We all know that winter can be hard on our vehicles, but did you know your car can take a beating during the summer, too? Summer temperatures can wreak havoc on your windshield, which is why you should always take steps to protect it from damage. 

The sun and heat can both cause your glass to heat up and expand, which can cause the crack or chip to spread rapidly. If this happens, the crack or chip can become too large to repair, and your entire windshield will need to be replaced. 

At Only 1 Auto Glass, we know that when you’re driving, you’re only as safe as your car’s weakest link. If that happens to be your windshield, you should have it repaired promptly to protect the integrity of your vehicle. 

And if your windshield is in great shape already,  we have a few tips to help you keep it that way.

Park in the Shade

High temperatures can stress even a fully intact windshield, which means they can seriously overstress a windshield with a couple of chips or a minor crack. A shaded spot can help minimize the amount of sun that hits your windshield, preventing it from heating up and contracting, which can cause the chip or crack to grow.

Ideally, you should park in a garage, if possible, but if you must park in the shade of a tree, that’ll suffice temporarily. 

Also, keep in mind that debris can easily fall from a tree and impact your already damaged auto glass, which will inevitably necessitate a complete windshield replacement, so choose carefully.

Be Careful Where You Park

During summer, everyone is out and about enjoying the warmer weather — kids frolic in parks, baseball fields are full of activity, and streets are lined with basketball hoops just waiting for a game of pickup. 

Flying balls and rogue children’s toys are notorious for causing curbside auto glass damage, so if you can avoid parking on the curb, do it. You should also be careful where you park your vehicle near playgrounds and ball fields since these areas are full of potential auto glass hazards.

So what does all this mean for your vehicle? Unfortunately, it often means a cracked windshield or windows — unless you’re careful about where you park. 

Avoid Using a Reflective Shade

Though you want to keep your car cool during the summer, you should not use a reflective windshield shade until the crack or chip is repaired. Reflective shades work in one of two ways to keep your car cooler. 

Some shades absorb heat, while others reflect heat. Either option causes more heat to sit on your windshield, which causes your car’s glass to expand. As it expands, the crack or chip can expand, too.

Curious whether that chip or crack can be fixed or if you need entirely new glass? Check out our article on What Types of Windshield Damage Are Eligible.

Slowly Cool Your Car Down

A hot car is inevitable in the summer. Every time you get in your car, and it’s hot, your first reaction is to turn the air conditioning on full blast. 

Much like an ice cube will crack if you drop it into a cup of warm water, your windshield can crack suddenly when it’s exposed to dramatic and sudden temperature changes. The immediate temperature difference between the hot and the cold air can cause your windshield glass to contract, which can cause your crack or chip to grow or even shatter quickly.

While you wait for a convenient time to schedule those auto glass repairs you need, make sure you dial up your a/c gradually whenever you need to use it. 

Drive With Caution

If you’re prone to driving fast or erratically, you’ll need to change your ways until you get your windshield repaired. Whipping around corners too fast, cruising over speed bumps too quickly, and even hitting potholes with a little too much speed can all cause a glass chip or crack to spread suddenly. 

If you tend to slam your doors or trunk, avoid doing that, too. Damaged glass can be delicate, and any amount of impact or considerable vibration can easily encourage the existing damage to grow worse.  

Watch Your Speed on Loose Gravel Roads

There may not be many gravel roads in the metro area, but if you’re heading to a rural area for the weekend, drive slowly on dirt roadways. 

As a general rule, it’s best to keep your speed at 35 mph or under to avoid kicking up rocks and other debris that can crack your auto glass. 

Park Under Covered Areas in Stormy Weather 

The Twin Cities has its share of severe weather, and unless you park in a covered space, your auto glass is vulnerable to damage whenever a storm rolls through town. 

Just a few of the things that can force you to pursue auto glass repair or replacement after a storm include:

  • Heavy hail

  • High winds capable of lifting and propelling debris

  • Falling tree branches

  • Downed power poles and power lines

  • Downed sign poles

Maintain a Safe Following Distance to Avoid Road Debris

Summer is road construction season in the Twin Cities, and with road construction comes huge trucks carrying gravel and other materials that can damage your auto glass. Some of these materials will inevitably fall off those trucks and end up on the road. When you follow other drivers too closely, their tires can hit that debris and propel it straight at your windshield. 

But your auto glass doesn’t have to fall victim to a piece of flying road debris. When you maintain a safe following distance by adhering to the three-second rule, you can protect your windshield from rock chips and cracks for the most part. 

If you do end up getting a small rock chip or a minor crack, tending to windshield repairs as promptly as possible will ensure the damage doesn’t spread. 

Try Superglue or Nail Polish as a Temporary Fix

Neither nail polish nor superglue is an ideal fix for your windshield – even as a temporary solution. But if you’re really in a pinch and are dealing with a minor crack, you may have some success applying either substance to the crack itself. 

After application, gently wipe away any excess glue or nail polish on the area directly outside the crack, being careful not to apply any pressure, which can worsen the damage. This temporary fix is really only suitable when you’re out of town and cannot call a mobile auto glass repair specialist or make it into a shop. 

You’ll still need to schedule a windshield repair appointment when you return home, ideally as promptly as possible. Remember that the existing damage may still worsen in the interim because neither glue nor nail polish is truly a recommended solution.

Use Caution When Washing 

Much like avoiding using hot water on an icy windshield, if you do notice a chip or crack, washing your windshield in the heat of the day can cause the damage to spread. Spraying cold water on hot, cracked glass creates a sudden temperature difference that causes the glass to react suddenly. 

Drive-through, automatic car washes are super convenient when it’s scorching outside, but if you have a crack or chip in your windshield, avoid these types of car washes at all costs. While they won’t expose your auto glass to heat extremes, they will expose it to excessive pressure that can easily cause existing windshield damage to grow worse in a hurry.

Until you get those chips and cracks repaired, be sure to wait until evening when the temperature drops and hand wash your ride whenever it needs a bath. Once the windshield repairs are completed, feel free to use automatic car washes whenever you want to. 

Repair Auto Glass Damage Promptly

If your windshield or windows suffer any form of damage – even if it’s just a small rock chip – be sure to have the damage repaired immediately. Small chips and cracks can quickly spread, especially in high heat. And if they grow large enough, they become irreparable. 

The best way to avoid more expensive auto glass replacements is to seek out prompt, professional repairs any time you notice even minor imperfections in your auto glass! 

Get Quality Auto Glass Repairs in the Twin Cities

If your windshield recently suffered heat-related damage, let our team at Only 1 Auto Glass help you out! Whether you’re looking for a complete windshield replacement or a minor auto glass repair, we’ve got you covered. 

We offer mobile repairs throughout the Twin Cities Metro and operate multiple locations in Maplewood, Golden Valley, and Burnsville to make your repair process as quick and convenient as possible. 

To get started, give us a call at 651-789-1111 or request a free service estimate online. You can also message us with any questions or concerns, and we’ll get back to you promptly!