When it comes to winter driving, the worst thing you can do is not be prepared for the bitter cold and unpredictable weather conditions. In Colorado, things can change without warning and at the drop of a hat - you don’t want to be caught in a dangerous situation when there are definite things you can do to help you prepare!
Here is a list of things that you should check off A.S.A.P!
1. Invest in an ice scraper.
Actually, we shouldn’t even call it an investment. These babies are so cheap, they practically pay for themselves every time you don’t need your glass serviced! While we’re on that subject, do NOT use your snow shovel, do NOT use kitchen utensils, and do NOT just clear a tiny patch in front of your face, say “good enough!” and drive away. Ice scrapers that are specifically designed for windshields and auto glass can be found at numerous locations (even grocery stores!). You can also grab one on Amazon and you won’t even need to leave your couch until it arrives on your front porch! You’re welcome.
2. Make sure your wipers work. Well.
We mean it. Wipers with the blades hanging off like limp noodles? Bad. So old that they’re rigid and cracked? Bad. There are plenty of professionals out there who can assist you in replacing your worn-out blades, and if you need a refresher course, feel free to refer our recent blog on the subject! Windshield Wiper Care Tips for Fall.
3. Pay attention to your wiper fluid and antifreeze levels.
Working wiper blades are probably more than half the battle when it comes to keeping your field of vision clear, but you definitely don’t want to get caught without wiper fluid in a pinch. Sometimes the moisture from frost, snow, or rain just isn’t enough to clean the windshield, especially if dirt and dust is involved. Speaking of moisture, without the proper level of antifreeze, you run the risk of moisture freezing in your engine, which would mean terrible, terrible things for your vehicle’s anatomy.
4. Use gradual heat to thaw your windshield.
While it may be tempting to jump into your car, turn the heat on blast, and sit on your hands while wait for your windshield to thaw, you could end up causing damage if it heats up too fast. Instead, give yourself enough time to let it heat up gradually while you (calmly) scrape the frost off of the glass with your handy, dandy scraper! The last thing you need in freezing weather is a brand new crack running across your windshield from a rapid temperature change.
5. Fight the urge to dump water on your windshield.
While a cup of warm water may do a lot of good in a tongue vs. flagpole situation, it is not something that translates to thawing out windshields. As mentioned above, a rapid change in temperature doesn’t tend to do good things to glass, so instead of using water, try waiting for the windshield to warm up enough to loosen the ice on the outside, making it easier to scrape off. A little planning and patience when it comes to icy windshield situations will save you money and energy in the long run!
6. Invest in a frost/snow cover.
If you don’t have the luxury of a covered parking space or garage, another great option for clearing your windshield quickly and easily is a windshield cover. These contraptions can hook onto your windshield in a variety of different ways, but the basic idea is that if you attach the cover before the frost or snow sticks, it will serve as a barrier. The next time you need to drive your vehicle, simply lift away the cover and save yourself time and effort! Covers come in virtually every shape and size, and you can find them here on Amazon.
Keeping your field of vision clear and your windshield whole and undamaged are two of the main things to focus on when preparing for winter weather. If you have any chips or cracks in your glass currently, be sure to get them repaired as soon as possible, before the really cold weather rolls in. Water expands as it turns into ice, and that is definitely not what you want if moisture happens to seep into the chips or cracks.
From everyone at Quick-Set, drive safely out there!