Winter is officially here in the Twin Cities, and if you haven’t yet taken steps to protect your vehicle from the harsh weather, now is the time to get going. You can get started by changing your tires, making sure your heating system is fully functional, and double-checking your brake pads for excessive wear. But that’s not all you need to worry about.
Like the rest of your vehicle, your auto glass requires special attention throughout the snowy season. Below, the experts at Only 1 Auto Glass share tips to help you protect your windshield from damage this winter.
Defrost Before You Use an Ice Scraper
If you’re short on time, breaking out the ice scraper is the quickest way to clear your windshield of snow and ice. But depending on how bad the buildup is, using an ice scraper alone may not be the safest course of action for your auto glass.
When you must exert considerable force to remove ice from your windshield, your risk of damaging the glass rises considerably. To avoid windshield repairs this winter, defrost your windshield for at least 5-10 minutes before you attempt scraping. When there’s excessive ice on your auto glass, allowing your vehicle a few minutes to warm up will make the scraping process significantly easier.
Always Defrost Your Auto Glass Gradually
When it’s freezing outside, it’s tempting to crank the defrost all the way up as soon as you turn on your vehicle. But that practice could put your windshield at risk for damage, especially if it already contains minor chips or cracks.
Auto glass contracts slightly when it’s cold outside and expands gradually as it warms up. But when you expose your windshield to a sudden, drastic temperature shift, that process doesn’t happen as it should.
Instead, the outer layer of the glass warms rapidly, which causes it to expand. Meanwhile, the inner layer of glass remains contracted. This phenomenon can cause small cracks and chips in your windshield to quickly grow more severe. To avoid windshield repairs, always defrost your auto glass gradually; it should take about 15-20 minutes if you do it right.
Maintain a Safe Following Distance on the Road
You might take the time to thoroughly clear your windshield of snow and ice before you drive, but that doesn’t mean other drivers behave similarly. Far too many rushed, careless drivers remove just enough snow and ice from their windshields to see through a peephole while driving. They don’t, however, remove the mounds of snow on top of their vehicles before they hit the road.
This practice can present a considerable hazard to other drivers because excess snow can quickly become airborne when a vehicle hits high speeds. And if you’re following one of those careless drivers too closely, a massive chunk of snow could blindside you in an instant.
While flying chunks of snow aren’t likely to damage your windshield, a chunk of ice colliding with your auto glass can certainly necessitate windshield repair. The best way to avoid this scenario is to practice maintaining a safe following distance every time you’re behind the wheel.
Always leave at least three seconds of distance between the front of your vehicle and the rear of the vehicle in front of you. To be extra careful, it’s best to extend that distance to a minimum of five seconds when roadways are especially icy.
Only 1 Auto Glass: Twin Cities Windshield Repair Experts
If you need auto glass repairs this winter, trust your vehicle to our team at Only 1 Auto Glass. We specialize in windshield repair and replacement, as well as all other forms of auto glass repair and installation. To learn more, request a free estimate, or schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 651-789-1111 or contact us online.