Taking care of your car’s windshield is important to ensure safe driving. Here are some tips on how to take care of your windshield so that it doesn’t crack or chip when hit by debris.
What do You Need?
A clean cloth and cleaner (optional); a silicone-based spray, such as Windex®; car wax (if applicable); and ice cubes (if the windshield is too hot to touch).
How to do it?
- Clean the windshield thoroughly with the cloth and cleaner (or water) if there is any dirt or debris that could potentially chip the windshield. Dry it with a dry towel as well, to avoid getting cracks from moisture.
- Spray the silicone-based cleaner on areas where chips might occur. This includes around lights and over the edges of the windshield. (The spray acts as a barrier between the glass and potential sharp objects.)
- Use ice cubes to cool down the windshield if it is too hot for you to touch. If possible, leave the ice in place for a few minutes to let it absorb heat from the glass. (Do not use this method on auto windshields made of plastic.)
- If you have car wax, apply it once you have cooled down the windshield enough so that you can safely touch it without burning yourself. Buff with your hand until the wax has dried.
- Repeat steps 1-4 every time you go out driving.
What Kind of Cleaner and Spray Should You Use?
Most windshields are made of tempered glass, which is unbreakable. However, as a precautionary measure, it’s best to avoid cleaners that contain ammonia or alcohol because these can create cracks in the windshield. In general, avoid strong chemicals and opt for mild solutions like water with some dishwashing liquid added.
What About Those Cracks?
There are many ways to take care of chips and cracks on your car’s windshield. If a small chip or crack is visible, spray it with the silicone-based cleaner mentioned above. If a larger area has chipped off, apply some clear nail polish over the spot to prevent further damage. Alternatively, you can also use car wax on small chips and cracks (but remember to wipe it off before driving).
Is Your Windshield Dirty?
Dust can get trapped between layers of glass and make them uneven, which can lead to cracks. To avoid this, clean up your car’s windshield at least once a week, or more if it rains often where you live. Use either a dry cloth or moistened towel to wipe off dust and dirt from the glass.
How Often Should you Clean Your Car’s Windshield?
You should clean your windshield at least once every two weeks, or when there is a heavy buildup of dirt on it. If you leave it for too long, the dirt will cause scratches that can eventually turn into cracks. What about washing your car?
It’s best to avoid washing your car at all costs if possible because this can cause more damage than just cleaning and wiping. Cleaning the windshield is a better option, since it doesn’t involve getting wet or using strong chemicals that could potentially harm your vehicle.
How Does Temperature Affect Windshields?
When temperatures are too low (i.e., below freezing), moisture gets trapped between layers of glass and freezes, causing cracks in the windshield. When it gets too hot, the windshield can crack or chip if you touch it with your bare hands.
How do You Prevent Premature Rusting on a Car Windshield?
A dirty car’s windshield can trap moisture, which leads to rusting. To avoid this, clean your car regularly and make sure that there is no dirt around the rubber seals of the windshield. If you have time, apply a layer of silicone-based cleaner to the seals every month or so.
Make sure you replace your windscreen wipers regularly, as they help remove dirt and grime from the glass. If it rains often where you live, consider getting water-resistant windscreen wipers or those that are made of materials that don’t rust easily. Windscreen wipers come in different sizes and can be installed easily.
How Can You Tell if Your Car’s Windshield Needs Replacement?
If the glass is cracked, chipped or has been hit by a rock, it may be time to get your windscreen replaced. Replacing the windscreen should be the last resort, though, as it can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, try the tips above first to see if they can solve your problem before replacing the windshield entirely.
If your car’s windshield is cracked and it’s not too big of an issue, consider getting it repaired instead of replaced. Repairing is cheaper than buying a new windscreen, plus it gives you the chance to pick out a different colour or style that fits with your car’s look.
What Are Some Common Causes of Cracked or Damaged Windshields?
Some of the common causes are: driving with a dirty windscreen; using strong chemicals to clean your car’s glass; driving in wet weather conditions; and hitting things with your car’s bonnet. Driving with a dirty windscreen can cause cracks because there is no barrier between the glass and whatever threatens it, such as rocks or other debris. If you drive through puddles often, this may also be why your car’s windshield has developed rust spots or cracks.
Using strong chemicals to clean your car’s glass can cause it to chip or crack because of the pressure that builds up when driving over bumps and potholes. If you drive in wet weather conditions, the water may get trapped between layers of glass and freeze during colder seasons, causing cracks. Finally, if you hit something with your car’s bonnet (such as a rock), this can also damage your windscreen.
What Should You do if Your Windshield Gets Cracked or Chipped?
If your car’s windshield has gotten cracked or chipped, take it to a professional as soon as possible. A qualified mechanic can replace the damaged glass and have you back on the road in no time at all.