Basic Tips for Maintaining Your Windscreen
Your car’s windscreen is not only there to make driving more comfortable in any conditions, it is also meant to protect you and your passengers from foreign objects and in the event of a car accident. But in doing so it is also subjected to a lot each time you go driving, so it is important to follow some basic steps that will help maintain the integrity of your windscreen, ensuring it doesn’t fail you when you need it most.
Reduce Exposure to Extreme Temperature Changes
The structural integrity of your windscreen isn’t only affected by it regularly being hit by small and large stones and other foreign objects, sometimes at high speed. Extreme temperatures and rapid changes in temperature put a lot of strain on windscreens. If you’ve ever discovered a crack on your windscreen that wasn’t there the last time you used you vehicle, there’s a good chance temperature changes caused it. If you live in an area that gets extremely hot during summer, try to always park your car in the shade, preferably under cover, and in areas where the overnight temperature drops below freezing, avoid leaving your car park out in the open.
But it isn’t only the outside temperature that can affect autoglass; heating or cooling the interior of your car can be just as risky if done too quickly. Instead of turning the car’s ventilation system on high immediately, start with a low setting and gradually increase it until you are comfortable. It might take a bit longer than you want, but you won’t risk cracking it your windscreen at the same time. If possible, close the vents immediately below your windscreen too.
Replace Your Windscreen Wipers Regularly
Windscreen wipers are not designed to last forever, but they are often the last thing we think about changing on a regular basis. The wiper blades themselves become dry and brittle over time, resulting in the blades cracking and breaking. When this happens, the metal parts of the wipers could come into contact with your windscreen and start scratching them whenever you use them. In heavy rain you might not notice the scratching, but you would notice that your wipers aren’t as useful as normal. When this happens, make a point of replacing them as soon as possible to prevent any further damage to your windscreen. Try to have your windscreen cleaned at least once a week, and then get into the habit of checking the condition of your wipers when you do this, looking for cracks or gaps in the rubber blades.
Use Proper Cleaning Materials
Paper towels, dry cloths, and regular household soap are always close at hand when you need to quickly clean your windscreen, but they are definitely not suited to the job. Dry cloths will move dirt and dust across the windscreen, leaving micro scratches that will worsen over time. Paper towels too can be a little abrasive, and household cleaners might have ammonia and other harsh chemicals in them that weaken the glass. Try to always use a glass cleaner designed for windscreens, or at least one that doesn’t have ammonia in it. Microfibre cloths are best for using on your car, but make sure they are wet or damp, only using a dry cloth to dry the windscreen at the end, after you are sure all dirt and dust has been removed.
Stop Slamming the Car Doors
We seldom slam car doors on purpose, but you probably close doors with more force than is necessary most of the time. This does two things that could damage your windscreen over time: the first is a rapid change in air pressure inside your car, which can exert an outward force on the windscreen, affecting the seal around the windscreen over time. The second is vibrations, and while your windscreen is exposed to plenty of vibrations when you are driving, slamming car doors is a different, sometimes violent vibration that might not cause any cracks in the windscreen, but could cause existing cracks to expand.
Have Chips and Cracks Repaired Immediately
And on the topic of chips and cracks, you could be a diligent and careful driver at all times and still end up with cracks and chips. They’re not easy to avoid, but they also won’t go away if you just ignore them. The sooner you take your car in for a professional to take a look at any cracks or chips in your windscreen, the better the chances are that they can be repaired without replacing the whole windscreen. Where the cracks and chips are located isn’t the only factor that influences whether they can be repaired, it is also the size and depth, and the longer you ignore a crack or chip, the bigger and deeper it becomes.