Winter is practically upon us in the Twin Cities, and if you want your vehicle to survive the harshest season of them all, you need to be diligent about maintaining it. Aside from swapping out your summer tires for winter ones, periodically washing the undercarriage of your vehicle, and keeping your fluids topped up, you also need to maintain your auto glass.
What exactly does winter windshield maintenance involve? Read on for three of our top snowy-weather auto glass care tips!
1. Schedule Auto Glass Repairs for Existing Chips or Cracks
If your windshield has any minor damage, no matter how small, it’s crucial that you have that damage repaired before the coldest days hit.
Why? Because auto glass contracts slightly when it’s freezing outdoors. When a windshield is fully intact, that phenomenon doesn’t present a problem. But when there’s a chip or crack present, the glass on either side of the damage point contracts away from the damage. And as the glass pulls away from the chip or crack, the damaged area will inevitably grow.
If you don’t want to risk needing a complete windshield replacement, scheduling a quick repair can make all the difference. If you’re short on time, opt for a mobile repair and have the experts come to you.
But be aware that some types of damage aren’t eligible for repairs. Check out 4 signs it’s time to replace your auto glass to learn more.
2. Replace Worn Windshield Wipers
Has it been a while since you last swapped out your vehicle’s wiper blades? If so, you’ll want to replace them if the rubber looks worn.
If you leave them in place, the worn rubber can become very brittle when outdoor temperatures drop. When that happens, it can peel away from the metal structural component of the blade. Obviously, you don’t want bare metal scraping along your windshield — unless you like the idea of putting huge, irreparable scratches in your auto glass.
3. Use Safe Snow & Ice Removal Tactics
When you’re running late, you might be tempted to do whatever’s necessary to get stuck-on snow and ice off your windshield as quickly as possible. But don’t cave to temptation, or you could end up irreparably damaging your auto glass.
Start your vehicle and turn on the defroster if you need to clear frost, stubborn ice, or a load of snow from your windshield. Don’t crank it to high immediately since rapid temperature changes can potentially crack the glass.
After turning your defrost on, use a plastic ice scraper (ideally one with a snow brush on one side) to brush away snow and chip away ice. Avoid using metal tools to scrape off stubborn, thick ice, as metal can easily scratch or chip your windows.
If you’re really in a hurry, you can try using tepid water to melt ice and snow a bit faster. Or, you can mix up a solution of two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water in a spray bottle and spray that on the ice instead.
Ideally, you should make it a priority to start your vehicle about 15-20 minutes before you need to leave, which should be plenty of time for any stuck-on ice and snow to melt.
Need Auto Glass Repairs in the Twin Cities?
If your windshield has any minor chips or cracks, bring it to our team at Only 1 Auto Glass before winter hits! We have multiple locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro for your convenience and can also perform mobile repairs if you can’t stop by one of our shops.
To schedule an appointment or get an estimate, give us a call today at 651-789-1111 or request a free estimate online, and we’ll get in touch!