No one wants to welcome spring with the expense of replacing their car's windshield, but winter can be hard on the glass. Fortunately, you have some control over how well the windshield weathers the season. The following tips can help you prevent winter damage.
Tip #1: Replace your wipers
In areas with ice and snow, your windshield wipers are likely to get heavy use once winter arrives. Unfortunately, old, damaged wipers can scrape against the glass, leaving behind deep etches that can't be repaired. To prevent this problem, invest in a quality pair of replacement wipers every fall. Then, wipe them off periodically throughout the season to remove any grit on the wiper blades so that the grit doesn't damage the blades or the window.
Tip #2: Check your scraper
Using the same ice scraper year after year can also be hard on the glass. Over time, the edge of the scraper gets chipped and nicked. This relatively minor damage can end up scratching your windshield. Run your finger along the scraper blade and replace it if it isn't perfectly smooth. Plastic scrapers are better than metal, since they are less likely to scratch the glass. Also, don't use a knife or other object that wasn't made to scrape ice as a substitute for a good scraper.
Tip #3: Turn down the heat
A common mistake of many drivers is to get in the car and crank up the defrost to full heat. The shock of hot air against cold glass can cause it to crack or result in existing small chips turning into larger cracks. Instead, warm up the interior on a low fan setting first, then switch over to defrost on a low or medium setting. This more gradual heating is much better for the glass. Also, do not pour hot water on the window in an attempt to melt the ice more quickly.
Tip #4: Fix chips promptly
If you do end up with a small chip in your glass, don't put off the repair. If temperatures are above freezing, mobile glass repair is a good option. They will come to you and fix the chip. In colder weather, you may need to take the car into a repair shop if you don't have a heated garage for them to work in. This is because the epoxy used in the repair can't be placed in overly cold temperatures. You don't want to postpone a repair, though, since this can lead to further damage.
For more help, contact a glass shop in your area, such as Martin Glass Company.