Protect Yourself From Winter Windshield Worries

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but for your windshield the winter is a particularly fraught time. Your auto glass is vulnerable to damage year round, but the cold weather along with a variety of other factors makes winter particularly perilous. If you want to make sure that your windshield makes it into the new year and beyond without serious damage, then keep an eye out for these serious cold season risks.

Road Salt Risks

Road salt is a necessity in many parts of the country to keep roads safe and drivable, but it poses its own set of risks to cars as well. Aside from the potential for caked on salt to obscure vision and even rust cars, road salt trucks are particularly risky for windshields. Since these trucks distribute salt by dumping it out onto the road at speed, it is not uncommon for large chunks of salt to bounce into windshields. These chunks of salt can do serious damage, leading to chips and even large cracks.

To protect your windshield during the winter, give trucks performing this important service a wide berth. Consider increasing your following distance any time you are driving on salted roads as well, since other vehicles may kick up large bits of salt that are already on the road surface.

Deicing Dangers

One of the worst parts of winter is coming out to your car to discover the windows caked in ice. It's frustrating to waste time in the morning cleaning them off, but doing it the right way will pay off in the long run.

The biggest mistake that many people make is to use warm or hot water. Never do this! The sudden temperature change can cause the glass to shatter, leading to an expensive repair. Instead, use a deicing solution. These products work by creating a mixture that has a lower melting point than water, loosening or melting the ice.

A subtler mistake is simply scraping a little bit too hard. This can scratch your glass over time, eventually forcing you to replace the entire window. Luckily, using a deicer can usually loosen the ice enough that it can be removed easily. If you don't have any deicer or if temperatures are too cold for it to work well, be sure to scrap as gently as possible to minimize window damage.

Don't Wait to Fix Damage

Serious damage is sometimes unavoidable, of course, and windshield damage has a tendency to spread rapidly. Small cracks and chips can expand rapidly and create serious hazards. If your windshield does suffer damage over the holidays (or any other time of the year!) be sure to have it repaired as soon as you can to prevent costlier repairs in the future. Contact an auto glass repair shop for more help.