Basic Windscreen Safety Checklist
Your vehicle’s windscreen plays such an important role in keeping you and your passengers safe that it makes sense to regularly perform some basic checks to ensure it continues to keep everyone safe at all times. We’ve put together a simple list of items you should check or take care of regularly, some more frequently than others, but all critical to safety.
Keep the Windscreen Clean
Keeping your windscreen clean doesn’t only mean you are able to clearly see the road, and any hazards, ahead of you, it also makes it easier for you to spot any new chips or cracks in the windscreen that require attention.
Check the Windscreen Wiper Blades
Windscreen wipers are easily overlooked and all too often the first time we realise they need to be replaced is when they fail to clear the windscreen properly in the middle of a rainstorm. The rubber blades on windscreen wipers are constantly exposed to the elements and degrade quite easily. It is recommended that they be replaced every 6-12 months, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check on them at least once a month – without running them across a dry windscreen. The rest of the windscreen wiper assembly is more durable but should still be checked for wear-and-tear, particularly any bent pieces that could scratch the windscreen when in use.
Top Up the Windscreen Wiper Fluid
Windscreen wipers should never be used on a dry windscreen: you don’t only risk damaging the rubber blades but also the glass windscreen, which could be scratched when the wipers skitter over it. By keeping your windscreen wiper fluid topped up you can confidently clean your windscreen of bugs and other debris that dirties your windscreen while driving.
Check for Leaks Around the Edge
If you’ve recently had your windscreen replaced and discover that it leaks when it rains or your car gets wet, it could indicate that the installation was not done correctly. If you’ve never had your windscreen replaced and it suddenly starts leaking around the edges, this could mean the sealant is damaged or degrading. Both of these don’t only mean the interior of your car can start smelling damp whenever it rains, they also mean your safety is at risk as your windscreen is no longer fully secure. One of the easiest ways to check for leaks is to turn the ventilation system on high, close all the car windows and doors, and then pour soapy water over the windscreen’s edges; any air being pushed out from inside the car will cause the soapy water to bubble more wherever the leak is located. Once you’ve identified a leak around your windscreen it is important to take it in to an auto glass specialist for further assessment.
Get Chips and Cracks Repaired Immediately
Chips and cracks don’t only weaken the structural integrity of your windscreen, they also have a habit of spreading when left unrepaired. And this weakens the glass even more. If that isn’t reason enough to have chips and cracks repaired immediately, consider then too that the smaller they are the higher the chance of them being repairable. Once they exceed a certain size a repair won’t be possible, and you will be forced to replace the windscreen.
None of these basic safety checks require too much effort, and some only need to be done every three to six months, but they can have a significant impact on keeping you and other road users safe.