How to Keep Your Windscreen Scratch Free
It’s easy to become focused on large, unmissable windscreen damage like chips and cracks, and completely ignore other less noticeable damage such as scratches. The one is a lot more visible than the other, and also seems to present a more immediate danger. But scratches in your windscreen glass can be just as dangerous if ignored for too long, affecting how clearly you see the road ahead of you. Where they do differ is that it is a lot easier to keep your windscreen scratch free than it is to prevent chips and cracks. And most of it has to do with basic maintenance and care.
Keep Your Wiper Fluid Topped Up
The easiest way to scratch your windscreen–and keep making the scratches worse? Use your wipers on a dry windscreen. Besides using them to keep the windscreen clear when it is raining, we also tend to use our wipers to clear dirt of the windscreen. Bugs, bird droppings, a splatter of mud; ending up with these on your windscreen is almost inevitable. And if it happens while you are driving, you will probably try to use your wipers to clear it away. Nothing wrong with that approach, as long as you first wet the windscreen using wiper fluid. This not only protects the wiper blades, it also minimises the risk of dry dirt being scraped across the glass and scratching it. Check and top up your wiper fluid at least once a month, so that you can always use your wipers safely to clear your windscreen of dirt.
Replace Your Wiper Blades Regularly
Wiper blades do deteriorate over time. How quickly this happens is influenced by a number of factors, including how frequently you use them, environmental impact, and the quality of the material. And unless you get into the habit of inspecting the wiper blades regularly for wear and tear, you’re unlikely to notice this until you use them in the middle of a rainstorm, and they don’t keep your windscreen as clear as they used to. This is not only hazardous, but it also increases the risk of your wipers scratching your windscreen. Worn wiper blades can lead to metal parts of the wiper arm coming into contact with your windscreen and scratching the glass repeatedly as the wiper moves back and forth. In most circumstances you should be replacing your wiper blades every six to twelve months.
Use the Right Cleaning Materials
Avoid using household cleaning materials to clean your windscreen, since the chemicals in them–particularly ammonia–can damage the glass. Similarly, only use microfibre or lint free cloths, and avoid using a cloth you’ve already used to clean the rest of the car. If you normally take your car to a car wash service to be cleaned, pay attention to how they clean the windscreen of other cars before you book your car in.
Pay Attention to Where You Park
Choose covered parking whenever it is available, and be weary of parking near construction or under a tree. If there isn’t covered parking available, a tree will offer some shade, but your car–and windscreen–could end up with leaves, twigs, and bird droppings on it. And trying to clear these off can result in micro scratches if not done properly. And parking too close to a construction site could see your car covered in dust and other particles that can also cause scratching if not cleaned off properly.