature is dipping down, especially if there will be freezing rain or snow, we suggest finding a way to cover your windshield. Parking in a garage is ideal, but if that’s not an option there are tarps designed to protect one’s windshield that can be purchased for around $20.
If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to pick up a snow cover, a cardboard box, cut flat, might just do the trick. It may not look ideal, but it can save you fifteen minutes of scraping and protect that big sheet of glass that shields you from birds, bugs, and debris while driving down the highway.
Don’t forget to pull your windshield wipers away from the glass. This will help keep ice from building up and causing the rubber to tear and require replacing sooner. If they do have ice built up, take a small cloth and pour a bit of rubbing alcohol on it and rub the ice away.
P.S. Don’t forget about your side mirrors! A plastic bag wrapped around the mirror with a rubber band will do wonders for keeping ice and snow from building up. Keep a pair in your glovebox!
What NOT to do!
Never pour warm or hot water directly onto the windshield! Quickly altering the temperature of glass, as we discussed in a previous post, can be incredibly harmful to your windshield, causing it to crack or even shatter. We suggest never pouring liquid of any kind onto your windshield, even if it does seem like a quick way to defrost it!
It’s also best to let your windshield warm up gradually. It’s tempting to turn the heat up full blast and flip the switch to defrosters, but again, rapid temperature changes rarely bode well for the health of your windshield. Turn the heat on in the car, but don’t switch it to defrosters. Give the glass time to gradually heat.
Don’t drive while your view is obstructed by snow or ice.
It’s tempting to try and hurry up and go, but this is a danger to not only your windshield but you and other drivers around you. Be patient – even if it means running late.
If you notice any chips or cracks, getting them treated immediately is most important in the winter. As we just discussed, plummeting temperatures lead to ruined windshields. Give yours a thorough look over and give us a call if you find and chips or cracks – no matter how small. You might wake up the next morning and find that chip has transformed into a full-blown crack!