Your car's windshield has provided you with crystal clear views of the road ahead of you for the past several years. However, you're now noticing several scratches and other signs of damage that affect your vision and your windshield's integrity—and you're not sure how they're getting there. If your windshield hasn't been hit by any airborne debris, then chances are you're damaging your windshield yourself—here's how:
Using Worn Wiper Blades
Your rubber wiper blades will become chipped and brittle after years of exposure to sunlight, rain, and other weather conditions. In addition to causing inefficient water removal and streaking, worn wiper blades will also leave scratches on your windshield. This happens when the metal frame of your blades make contact with the surface of your windshield.
Every time you activate your worn wiper blades they'll create deeper scratches in your windshield. Although the scratches may not be visible at first, they'll slowly worsen over time and become more obvious. Eventually, you'll have trouble seeing through the scratches while driving in the same direction as the sun or any other sources of harsh light.
Even if your blades aren't worn, they can still scratch your windshield if they aren't maintained or installed correctly. For example, a loose connection arm between your wiper blade and your blade arm can allow the connective components of your wiper blade to scrape along your windshield.
Inducing Thermal Shock
Unlike the rest of your car's exterior components, your windshield is a poor heat conductor. As a result, extreme temperatures will shock the glass panels of your windshield and cause them to slightly expand or contract. However, since your glass panels are extremely rigid and fragile, even a slight expansion or contraction will lead to serious cracking.
There are a couple ways your windshield can sustain thermal shock damage:
Opposite Interior and Exterior Temperatures
Although it may be comforting to have your cabin heater and defroster on high while driving through your city's winter wonderland, doing so can cause a drastic difference in temperature between your windshield's surfaces. Even if your windshield doesn't crack, it's integrity can still be compromised by this issue.
Improper De-Icing Techniques
Unless you've already learned the hard way, pouring a bucket of hot water on your ice-covered windshield may seem like a good idea. However, doing so will lead to immediate and severe thermal damage to your windshield. Although you may be able to melt away all the ice in time to beat the morning traffic, you'll be commuting with a cracked windshield.
Failing To Remove Minerals
When water dries on your windshield, it leaves behind minerals that can etch into the exterior glass panel if they aren't removed. Similarly to worn windshield wipers, mineral etching will continue to seep further into your windshield's exterior surface. However, severe etching will drastically reduce the clarity of your windshield rather than compromise the integrity of your windshield.
How You Can Avoid These Problems
You can avoid causing further damage to your windshield by replacing your wiper blades before they become significantly worn. Typically, most wiper blades should be replaced annually. Additionally, keeping your cabin temperatures only moderately cooler or warmer than the outside temperatures will prevent the glass sheets of your windshield from sustaining thermal shock. If your windshield already has mineral etching, you can remove it by using an acidic cleaner and fine steel wool.
However, if your windshield's clarity or structural integrity is past the point of repair, then have your windshield replaced by a professional auto glass replacement technician. By doing so, you can maintain your windshield correctly from the very beginning.Share
14 January 2015
Every year, my husband and I vacation for a few days at a mountain resort. This year, we encountered numerous obstacles that might have prevented us from enjoying this special time together. My spouse’s father needed surgery. I suffered an unexpected brief illness as well. When we were finally ready to go on our trip, my husband took our car for a tune-up. The mechanic informed us that we needed a new set of brakes. Without them, we might end up in danger while driving up and down steep mountains. Thankfully, our brakes were replaced and we enjoyed our time away from home. On this blog, you will learn why it’s important to check your brakes before taking a long trip in your vehicle. Drive safe!