Think back to when you were a kid. Remember what it was like when that first snow of the year hit, the excitement of getting to go out and play in the fluffy powder (not to mention school closing!). Remember your mother also scolding you that you needed to bundle up tight before going out ‘so you don’t catch a cold.’ Just like sudden temperature changes aren’t good for your body, they’re not good for your windshield either. Your windshield, fortunately, can’t ‘catch a cold’, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t affected.
Your windshield is a marvel of modern science
Your windshield was crafted by superheating various minerals to form the sheet and then cooled rapidly. While temperature change was vital to the creation of your windshield, it can also be detrimental once it’s been installed on your vehicle. Frequent, rapid temperature change causes the molecules in your windshield to contract and expand, which can make existing cracks and chips worse.
If you’re interested in learning a bit more about your windshield, head over to this post we wrote about the most common causes of windshield damage.
Melting ice and snow are great for snowmen but can turn into projectiles!
Snow that’s just beginning to melt can be some of the best snowball fight material, but if other drivers don’t clean off their vehicles properly, the snow and ice can come loose and find it’s way onto your windshield on the highway. A freeze followed quickly by a spike in temperature can create hazardous driving conditions which can also weaken your windshield glass. Be wary of barely scraped off SUVs with a full inch of snow on the top of their cab. Keep your distance!
Salt and sand are great for keeping the roads safe, but not so safe for your windshield
We don’t recommend ignoring how dirty your windshield gets during the winter. That salt and sand streaked across your windshield from kicked up melted snow can, with the help of your windshield wipers, cause issues over time. Your windshield wipers are designed to keep your windshield clear of moisture, but can smear dirt and sand around, causing a sandpaper-like effect. Glass and sandpaper don’t mix well. We recommend cleaning your windshield on a regular basis, even if it feels like an act of futility. Remember, it’s not all about looks.
If you have an existing crack in your windshield, the best thing you can do is get it repaired before it gets any worse. While a small ding can be easily fixed, if it expands, you may need your entire windshield replaced. In the dramatically changing weather this season, it’s better to be safe than sorry!