4 Things You Didn't Know About Caring For Your Windshield

While it's a relatively small part of your car, your windshield is of utmost importance when it comes to safe driving. It allows you to see clearly, protects you from flying debris, and it even contributes to the vehicle's overall structural integrity in the event of an accident. Obviously, making sure that it stays intact and free of flaws or weaknesses is essential for your safety and the safety of your passengers. But how much do you really know about taking care of your windshield? Check out some important information that will help keep your windshield intact and keep you safer when driving.

Change Your Windshield Wiper Blades

When was the last time that you changed your windshield wiper blades? If you can't remember, it's probably been too long. Windshield wiper blades are easy to overlook. People often believe that they don't need to be replaced until they're obviously failing. The truth is, old windshield wiper blades can do permanent damage to your windshield even if they're still basically working.

Check your windshield wiper blades for cracks or bent frames, and take note if they begin to squeak or leave streaks when you turn them on. These are all signs that you need new windshield wiper blades soon – before they damage your windshield. If your blades tend to crack because they're exposed to a lot of sunlight, consider investing in UV-resistant blades.

Check the Temperature Before You Wash Your Car

Keeping your car clean is an important part of protecting your paint job, but you have to be careful about washing your car in the summer and winter, when outdoor temperatures are at their most extreme. Temperature disparities between the glass and the water can result in cracks forming in your windshield. Small, barely perceptible flaws or chips in the glass will instantly turn into long, ugly cracks when hot water hits cold glass or vice versa.

To avoid this problem, use water that's closer to the temperature outdoors, or consider having your car professionally cleaned when the weather is extreme.

Prevent Frost With Vinegar Solution

Deicing your windows on a frosty morning takes time that you may not have to spare, and can lead to damage if you accidentally scrape your windshield while trying to clean it. It's safest to prevent ice from forming on your windshield in the first place, but this can be tricky if you have to park your car outdoors.

Luckily, you can create an inexpensive deicing solution with white vinegar. Just mix three parts vinegar and one part water, and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray your windshield before the temperatures drop for the night, and the solution will prevent frost from forming. You can also use this to safely deice your windshield if you forgot to preventatively spray it. Avoid allowing the mixture to sit on the painted surfaces of your car, as the vinegar may damage your paint job.

Repair Small Chips With Clear Nail Polish

It's always best to have chips in your windshield glass repaired professionally so they don't have a chance to grow larger. However, sometimes you simply can't make it to the repair shop right away. If your windshield is chipped by a rock or flying gravel, you can temporarily repair it and buy yourself some time. Just carry a bottle of clear nail polish in your glove compartment.

When you notice a chip, clean it, and the area around it. Dirt and debris will compromise your repair job. Apply a generous amount of the nail polish over the chip and the area surrounding it. This isn't a permanent solution, but it will protect your windshield for a short time, until you can get to the repair shop.

Windshield glass repair is safer and less expensive than replacing the whole windshield. By keeping a close eye out for chips or flaws and taking steps to repair any small cracks as soon as possible, you may be able to avoid having to replace your whole windshield. 

For more information, contact a local windshield repair company like Central Glass.