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Most people don’t think about their auto windshield unless it gets broken, cracked or damaged. However, it’s important to care for your auto windshield – especially in winter when temperatures drop. Here are some auto windshield maintenance tips to help prevent the expense and inconvenience of a damaged windshield:
Keep your windshield clean Wipers and ice scrapers can cause scratches when they run over stuck-on dirt. Besides that, a clean windshield makes it easier to see small cracks and chips before they spread into large ones. Clean the windshield with the recommended washer fluid and glass cleaning products. Always use clean soft rags or squeegees.
Check the wipers Make sure the rubber covering isn’t worn or broken, which can expose the plastic and metal beneath and cause scratches to the windshield. Since wiper blades are often prone to breakage in cold temperatures, try more durable blades that are made to handle snow, ice and colder temperatures.
Take care of small chips before temperatures plunge A tiny rock chip that didn’t cause problems all year can turn into a huge spidery crack when the windshield freezes in winter. Contact an auto glass maintenance and repair specialist to repair small chips. Often they can come to your location to make the repairs easily and inexpensively before they turn into big problems.
Defrost your windshield slowly Allow time for the car to heat up and the windshield defroster to get warm and melt ice and snow. If you have to, use a de-icer that is approved for glass to melt ice. Don’t pour hot water on the windshield – the sudden change of temperature can cause cracking.
Use a plastic ice scraper to remove stubborn ice Metal spatulas, knives or tools can scratch the windshield.
Use a winter washer fluid Check the reservoir often to make sure it is full. Have the reservoir repaired or replaced if it is leaking. Remember to take the time to prepare your car and your windshield for winter. Have a checklist ready and make sure you have winter washer fluid, the proper de-icer products and several ice scrapers on hand. Keep them in a place you can access in winter, not just in the trunk where they might be trapped behind a layer of ice and a frozen lock.