Winter has officially arrived in Vancouver. Although we in B.C.’s Lower Mainland are not known for the harsh winters that the rest of Canada experiences, we can still get our share of cold weather, ice, and snow. Many of us do our best to prepare our vehicles for this by investing in snow tires and antifreeze; but what about your windshield? Don’t neglect one of the most important parts of your car! Care for your windshield in the wintertime by following these easy guidelines, and help keep driving in the ice and snow as safe and comfortable as possible.
Keep your windshield clean
Although you should be keeping your windshield clean all year round, some people are afraid to use their windshield washer fluid in the wintertime; don’t be afraid to use it liberally! Just make sure that your washer fluid has anti-fog or anti-freeze properties so that it can keep your windshield clear. This also means that using plain water as windshield washer fluid is a bad idea, as it will freeze and just add to the poor visibility that ice and snow bring with them.
Dirt and dust on your windshield are neither safe for driving nor are they good for the long-term life of your windshield, as they can lead to scratches if stuck on and not attended to promptly. It also pays to keep your windshield clean because scratches and chips on a clean glass surface will be much easier to see than on a dirty one, and so you’ll be able to bring your chipped windshield in for a small repair before it spreads into a much larger – and more expensive – windshield repair job.
Change your wipers regularly
Regardless of the weather outside, windshield wipers eventually age and become less effective because the rubber starts to degrade. Making sure that your windshield wipers are working well will pay big dividends in keeping scratches off of your windshield. In addition, there are special winter wiper blades that are made specifically for clearing ice and snow. If you park your car outside or spend a lot of time driving when it snows, it may be worth it to look into having these special winter wiper blades installed.
Get a real scraper to clean ice from your windshield
Although it may seem like investing in a real scraper isn’t worth it considering that we get much more rain than snow here, don’t be fooled by false economy. Using makeshift scrapers (like metal spatulas) will not only not do the job well, but will almost definitely lead to windshield scratches and other problems if handled badly. Using a proper plastic scraper with a snow brush will be a much wiser decision, both in the short- and long-term.
Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes
Using boiling water or some other high heat source to melt the snow or ice off of your windshield is a terrible idea because the sudden temperature change could lead to your windshield cracking. You should instead aim to slowly raise the temperature by using your car’s defroster or heater, if possible.
Get cracks and chips repaired immediately
That being said, sudden temperature changes can be inevitable as you take your car out of a garage or underground parking lot. That change can be enough to make small cracks and chips spread into an ugly and expensive mess. Be proactive and take care of these small jobs while you still can; contact the windshield and auto glass experts here at Avenue Auto Glass by phone at 604-765-1790, or visit us at 636 Clark Drive, Vancouver BC V5L 3H8.