Providing an impressive 30% of a car’s structural integrity during a head-on collision, car windshields are undeniably an important element of your vehicle. Understandably, maintaining your car’s windshield is essential to ensuring your safety on the roads.
Driving comes with risks and responsibilities but understanding the basic infrastructure of your car, what proper maintenance entails, and how to identify when issues have arisen can minimise the risks and enhance your safety.
As a car owner, juggling the various elements of car maintenance can seem somewhat overwhelming, especially if cars aren’t your forte. So to get you started on your car care journey, we have created a comprehensive list of the best windscreen maintenance tips.
Car Windshield Maintenance Tips
Unfortunately, our trusty car windshields are often underappreciated, and it usually isn’t until damage has occurred that we pay any attention to them.
Windshields serve as a protective shield to ensure clear vision and assist with airbags’ proper deployment and UV protection. Ultimately built to protect the driver and passengers from debris, wind, and weather and ensure the vehicle remains aerodynamic, it can certainly be said that a vehicle’s functionality relies on its windscreen.
Evidently, the state of your windscreen should be a high priority and concern, but they can become damaged for many reasons, including general wear and tear. Understandably, the best way to combat this is through regular maintenance.
Change & clean the wipers
Windscreen wipers don’t magically replace themselves, and unfortunately, they don’t last forever either. Functioning to remove any water and debris and keep our vision intact, we would find ourselves struggling to see and drive safely without properly operating wipers.
Luckily, replacing windscreen wipers is not too expensive and something you are only recommended to do every six to twelve months. However, if you often drive long distances, in extreme weather, or frequently leave your vehicle parked in the sun, you may need to check up on the wipers more often. Frequent sun exposure can significantly degrade your wipers and cause unnecessary and harsh damage to your windscreen.
While windscreens do serve to remove debris, any minuscule dust or grit that builds up on the wiper blades over time can create micro-scratches on the windshield. This makes it ever so important you regularly and people clean the wipers of any dirt and grime. To help you remember to do so, add this step to your regular car washing routine.
Be cautious when driving on gravel or loose surfaces
While sometimes driving in rough terrain is unavoidable, this does not mean our vehicles are invincible. It can be all too tempting to speed through rough terrain to get through it as soon as possible, but this can have extremely detrimental impacts on all aspects of your vehicle, including your windshield.
To avoid rocks or debris from flying up and smashing into your windscreen, it is recommended to drop your speed considerably in this scenario. In addition, while tailgating should be avoided at all times, it should be avoided, especially on rough surfaces.
It’s very common for vehicles ahead to collect rocks and stones in their tyres that subsequently fly out with no direction or control. Maintaining an extra safe distance from any cars in front of you can prevent this debris from hurtling into your vehicle and potentially causing considerable damage.
Be aware of temperature changes
Extreme temperature changes are common here in Australia, and with summer now on our doorstep, the heat is bound to ramp up. Unfortunately, extreme heat not only impacts our general comfort levels but can wreak havoc on our cars and their windshields.
Stress cracks are damages that occur on the inside layer of your windshield and are most commonly caused by extreme temperature change or heat. The Australian sun can be brutal, so it is highly recommended to park in the shade when possible. This will help reduce the heat inside your car and diminish the risk of stress cracks while simultaneously protecting your car’s interior from UV damage.
Using a windshield sunshade is a cheap and effective way to protect your car from the heat and sun. However, suppose you are willing to spend a little extra. In that case, window tinting is also a viable option that can significantly protect both your car’s interior and exterior from UV damage and potential stress cracks. It is important to note that certain states have different laws on how dark your tinting is allowed to be, so ensure you do your research before making any decisions.
To avoid causing any major temperature changes yourself, pay attention to how you use your car’s aircon, defroster or heater. As much as it can be so tempting to blast your car’s aircon on a scorching summer’s day, this can create a stark temperature shock and potentially cause a stress crack in your windscreen. Instead, let your car gradually cool down and adjust to the changing temperatures.
Clean your windshield
While this tip may seem self-explanatory, it is arguably the most important element of windscreen maintenance.
Dirty windscreens possess some outrageous statistics, with the potential to cause drivers to crash twice as often, increase fatigue and slow reaction times, and decrease incoming light by up to 80%.
Allowing any debris or dirt to sit in your windshield can not only affect your vision but greatly damage the glass over time. Specifically, when tiny pieces of debris scrape the glass underneath the windscreen wipers, it can cause pesky micro-abrasions that put your windscreen at a higher risk of cracking.
To prolong your windscreens life, it is a great idea to clean your windscreen every time you fuel up. Ensure when you do wash your windscreen, you do so correctly and with the correct supplies and products. Using rough sponges or cloths or low-quality glass cleaner can often do more harm than good.
Repair chips immediately
Windscreen replacements can be rather pricey, and if you can prolong the need for one through maintenance and repairs, you certainly should take that opportunity.
Repairing any damage or chips in your windshield as soon as they occur can save you an incredible amount of money, time, and worry in the long run. It is important not to dismiss a chip for being tiny, as ignoring even the smallest of damages allows the opportunity for the crack to spread and grow worse, potentially across your entire windshield.
Staying on top of windscreen damage is a fast and inexpensive way to restore the safety and integrity of your vehicle and prevent further damage.
If your windscreen has suffered a crack, it is ideal to avoid driving it until you can have it fixed. At Novus, we offer mobile windscreen repair services to save you time and ensure the crack doesn’t worsen on your drive over to our workshop. Not only is driving with a cracked windshield dangerous, with damaged glass being 60% to 70% weaker than undamaged glass, but it can also cause you to cop a hefty fine.
Implementing these tips and tactics into your regular car care routine can undoubtedly save you a lot of time and money in the long run and prolong the need for a windshield replacement. However, sometimes accidents happen, and on the chance that your windscreen is smashed, it will require a replacement immediately.
If your windshield has suffered minor cracks or damage and you’re unsure whether it can be repaired or not, take it to be assessed by your local windscreen repair service as soon as possible.
If you have any issues with your windscreen, no matter how big or small, get in touch with the team at Novus today. We’ll get you back on the road worry-free with a lifetime warranty on our windscreen repairs and replacements.
Maintenance is always better than paying the price. Take care of your vehicle now and avoid unnecessary and pricey expenses in the future.