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How to Prepare Your Car & Windshield for Driving In The Winter

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The winter season can be truly magical. First and foremost, there’s the snow! Considering our blazing hot summers in Phoenix Metro Area, AZ, the relief that a blizzard might bring outside of it can be welcome. Of course, driving in the winter can be highly dangerous not only for you, but your vehicle as well, if you don’t make the necessary preparations.

This is especially true if you decide to go on vacation to a more snowy area of the country. However, our own Arizona can provide a few challenges for your car as well. We can get around 10 feet of snow in Flagstaff or The Grand Canyon, and for the real enthusiasts, there’s the Snowbowl! Naturally, it is crucial that you make sure you can get to any of these locations safely. So, let’s see how to prepare your car and windshield for winter.

Avoid Ice on Windshield

Windshields can withstand temperature changes since they’re made of laminated glass, that much is true. More precisely, they won’t break simply because of the weather, but they’ll still stretch and contract when it’s warmer or colder. That being said, things change when there’s damage present.

Be it a crack or a chip, auto glass damage never stays put. It might not spread today, or tomorrow, but the “spider-webbing” effect will eventually take place. This what we call damage that keeps spreading until it reaches the corners of your windshield or side windows. If you’ve had a small chip during the summer months, but haven’t been able to get it sorted out yet, we definitely advise not to wait anymore. Otherwise, when ice settles onto your windshield when the vehicle is parked, it’s going to drastically worsen the impacted area. Moreover, the windshield itself will become weaker, and therefore more prone to further cracking. If that happens, your roof could go altogether, as your windshield is responsible for 45%-60% of the vehicle’s structural integrity.

The only true solution is having the auto glass issue solved by a specialized shop. But, we know that’s not always possible. As such, try avoiding a frozen windshield by parking your automobile in a warmer space, or at least cover the windshield with your product of choice.

If you decide it’s time to have your auto glass in optimal condition again, we’re here to help. Our free mobile car glass repair & replacement services are available Valley-Wide! That’s right, for the mere price of $0 Out-of-Pocket cost, we’ll drive to your very doorstep anywhere in the Phoenix Metro Area. We’ll even give you a lifetime warranty for any auto glass replacement procedure!

But What If The Ice Is Already There?

Sometimes we just have to park outside overnight, even if it’s freezing. Fortunately, there are a few ways to handle the ice on windshield problem that settles in during this period. There is, of course, the tried and true method of chipping away at the frost with a scraper until it goes away.

First of all, this will most likely result in you being late to where you’re going. Second and worse of all, if there is a crack present, consider that you’d be actively applying stress to a damaged surface. This is one quick way to compromise your safety while driving in the winter season. Furthermore, even if your windshield is pristine, it won’t be after you add a few scratches with that scraper and affect your view of the road. Instead, we recommend some simple workarounds.

Make or buy a de-icer spray

Most brands of de-icers are just fine, so pick your favorite. Still, having a homemade solution for a frozen windshield is cheaper, and easy enough. Here’s how to make a de-icer spray — there are two ways to go about it:

  1. Combine two parts of 70% isopropyl alcohol with one part water in a spray bottle. Now, the combined liquids have a freezing point of 5 degrees, instead of just water, that freezes at 32. Go ahead and spray the liquid on your windshield.
  2. The second way also starts with some water in a spray bottle. Add a scoop or two of salt to it (if you have road salt by any chance, even better). The same freezing point concept applies, so you can safely spray your windshield with it.

How to melt the ice away

In order to optimize the use of the defrosting spray, use it in tandem with the defrosting setting of your vehicle.

  1. Bring up the temperature as high as possible;
  2. Select “defrost” for the front and rear windshield;
  3. Put the blower on full blast;
  4. While the blower is working, spray the de-icing liquid, but do not overapply;
  5. OPTIONAL: at this point, you can consider scraping the glass very gently and steadily, but we’d still recommend waiting for the ice to go on its own;
  6. Finish the job with your wipers (only use them to wipe, don’t spray water).

Important: Never ever attempt to defrost a windshield with a bucket of warm or hot water. Best case scenario, the water isn’t hot enough and it just freezes, making the problem worse. Worst case scenario, the thermal shock will make the windshield crack or shatter.

Tips For Driving In The Winter In Safe Conditions

While freezing weather doesn’t occur too frequently within our Metro Area, it’s still important to be prepared for it. Moreover, the winter season is perfect for a ski resort or just general travel, and a lot of the USA does have freezing weather in winter.

8 essential items to keep in your car

Make sure to pack the following items with you in case of a vehicle breakdown:

  • Flares
  • Jumper Cables
  • Flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Shovel
  • Small tool kit
  • Radio (and extra batteries)
  • Extra windshield fluid
  • Non-perishable, high-energy foods

Surefire ways of avoiding an emergency

Additionally, here are a few suggestions to take into account so that you don’t end up in an emergency:

  • Have an oil change, as well as a battery check and fluid refill.
  • Make sure all of your car’s lights are functioning properly.
  • If your wipers show signs of cracks or are too stiff, it’s time to replace them.
  • Make sure your exhaust pipe is in top shape.
  • Warm up the engine before you start driving.
  • Clean your car’s lights of snow and ice.
  • Have your fuel tank at least half full to prevent a freeze-up. Take into account that the road might be slippery — leave extra room between you and the cars in front of you.
  • Lubricate door locks to prevent freezing.
  • Make sure to have all auto glass chips and cracks fixed as soon as possible, to avoid safety risks and prevent the natural elements from affecting your well-being

You can easily have the last one sorted out by calling us at (480) 525-6554. We’ll be happy to drive to your location and handle the required procedure.

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