Minnesota winters can be tough on your auto glass, especially if you park outdoors. While many vehicle owners tend to focus on engine and battery maintenance during winter, your auto glass deserves the same level of attention. At Only 1 Auto Glass, we know a driver is only safe when his or her auto glass is completely intact. So, to help you maintain your auto glass—and your safety on the road—this winter, we’ve put together the following helpful tips on winter windshield maintenance.
Adjust Your Defrost Slowly
When you warm up your vehicle, it seems logical to turn the defrost to high, right? After all, the faster your windshield defrosts, the faster you can get on the road, right? While that thought process may hold some truth, it's not the best (or safest) method of defrosting a windshield.
Much like water contracts as it freezes, glass also contracts slightly when it becomes cold. When your defroster creates a sudden, drastic temperature shift on one side of the glass, that temperature change can cause existing chips and cracks to grow. If they become large enough, you’ll need to have a windshield replacement.
Use Your Ice Scraper Safely
If you can avoid using an ice scraper to chip away ice on your windshield, you should. Rather than using an ice scraper, use your vehicle’s heating system to do the heavy lifting for you. Gradually warming up your vehicle will allow ice buildup to melt as the interior of the glass heats up, which makes this option your safest bet.
When you’re in a hurry, however, an ice scraper becomes a necessity. To use your ice scraper safely, avoid applying excessive pressure to your auto glass as doing so can result in chips and cracks. If your windshield has existing damage, too much pressure can cause a small rock chip to grow into a large crack. To avoid auto glass repair, never use tools that are not specifically designed to remove ice and snow from your vehicle.
Consider Applying a Windshield Cover
If you must park outdoors, make sure you pay close attention to the weather forecast. When the forecast predicts freezing rain and ice, consider covering your windshield with a specialized tarp that helps protect the glass. Windshield tarps make morning frost and ice removal much less tedious because they prevent thick ice from forming on your auto glass. If you can’t find a windshield tarp at your local auto parts store, a regular tarp can serve the same purpose.
Avoid Using Warm Water to Melt Ice
Never use warm or hot water to melt ice on your windshield! Pouring warm water on your auto glass creates a rapid, dramatic temperature shift that can compromise the integrity of your windshield. Just as an ice cube cracks when dropped in a cup of warm water, you’re windshield can follow the same pattern. If you have existing cracks or chips, the glass is highly susceptible to damage from severe temperature shifts.
Only 1 Auto Glass: Your Windshield Repair Experts
Have you discovered potentially hazardous windshield chips or cracks? If so, it’s time to contact Only 1 Auto Glass for repairs. We specialize in auto glass repair and replacement, and with 15 locations throughout the Twin Cities metro, we’re right around the corner whenever you need us. If you can’t come to us, our team of mobile auto glass repair technicians will come straight to you.
To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, give our team a call at 651-789-1111 or feel free to message us on our contact page. If you’re ready to get started, feel free to request your free estimate.