5 Essential Tips For Windshield Care
Windshields are not just for looks – they are specifically designed protect us from the elements outside and save our life in case of an accident. In times of major impact, windshields prevent the roof from caving in on the passengers inside the car and keep front passengers from flying out.
Despite their important role, they are one of those items people rarely think about unless they malfunction. Subconsciously, we expect them to always do their job and forget that windshields, like everything else, need proper maintenance to stay in good working order. So we, as an auto glass shop that prides itself on keeping our customers informed, decided to give you 5 essential tips for windshield care.
Avoid Slamming Your Doors
Slamming your car door causes severe vibrations inside your car which, over time, cause the side windshields to come off their track. You should especially avoid this if you have small chips that you haven’t fixed because they will spread, little by little, every time you slam your door.
Don’t Park In Direct Sunlight If Possible
Houston is one of the hottest cities in the United States so this tip really applies to us! Try to park in shaded areas whenever you can. Long exposure to direct sunlight will shorten the lifespan of your windshield. UV rays damage the tint and structural integrity of windows over time. Little chips also worsen when there is a temperature difference between the inside and outside of your car. So park in a garage when you can or find a spot that is under a tree.
Get Small Chips Repaired Immediately
You’re driving, minding your own business, and all of a sudden – DING! A pebble flies us from the wheel of a truck and hits your window. It happens so quick and before you have time to process what just happened, there’s a small chip in your once pristine front windshield.
Don’t wait. Half the population, from costly experience, know to immediately get the chip repaired that very day. For a small charge (many insurance companies pay for this as long as you have no deductible) the small chip can be filled with a special resin that will prevent it from spreading. The bad news is that most chips can’t be totally removed from your window but the damage can be contained and minimized.
However, the other half either don’t know or haven’t learned their lesson yet, and we see this time and time again. They will procrastinate and that tiny chip will MORPH into a giant crack that spans across the entire windshield. It’s so unsightly to see a nice car with a huge crack in the windshield! So at this point these people will get the problem fixed when a) they get stopped by the cops for an unrelated infraction, like speeding, and the cop notices the crack or b) when they finally can’t stand looking at it any longer though they’ve tried to ignore it for several months by now.
You could have paid $20-$30 for a small repair but at this point you are going to shell out $150-$250 depending on your vehicle. We hope you call us at this point, however, we really want people to save money wherever they can, and these types of unplanned bills tend to hit some people who are barely making it really hard.
Clean & Replace Your Wipers
Do you see scratches on your front windshield? They probably came from dirt and sand particles that have become embedded in your wipers. Your front and rear wipers need to be checked, cleaned and replaced (as needed) every three months. You can use a rag with windshield washer fluid to remove any contaminants from your wipers. This will literally take you less than 3 minutes and you can do it while you’re pumping gas.
Avoid Using Ammonia-Based Glass Cleaners
Many people use the wrong chemicals to clean their windshields. Ammonia-based glass cleaners are meant for the glass inside your home, not your car window. They destroy the tint. The windows inside your home are not tinted but the windows in your car are and ammonia to tint is like Kryptonite to Superman. Instead use vinegar, alcohol or special car window cleaners that can be found in the automotive section of any store. Additionally, use cotton or microfiber towels. They are absorbent, don’t leave streaks and won’t scratch your windshield.
And there you have it. Your 5 basic tips for keeping your car windows in tip-top-shape. Follow these easy suggestions and you will avoid costly repairs in the future. You can invest in maintenance now, which is relatively cheap, or more expensive replacements in the future. As always, don’t hesitate to call us with any problems. Houston’s #1 Auto Glass Experts…signing off.