At this time of year you have to pay special attention to the windshield, due to low temperatures and difficult visibility conditions. 90% of the information we receive while driving comes to us through sight. And with fogs, rain and snow frequent, it is vitally important to have the windshield and blades in perfect condition.
With the cold and humidity, the most common at this time is that in the morning we find the windshield covered with ice. Although this seems like a no-brainer, always remove this ice before setting off. Although it is common to find drivers who start with it, waiting for the heating and windshield wipers to take effect, while they travel many meters contorting the neck and hardly seeing what is happening in front of the wheel, generating a potentially dangerous situation.
Defrosting the windshield with very hot water, or with the heating air at a high temperature, can seriously damage the glass due to the sudden change in temperature, causing it to break. And this effect is noticeably intensified if the windshield has an impact. In experiments carried out with an external temperature of -10ºC, 81% percent of the windshields with an impact broke in less than five minutes after turning on the heater. At -5º, that rate is 70% and even at 0 ° C it is still very high: 59%. Those same tests were done with windshields repaired using Carglass-developed technology, and none broke.
It is not recommended to operate the windscreen wipers when the glass is frozen, as the surface of the brushes is damaged, which will leave marks on the glass when it rains.
If we do not want to remove the ice in the morning, the simplest thing is to protect the windshield with a simple cardboard attached with the windshield wipers, which we can store in the trunk.
So how do we remove the ice?
The best way to remove the ice is to use a plastic scraper, works effectively and does not damage the glass surface. They cost very little and keeping one in the glove compartment will make life easier every winter morning. Another method is to spray the glass with alcohol, which melts the ice quickly.
Carglass recommends applying a specific liquid and insect repellent treatment to the windshield, which in addition to substantially improving day and night visibility In rainy situations, it prevents the windows from freezing in not very extreme conditions and facilitates the removal of ice.
On the other hand, some damaged windshield wipers cause fringes or blurred surfaces in the field of vision when activating them, with the consequent loss of safety. It is recommended to replace the brushes at least once a year. To keep them in the best possible condition if the car spends the nights in the open, it is advisable to lift them or put a cardboard under them.
The deposit of windshield cleaning liquid It should not be refilled with water only, to avoid freezing the hoses and clogging the nozzles at low temperatures.
Lastly, winter is the time of year when the most windshield breaks occur due to changes in temperature. A little impact on the glass, that can be easily repaired, it can lead to a breakage. The body of a vehicle expands and contracts with variations in temperature. Since glass and steel or aluminum have different coefficients of expansion (and different rates of expansion or contraction), changes in temperature can cause alterations in the bodywork that are transmitted to the windshield, altering its stress patterns. And the crystal itself also suffers by enduring the difference in temperature between outside and inside of the vehicle, or sudden changes, such as when we try to defrost the windshield with hot water or the heater.