'Tis the season for festivities and fun surprises, but there's no one thing that no one likes to wake up to on a cold, wintery morning: an unexpected crack in their windshield. Unfortunately, unrepaired damage to your car's glass can spiral out of control faster than you might expect, leaving you to unwrap a very unwelcome present on your next morning commute.
While glass chips and dings are often unavoidable on rough wintery roads, you can often avoid the worst outcomes. These three tips will help keep your glass intact to make your holiday trips safe and frustration-free.
1. Keep Your Windshield Clean
Everyone knows that winter can be the worst time for automotive windshields. Many cities use copious amounts of sand and salt, helping to keep roads clean at the cost of covering your car in a layer of grime. Unfortunately, your windshield is often the number one victim of this onslaught, which may mean a layer of dirt and salt covering your glass for much of the winter.
While cleaning that gunk may be frustrating, it's an important step to avoid costly damage. All that salt and sand can easily hide small chips and cracks, leaving them invisible until they spiderweb into much larger problems. Keeping your windows clean allows you to spot and repair small problems before they become major issues.
2. Increase Following Distances
You should always maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, but it's especially important to maintain a healthy following distance during the winter. Cold weather can cause substantial damage to roads, with frost heaves potentially causing the pavement to split and rupture. This damage often leaves chunks of asphalt and other debris strewn across highways.
It's often impossible to spot these tiny obstacles, so keeping some extra distance between your vehicle and other cars is the safest option. Adding more distance will minimize the likelihood of an errant rock striking your car or, at minimum, reduce the damage that one causes. It's a good idea to add even more distance when following trucks or other large vehicles.
3. Repair Damage Immediately
Winter can be bitterly cold in many parts of the country, but temperature swings can also be extreme. A relatively comfortable day may give way to a frigid night, and these temperature changes can cause chips or cracks to shrink and expand. It's not uncommon to go to bed with a small chip in your glass and wake up to find a crack crossing the entire windshield.
The safest option is always to repair damage as soon as possible. Mobile auto glass repair companies can come to you, allowing you to get problems fixed much more quickly. Taking care of minor chips or cracks will ensure they don't ruin your entire windshield, helping to keep a tiny rock on the highway from ruining your holidays. For more information on auto glass repair, contact a professional near you.