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Car windshield with rain dropsAll cars require proper maintenance, and your car windows should be well maintained just like other safety systems in your car. Having good visibility to see the road ahead is important, but you may not realize the important role that car windshields play an important role in a crash, helping to reinforce the roof as well as preventing passengers from being ejected from the automobile.

To keep your car windows in tip-top shape, here are 6 maintenance tips from the pros that can save you money and keep you safe:

1. Clean your windows on a regular basis, both inside and out.

You’ll want to stay away from ammonia-based glass cleaners, especially if you have tinted windows. The ammonia can degrade the tint film over time. It can also harm the vinyl, leather, and rubber in your car.

At least once a month, arm yourself with cotton or microfiber towels and a quality glass cleaner. Work your way around all the windows, cleaning thoroughly to thoroughly remove smudges, bugs, sap, bird droppings, and hard water spots.

Be sure to roll the windows down partially to get the edges when you clean.

2. Maintain your wiper blades

The rubber blades are exposed to the elements and deteriorate over time. This creates a dangerous situation when the wiper blades can’t adequately clear water from the windshield while driving in rain, because visibility is reduced.

If the wiper blades crack or tear, then the metal arms of the wiper assembly could damage your windshield. Always replace torn blades immediately, and be sure to inspect them periodically for damage.

You should also regularly clean your wiper blades to remove small bits of debris that can scratch your windshield when the wipers are in use.

3. Avoid parking in direct sunlight

This can be hard to do, but direct sunlight will weaken glass over time. Small chips can also spread in the extreme summer temperatures, and parking in direct sunlight creates some extremely high temperatures.

4. Don’t Slam Your Doors

Slamming your doors forcefully causes vibrations that can damage the window tracks over time. These same vibrations could also cause a small windshield crack to spread.

5. Repair chips or cracks immediately

Repairing a chip can help prevent it from spreading, and save you money. In many cases your insurance company may pay for the crack repair entirely, but on the other hand you may have a deductible if the crack spreads and the entire windshield needs to be replaced.

Repairing a crack begins with the cleaning of the damaged area by drilling out the debris. A special resin compound is then injected into the affected area(s) to ‘fill’ the void(s) and is cured with the use of an ultraviolet light.

A certain amount of distortion will remain after the repair is completed. The degree of the distortion will vary with the severity of the chip/crack. Smiley’s Glass recommends a windshield replacement versus a repair for any area(s) in the driver’s line of vision.

6. Don’t follow other cars too closely

Some dangers are more obvious, and you’re likely going to keep your distance from obvious dangers like a dump truck hauling gravel on the road ahead of you. But any vehicle traveling in front of your car can send small rocks or other debris flying towards you, and the speed you are traveling at increases the force of impact. It can be quite scary when a rock impacts your windshield, and it can cause costly damage. Always follow traffic at a safe distance to avoid unexpected objects.

Replacing a car windshield can be costly, especially with modern advanced driver-assistance systems that need to be recalibrated when a new windshield is installed. But with proper maintenance and good driving habits, you can decrease the chance that your car will need a repair.

Smiley's Glass provides experienced auto glass repair and replacement services in Richmond Virginia. We offer the safest and finest services when it comes to windshield repair or replacement. You can rest assured that we use only quality, manufacturer approved products as prescribed by theAuto Glass Safety Council’s AGRSS program. For more information on our expert auto glass repair or replacement services, you can contact us by dialing 804-320-7172.

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