You know that old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, the same sentiment applies to car care.
Just a little maintenance every now and then will help to prevent major problems down the road. Let’s look at five best practices for window care that will help keep you safe and keep your car in good shape.
#1 Don’t slam your doors.
You can probably already guess why it’s a bad idea to slam your car doors: when you slam your car doors often, you cause excess vibrations that can damage your windows. Over time, you might cause the window guiding channels to come loose or cause damage to the regulator; this might cause your side window to be stuck in place, or it might even cause the window to fall down into the door!
The odd accidental door slam probably won’t be too detrimental to your car; just don’t make it a habit!
#2 Be careful where you park your car.
Sometimes, you can’t help where you park. But when you can, make sure that you avoid parking in the following places:
- Under trees
- In direct sunlight
Why shouldn’t you park under trees? Aside from the obvious reason (bird poop), falling tree branches can cause serious damage to your windshield. We’ve gotten many calls from car owners who find their windshields cracked or broken after parking under a tree—especially after a storm. If you can—particularly if the weather’s going to be bad—park clear of trees.
Why shouldn’t you park in direct sunlight? UV rays from the sun damage your windshield over time by wearing down the tint and affecting the structural integrity of the windshield. In addition, exposing your car to extreme temperature changes (for example, by parking your car in direct sunlight after having run the A/C) can actually cause stress cracks to form in the windshield. Temperature changes will also cause small chips or cracks to spread across your windshield.
“Ok,” you might be thinking, “if I can’t park under trees, and I can’t park in direct sunlight, where do I park?” If you can, park in an indoor garage. If that’s not an option, park in the shade when the weather is nice. A tree branch falling on a sunny day is not too likely. Direct sunlight, on the other hand, will damage your windshield over time.
#3 Replace your windshield wipers regularly.
Your windshield wipers have more of an effect on your windshield than you might think. Good windshield wipers allow you to see on a rainy day; bad windshield wipers will reduce visibility and damage your windshield.
Windshield wiper blades are made of several parts: there’s the metal blade of the wiper—the part that’s connected to your car—and the rubber covering the blade. When the rubber edge is gone, your windshield is no longer protected from the metal blade. This means that, every time you run your windshield wipers, you’re scraping metal against your windshield. This can cause deep scratches in your windshield. Yikes!
The rubber on windshield wipers will degrade over time from wear and tear, debris, moisture, and even sunlight. (You can clean your wiper blades to extend their lifespan, but that will only delay the inevitable.) Aim to replace your windshield wipers at least every year. Try to get the replacement done before you realize you can’t see in a downpour. If your windshield wipers are skipping, dragging, squeaking, streaking, or smearing water (instead of wiping it away), it’s time for new ones.
#4 Use the right cleaning products.
Lots of DIY articles online will tell you to use common household items to clean your car, like glass cleaner and sponges.
That’s a bad idea, for a few reasons. Ordinary glass cleaner usually has ammonia, which can leave streaks on your windshield (not great when you need to see through it!). Ammonia can also, over time, cause any tint on your windows to peel off. Sponges—depending on the kind you use—can cause very tiny scratches on your windshield.
Instead, use a cleaner designed for auto glass and a microfiber cloth, which is extremely soft and won’t scratch.
#5 Be proactive on repairs.
If you leave it long enough, a small chip can turn into a ruined windshield. That’s because small chips can become large cracks—which can’t be fixed—with the help of potholes and direct sunlight.
It’s much easier, faster, and cheaper to repair a small chip or crack. If you find this kind of damage on your windshield, call the auto glass professionals at Jack’s. We make it convenient: we’ll come to you, whenever you need us, and we’ll work directly with your insurer. Our auto glass technicians have the expertise and materials to get the job done right.
Contact us today for a free quote!