Cold weather can present some real challenges when it comes to your vehicle's windshield. Think of it. Your windshield is your window to the world when you're driving, and clear visibility is extraordinarily important for safe travels. So here are 3 tips to ensure that your windshield can do its job during the cold weather.
- Don't ever pour hot water on a frozen windshield. Let's say you head outside and see your vehicle covered with ice. You think, hey, maybe I can heat up a pot of water on the stove and melt that off fast. Don't do it! You run the risk of shattering the glass the second that hot water hits the frigid glass. Ditto for using a propane torch. Glass does not do well with sudden temperature changes. Instead, turn on your engine and start the defroster, which heats the windshield up gradually. Use a plastic scraper designed for windshields (don't EVER use metal to scrape) and be patient. Don't hammer on the ice to break it into pieces. Sudden pressure and glass don't mix.
- Keep your wiper blades up off the glass. If you park your vehicle outside and you think there's a chance of frozen precipitation falling, do what smart winter drivers do. Lift the wiper arms off the glass and leave them extended with the blades not touching the glass at all. That way when you go back to your vehicle, you won't have to try to pull the wipers off the icy glass (which can damage the rubber blades) or start the wipers with them frozen solid to the windshield. Many drivers have burned out their wiper motor that way, and that can be a pricey repair.
- Keep your windshield washer fluid topped off and use it often. So you've followed the steps above and you're on the road. Salt, brine and sand can muck up the windshield fast, causing your wiper blades to smear the glass, re-freeze the icy snow and blind you. It's important to use wiper fluid made for low temperatures so it doesn't freeze on your glass. Use it often so any road debris won't scratch the glass like sandpaper. And make sure your defroster is working properly, keeping your windshield warm enough to prevent ice from forming.
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