Ensuring that your car’s windshield is clean and well looked after is essential to your safety on the road. Now, while some windshield problems (such as stress cracks) can be prevented, others are simply unavoidable and must be dealt with promptly. In this article, I’m going to discuss windshield care and DIY windshield repair in more detail.
Keep the windshield clean at all times
This goes without saying, but a dusty, dirty windshield can impact your visibility quite a bit, which in turn makes driving unsafe. Here are some tips for looking after your car’s windshield:
- Do not wash/clean auto glass when it’s hot. Heat can put a lot of stress on a car’s windshield, making it prone to stress cracks and similar damage. This is even more serious when water is applied to the glass as it introduces strong temperature fluctuations that can lead to cracks.
- Don’t forget to clean your windshield wipers on a regular basis! Dirty and squeaky wipers can easily lead to small scratches which later develop into serious cracks. There are many specialized products for this and the entire process takes just a minute. If you do not clean your wipers regularly, you may have to replace them more often.
- Make sure that your windshield washer fluid levels are normal at all times. You never know when you might need to use it.
Read this article on more tips of keeping your windshield clean.
Protecting a cracked windshield
Let’s say that you notice a fresh scratch or a crack on your car’s windshield, but due to some unfortunate circumstances you just can’t take your vehicle to a technician right away. In a situation like that, you must take preventative measures to make sure that the damage doesn’t spread. Here’s how:
- If your windshield is cracked or has a deep scratch, do not wash it to avoid forcing water and dirt into the damaged area.
- Place see-through tape on the crack to prevent dust from getting in. Only do this if the tape won’t obstruct your view.
- Avoid extreme temperature fluctuation as much as possible. This means not using hot/cold water on the windshield, keeping it out of direct sunlight, etc. Only use the air conditioner on low/medium settings.
- Extreme air pressure created by strong winds can cause windshield cracks to spread quickly.
- Road bumps and other direct damage (such as slamming the car doors) can also cause existing windshield cracks to spread.
DIY scratch removal
In many cases small scratches and oxidation marks on a car’s windshield can be removed using a simple DIY scratch removal kit. These kits are usually very simple to use and will help you get rid of a small scratch in not time. Just make sure that you follow some general rules:
- Do not try to remove/repair old scratches yourself. Chances are that an old scratch has already filled up with dust and attempting to repair it without proper tools will only leave your car’s windshield looking dirty/blurry.
- Do not ever attempt to remove a scratch that runs deep into the glass. If when you run your nails through the scratch you can clearly feel it, it might just be too deep to be repaired at home.
- Do not try to repair scratches that have begun to spread.
- Never use a DIY kit to repair auto glass scratches that are directly in the driver’s line of sight.
There are, of course, other rules that should be followed when using a DIY scratch removal kit.
As you can see, taking proper care of your car’s windshield can go a long way in helping to prevent scratches and other types of damage. And even if your car does suffer from minor damage to the windshield, remember that most of it can be repaired using a simple DIY kit, as long as you do it right away and do not allow the damage to spread. Good luck!