Windshields play a critical role in keeping drivers and passengers safe. To maintain their windshields, drivers need to do more than rely on a squeegee and window cleaner. Weather, road conditions and other drivers can impact a windshield’s longevity. Check out these tips to help protect your windshield.
Choose the right windshield wiper fluid to help prevent windshield cracks. Make sure your wiper fluid is weatherproof. If you drive in areas where the temperatures regularly fall and/or stay below the freezing mark, choose a winter blend fluid. Additionally, in the summer, avoid ammonia-based cleaners that can damage a vehicle’s window tint.
Replace windshield wipers regularly — every six months to a year. Wiper blades also should be replaced if they start to streak water, make a squeaky sound or leave a milky film after wiping.
Maintain safe driving practices. Avoid driving behind large trucks on the highway and always keep an ample amount of space between vehicles. Also, keep to a slow speed through construction zones. Slow speeds help you avoid construction debris.
Park strategically to protect your windshield. Protecting your windshield from the elements, especially rapid temperature changes, is important. Small cracks can expand if extreme temperature changes occur. Try to keep your vehicle parked in a garage or in a shady location. Also, avoid parking under a tree if a storm is approaching. Additionally, avoid parking near baseball fields, golf courses or parks to avoid flying balls.
Periodically inspect your windshield for chips and small cracks. A cracked windshield can impact a vehicle’s structural integrity, increasing the risk of serious or fatal injury in an accident. Repairing a chipped windshield can be more cost-effective than a full replacement. If your windshield has a chip, try to avoid slamming the vehicle’s doors. The vibration from closing a door can cause a chip to expand into a spider-web crack. Waiting too long to repair your windshield can cause chips to turn into cracks, requiring a full windshield replacement. However, windshield chips or cracks that cause obstructed views should be replaced immediately.
Consult with your independent insurance agent about your auto glass coverage – insurance companies typically want you to fix compromised windshields for your safety, and often include no cost windshield repair on their auto policies.