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Auto Glass Safety and Maintenance

The Dangers of Winter on Your Auto Glass

Your automobile comes standard with hundreds of amenities and safety features that are designed to keep you secure and comfortable while on the road. In the past, many of these features would have either been optional or non-existent, so it is easy to take for granted these accessories and how they have improved our overall driving experiences. The windshield has evolved considerably since its inception and now features UV protection, tinting, and other elements of strength designed to keep you and your passengers safe while moving from point A to point B. Keeping this glass safe during the winter months could prevent the need for a windshield repair or windshield replacement later.

One of the biggest hassles when it comes to your driving experience in the winter months. After all, the cold and wet climate that it can often bring is something that makes warmer temperatures or wet springtimes pale in comparison. Unfortunately, winter climates can also have a profound impact on your windshield if not handled properly. Whether you need to clear off the ice or prevent it in the first place, there are some common tips and tricks you should know beforehand. In the following article, we’ll discuss the dangers that winter can pose to your automobile and how you can adequately handle them.

Ice Accumulation

Throughout the colder months, ice can easily form on your windshield and auto glass during the evening and night hours, leaving you with a surprise the next morning as you plan to head for work, school, or elsewhere. There can be a few different reasons for this: a heavy frost combined with low temperatures can cause a thin layer of ice to form, while freezing rain and other forms of precipitation can make the coating of ice even more hazardous. One thing is for sure: this layer of ice must be removed before you can continue on your way safely.

Removing Ice

You should always be careful when it comes to your windshield and any frozen precipitation. A hasty or improper removal process can actually damage the windshield and lead to bigger issues in the form of cracks and chips. Safelite recommends that you start your car with the defrost on low, allowing it to run for approximately five minutes. You can then use a plastic scraper to remove the ice bit by bit, as well as a brush to remove any excess material. You may also want to consider a deicing spray solution to accelerate the process. Do not scrape ice from your windshield when the vehicle is not warmed up, as this can cause extra stress to the windshield and shorten its lifespan.

Other Ice Concerns

While ice on your windshield is the most common and obvious way that it can impede your ability to drive, there are plenty of other issues that may arise. One issue that many do not consider is how ice or snow can block the tailpipe of some vehicles. This can allow for the accumulation of carbon monoxide in the cabin and can be lethal in some cases. You definitely want to take the time to inspect your tailpipe whenever you are inspecting the broader vehicle for ice accumulation. Particularly in areas where large accumulations of snow can occur, this is a real issue.

If you generally leave the house in the later morning hours, then you may be able to park your car in such a way that the morning sun can help loosen any accumulated ice on its own before you make your way outside. Depending on the climate, you may still need a scraper and brush, but the sun’s warmth can help accelerate this process. If you cannot park in such a way to take advantage of this effect, then be sure to follow the advice given for removal in the preceding paragraphs.

Preventing Ice

In many cases, ice accumulation on your windshield and windows can be prevented by some proper preparedness. The easiest way to prevent ice is to park in a garage or under a covered area. This will ensure that any precipitation that falls cannot accumulate and – in the case of the garage – prevent any frost or ice accumulation whatsoever. If you do not have access to a covered area, then you can improvise by using window covers, a tarp or even cardboard to block your windows and windshield from the outside elements.

Conclusion

Winter can be a frustrating time for anyone, but it can also be a frustrating experience for your auto glass and windshield. From snow to cold temperatures and ice, the factors that winter can inflict upon your auto glass have to be handled intelligently in order to ensure maximum and proper functionality. By parking under covered spaces, covering your windshield, or using a gradual warming and removal process to eliminate ice via scraper and brush, you can rest assured that your windshield will remain in tip-top shape regardless of the situation – a must for safe driving!