Visibility is critical for driving safety, particularly in the winter weather. The sun is often low in the sky, creating a blinding glare on your windshield (especially if the windshield is pitted). Often we are driving to and from work in darkness and being able to see well out of your car is very important, especially during our upcoming wet and icy weather!
Take a few minutes now (before the snow flies!) to thoroughly clean your windshield (RainX cleaner and water repellant works particularly well) inside and out, so that you can assess the true condition of your windshield. In particular, look for chips, pitting and cracks in your windshield and streaking from your wiper blades. Pay particular attention to whether your air conditioning (A/C) system is working properly.
Why would your A/C system be important in the winter? Brrrrr!! The A/C condenser removes moisture from the air, so it is essential for defogging the inside of your windshield, especially in the winter. The temperature differential from inside to outside, combined with the moisture from breathing (or hot coffee) will create inside fogging. So, if you were thinking you could put off that A/C repair until the heat comes back next summer, you may want to reconsider.
It’s easy to spot a crack in your glass, but also remember to look for small rock chips and get them repaired before they turn into bigger cracks. (Our favorite is Bob’s Windshield Repair- they come to you for repairs!) Have the chips taken care of as soon as they occur — we still have many potholes on our streets, and the jolt from hitting them can make chips spread into larger cracks.
Pitted windshield glass can be very hazardous, causing significantly decreased visibility, especially in the sun or against oncoming headlights. Consider replacing your windshield if this is the case.
As your wipers age, they wear and harden. Subsequently, your windshield wipers may not fully clean the water, snow, or ice cleanly from the glass. If the moisture is not being cleared, you may be peering around the streaks to see ahead. Replace worn wiper blades regularly, possibly annually in our harsh and unpredictable climate. Also check that you have adequate wiper fluid in your reservoir.
I hate to think of it, but snow and ice are on the way and nearly upon us. Reminder: be sure and completely clear your windshield of ice and snow BEFORE you start driving. “Peephole” driving is dangerous and illegal!
Most people do not realize that the windshield is an important part of the structural integrity of your car. Don’t wait until next spring or summer when the “weather is over” to repair or replace that ever-so-important windshield.