Windscreen 101: How To Properly Protect Your Windscreen From Damage
It isn’t easy taking care of something that’s made of glass. After all, glass is an incredibly fragile material. While auto glass is manufactured to be stronger and is classified as safety glass, this doesn’t mean it’s impenetrable. Windscreens and car windows are still capable of cracking and shattering under certain conditions. Windscreens are particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures, storm debris, and rocks. On top of that, low-quality glass and poor installation can make windscreens more prone to breakage. That’s why when it comes to your auto glass, a little bit of extra vigilance can mean a longer life for your windscreen.
In Australia, an estimated one million windscreens are replaced each year. Save your windscreen from the pile. To help you properly care for your windscreen and ensure it is protected from damage where preventable, Novus has outlined some of its best windscreen and window care tips. Whether you’re a car enthusiast, mechanic, or none-of-the-above, these tips will help you form a better understanding of your windscreen and the care it needs.
Prevention is Key
Top up Your Washer Fluid
Washer fluid is a fluid that is used in motor vehicles to clean the windscreen. This fluid, in combination with your wiper blades, helps remove stubborn dirt and debris (and those pesky bugs) from your car’s windscreen. This fluid is emitted by manipulating a control inside the car (usually the same control that operates the wiper blades).
Using washer fluid is an excellent way of protecting your windscreen from dirt and grime that can damage it over time, making it more prone to breakage. Washer fluid is particularly useful if you live in an environment where your windscreen dirties quickly. For example, for those who live in towns with dusty, dirt roads; or, for those who frequently drive along rural highways at fast speeds and encounter stuck-on bugs. For those drivers, there are many washer fluids on the market that require little to no dilution.
TIP: While washer fluid is beneficial, it’s not a must. If you prefer using plain old water, make sure it’s distilled. You know how your shower head can clog from minerals in the water? The same thing can happen to your wiper jets, and that’s not a fun thing to clean!
Change Your Wiper Blades
Replacing your wiper blades is another essential tip for preventing rub marks, smearing and scratches on your windscreen. Over time, wiper blades can get worn down and damaged from repeated use and harsh weather conditions. Thankfully, it’s quite easy and affordable to get them replaced – often, it’s just the refill that needs swapping out. However, if it is your entire blade that needs replacing, read our guide on finding the best windscreen wipers for your car.
Use a Good Quality Glass Cleaner
At Novus, we understand auto glass – which is why we’ve developed our own glass cleaner that is safe for auto glass, easy to use, and extremely effective. In fact, our glass cleaner has been formulated by the same engineers that invented windscreen repair resin, so you know it’s top quality. However, if you’re opting for another brand, we have some general suggestions you should consider when using a generic glass cleaner.
- Use ammonia-free glass cleaner. Ammonia can cause discolouration, particularly if your windscreen has a tint.
- Use a glass cleaning cloth or microfiber cloth. These cloths are specifically designed to prevent scratching.
- When cleaning your windscreen, always wipe down your wiper blades with the cleaner as well. This will ensure any stubborn grime and dirt stuck on the blades is removed.
- Wipe your windscreen in vertical and horizontal motions to ensure you reach the whole windscreen.
- Buff off the remaining product in circular motions with your cloth to ensure a shiny, polished look. Avoid touching the glass with your hands to avoid smears.
Keep It Stored
While summertime is everyone’s favourite time to take long trips in the car, it’s a time when your car, including your windscreen, is a touch more delicate. Extreme temperature changes cause windscreens to expand and contract, making your windscreen more fragile. Summer heat can put pressure on your windscreen which may crack more easily, especially as you use your car more readily during these months. To avoid heat-stressed windscreens and windows, always keep your car stored when you can. Aim for parking your car in a cool and safe area, like an undercover car park, when possible.
While trees are a great source of shade, they are also a great source of heavy, destructive branches. Therefore, avoid parking under trees (or at least big, clumsy trees) to remove the risk of falling leaves, branches, and worst of all, bird droppings! Not only is bird poop unsightly and annoying, but it is acidic – this acidity has been proven to damage paint and windscreen film. Not fun.
For those days where you just have no choice but to park in direct sunlight, invest in a windscreen sunshade. Just like a hat protects our human heads, this device shades your car from the harsh sun. As sunshades reflect the sun’s rays, preventing them from entering your car, they make your car slightly cooler than if it was fully exposed to the sun. This lowers the temperature inside your car and in turn the heat stress on your windows and windscreen.
If a windscreen sunshade is like a hat, then a tint is like sunglasses for your car. Window and windscreen tinting (In Australia, you are legally permitted to tint only 10% of your windscreen) helps protect your car from heat and harsh sunlight while having the added benefits of looking sleek and adding strength to your auto glass. Learn more about the benefits of tinting your ride by checking out our tinting guide.
When the Worst Occurs…
Sometimes damage to your windscreen is unpreventable. Windscreens can suffer chips or cracks due to extreme weather conditions, flying debris, or minor accidents. If your windscreen gets chipped or cracked, it’s important to get it repaired immediately as small damage can become severe very quickly if not taken care of. A small chip can turn into a large crack on your daily commute if you aren’t careful. It’s not only dangerous to drive around with a large crack (or entirely cracked windscreen), but it’s a much more expensive fix – compared to a repair. So, while the damage is minor, get it repaired by a trusted auto glass expert.
Going The Extra Mile
When it comes to your windscreen, going the extra mile to look after it pays off. Protecting your windscreen with these easy tips means fewer repairs and replacements for you in the long run. Preventing damage to your windscreen isn’t expensive, but replacing one can be – start protecting yours by implementing some of our suggestions.
Is the damage already done? Time to book in a repair or replacement with the windscreen experts. Novus Autoglass is the leader in windscreen replacement technology. With Novus, you can have full confidence knowing your windscreen has been properly replaced – we’ll even throw in a lifetime warranty for your peace of mind. Get Novus to come out to you. Call 13 22 34 today.