March 24, 2020
There is a common misconception that drivers are powerless when it comes to safeguarding their vehicle’s windshield. The little-known truth is drivers of every type of vehicle can be proactive to prevent costly and possibly dangerous windshield cracks, chips and other types of damage. Abide by the guidelines detailed below and you will have done your part to keep your windshield intact no matter where you drive or park.
Resist the Temptation to Slam Your Vehicle Doors
If you are like most people, you slam your car, truck or SUV’s doors from time to time. Whether slamming your vehicle’s doors is a habit or if you do it occasionally in anger, it has to stop. The slamming of automobile doors creates a powerful vibration that gradually weakens the windshield glass. If you continue to slam your vehicle’s doors every single day, it will heighten the chances of the windshield either cracking or chipping. Close your doors gently, advise your passengers to do the same and you will have done your part to minimize the rattling of your vehicle’s glass.
Drive at a Safe Distance from Other Vehicles
Though it might be common sense, the best way to safeguard your vehicle’s windshield is to leave at least two car lengths between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Maintaining this safe driving distance or an even lengthier distance greatly reduces the chances of a collision that could compromise the windshield as well as the rest of the vehicle. Furthermore, leaving a substantial amount of space between your vehicle and those in your vicinity reduces the chances of objects coming into contact with your vehicle’s glass.
Mind the Windshield Wipers
Sometimes, it is the small stuff that matters the most. Take a close look at your vehicle’s windshield wiper blades to ensure they are properly moving water away from the windshield. If the windshield wiper blades are misshapen or if there are patchy spots on the windshield, do the smart thing by replacing them with new blades. The bottom line is windshield wipers will eventually lose their shape, consequently applying even more unnecessary pressure to the windshield, ultimately causing the glass to prove that much more vulnerable to damage.
Avoid Areas with Heavy Traffic
The chances of ending up with a cracked or chipped windshield when driving on a busy highway or the main drag in town puts your vehicle’s windshield in harm’s way. Such busy areas are rife with stones, rocks, debris and other potentially dangerous objects that have the potential to compromise your vehicle’s windshield. Instead of driving with the pack, take the road less traveled to reduce the chances of the windshield suffering damage by a wayward object kicked up by another vehicle’s tires or falling from an overpass above.
Park in a Shaded Space
Though few are aware of it, a blazing hot sunny day worsens already-weakened parts of windshield glass. If you suspect or know a part of your windshield is cracked or weakened, do the smart thing by parking your vehicle in a shaded space. The lower temperatures will help prevent trouble spots from worsening, ultimately protecting your windshield so it serves you well across the long haul.
Do Not Use Chemical-laden Cleaning Agents
It is a mistake to use windshield cleaning agents rife with chemicals. Such chemicals tend to be harsh on windshields, possibly causing discoloration of glass or even removing the windshield’s protective coating altogether. In particular, it is wise to avoid the use of ammonia on your vehicle’s windshield as it dries out the glass as well as the protective barrier surrounding it.
The better approach is to use a cleaning product approved by the maker of your automobile. Some drivers even go as far as combining water with vinegar for a DIY (do it yourself) windshield cleaning solution. However, if you take this approach, be sure to rinse off the cleaning solution after its application.