As a vehicle owner, how often do you contemplate the integrity of your auto glass? Probably not that often, right? After all, if the glass looks fine, what’s there to worry about, right? While your vehicle windows might look fine at the moment, you could be engaging in a few day-to-day habits that put your auto glass at risk.
At Only 1 Auto Glass, we know the majority of drivers do their best to take care of their vehicles. All too often, though, it’s the little things they don’t think about that make the biggest negative impact.
What kind of little things? If you’re guilty of any of the following five deeds, for the sake of your auto glass, think twice before you do them again.
1. Cleaning It With Household Glass Cleaner
Many household glass cleaners contain harsh ingredients that can damage your auto glass and window seals with repeated use.
One of the most common window cleaner ingredients, ammonia, can deteriorate both your window tint and the protective seal around the glass. If you want to keep your vehicle windows in great condition, it’s in your best interest to avoid using run-of-the-mill cleaning products when you clean your ride.
Instead, opt for auto-glass-specific cleaning products, which you should be able to find at your local auto parts store. Alternatively, cleaning your auto glass with a simple mixture of white vinegar and water can help you avoid seal deterioration and an unexpected auto glass repair.
Whatever you do, avoid cleaning your auto glass with steel wool, too.
2. Following Too Closely
Ever heard of the three-second rule? Most drivers are familiar with the concept, but unfortunately, it doesn’t translate very well once they get behind the wheel.
But the three-second rule is designed to give you enough space to stop completely in the event the driver in front of you suddenly slams on the brakes. While that’s the rule’s primary focus, it’s also a great way to avoid auto glass repair or replacement.
When you follow other vehicles too closely, you significantly raise your risk of incurring auto glass damage because, at high speeds, vehicle tires kick up road debris. That debris can fly directly toward your windshield at high velocity, and depending on its size, it can chip or crack the glass.
However, when you leave enough space between you and the vehicle ahead of you, flying road debris has plenty of time to lose velocity. Rather than flying directly at your windshield, it’ll fall to the ground instead.
3. Setting Your Defrost Too High
Have you ever dropped an ice cube into a glass of room-temperature water? That familiar crackle and pop that ensues is a result of a phenomenon called differential expansion, which occurs when an icy object comes into sudden contact with a warmer object.
Here’s what’s going on: The outer layer of the ice cube warms up and expands, but the inner layer stays cold and remains contracted. Because the layers of the ice cube expand at different rates, the outer portion of the cube immediately cracks. So what exactly does this have to do with your auto glass?
The glass is very cold when there’s frost or snow on your windshield. But, when you warm up your vehicle by immediately cranking the defrost to high, you expose the inner layer of your windshield to a very sudden temperature change.
If your windshield contains even minor chips or cracks, the sudden temperature change can cause them to spread. If you’re in the habit of turning your defrost all the way up, you might be on the fast track toward an auto glass repair or a full windshield replacement.
4. Using Gas Station Squeegees
Chances are you’ve used a fuel station squeegee to clean dead bugs and grime from your vehicle’s windshield, especially during long road trips. But while that squeegee might seem to be a harmless and useful, complimentary perk of fueling up your tank, it can be more damaging than you might assume.
Why? Because at most gas stations, the cleaning solution that those seemingly harmless squeegees sit in isn’t really clean at all. Typically, that liquid is super-dirty and positively loaded with tiny dirt and sand particles, and it doesn’t get swapped out nearly as often as it should.
When you pull that squeegee out and start scrubbing away at your windshield, all of that abrasive particulate matter can easily etch tiny, almost undetectable scratches in the glass. While you may not be able to detect those scratches with your naked eye, the issue can compound the more you use those squeegees.
Eventually, you could end up creating a perfect environment for unnecessary glare while you’re driving (scratches can reflect light from the sun). If your windshield ends up with serious scratching from years of dirty squeegee use, you might even end up with hazy, cloudy-looking glass.
5. Parking in Potentially Hazardous Areas
How often do you park beneath trees? Or beneath icicles during winter? Have you ever parked next to a ballpark, on the curb, in a super-crowded parking lot, or in a sketchy neighborhood? If you’re guilty of having parked in any of these places, now is a great time to stop.
Whether or not you realize it, all of the aforementioned areas can put your auto glass at risk for damage. If you want to give yourself the best chance of avoiding auto glass repairs, do your best to park in safe, covered areas at all times.
If you’re out and about, try to find a parking garage, and when you’re at home, try to avoid parking on the street and leaving your vehicle completely exposed.
Check out our blog, Think Twice Before You Park Your Vehicle in These 6 Places to learn more.
Get a Free Auto Glass Repair Estimate in the Twin Cities
Auto glass damage happens—it’s just a fact of life. That’s why our team at Only 1 Auto Glass provides the most comprehensive, convenient auto glass repair and replacement in the Twin Cities metro. Whether you need a windshield chip repair, a back glass repair, or new side windows, our highly trained team is always here to take care of your vehicle.
To learn more about our auto glass services or to schedule your appointment, give our team a call at 651-789-1111. Or, you can always feel free to message us on our contact page. For your convenience, you can also request a free estimate online.