Whenever your car has to withstand temperature changes, such as extremely cold weather, it's important that you think about how to protect your auto glass. Cold weather can cause a temperature gradient to form on the windshield, with cold temperatures on the outside and warm temperatures within; this may lead your windshield to be vulnerable to breakage. Here's what you can do to prevent a windshield emergency.
Although it can be tempting to pour hot water on the windshield to loosen ice and defrost the car rapidly, this is a bad idea. Not only may the water turn into additional ice, but this also rapidly heats the glass, making it subject to quick pressure changes.
Another issue that you can prevent is chipping your windshield by using the wrong tools. If you try to use a knife or other home tool to chip away ice, you risk getting through the ice quicker than expected and chipping through to the glass. In short, always use a scraper and your car's defroster to clear a car window. Or, if you're looking for convenience, try a chemical defroster that can help to loosen ice more quickly.
Clean the Glass Regularly
During the winter months, you may become accustomed to seeing a windshield that is mucked up by slush and dirt from the roads, but keeping the windshield clean is a good way to prevent nicks. For one, you never know when sharp bits of rock can be stuck inside those little dirt clumps, and if you pass the windshield wiper over one of those, it can easily chip the windshield. And second, keeping your windshield clear will help you spot little nicks that could be easily repaired before they become a full-fledged crack.
Clean Up Small Issues Right Away
That brings up the final point: you can save yourself a lot of trouble by going to get any windshield issues checked out right away, rather than waiting. Say you have a small nick or chip in your glass. If you initially take the car in for auto glass repair (from professionals such as those from Becky's Glass Works) in your area, you may be able to get a cheap fix such as a glass glue to repair the crack. But by waiting, you only risk the issue getting worse. What started out as a small nick can turn into a major crack, especially with bad weather added to the mix.