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Woman in car with broken windshield - Aspen Auto Glass

How To Prevent Windshield Cracks And Chips

Scheduling a windshield chip repair only to need another one a short while later is frustrating. While there is no way to prevent windshield damage altogether, especially on Alberta roads where rocks, gravel, and debris are common, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of windshield damage. Here are some of our top tips on preventing windshield cracks and chips.

Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations

We’ve all done this during those bone-chilling cold winters: blast the heat to the highest temperature at the highest level in an attempt to warm the vehicle up and defrost the ice. On the other hand, you may have turned up the air conditioning to its maximum level during the hot summer days. You may have also come across misleading (and, frankly, dangerous) videos on the Internet of people throwing hot water on their windshield to remove the ice quickly.

First and foremost, please do not throw hot or cold liquids on your windshield. The windshield fluctuates with temperature changes and any rapid shift can place stress on the glass.

Instead:

  • Give yourself enough time to warm up or cool your car
  • Turn on your heat or air conditioner at the lowest setting and turn the vents away from the windshield
  • Once your windshield has warmed up or cooled down slightly, adjust your vehicle’s heating and cooling to a higher setting

When possible, park in the shade during summer days and in the garage or underground parking during the winter months.

Protect your windshield from hail

Hailstorms in Alberta can come quickly and unexpectedly, growing from the size of golfballs to as large as grapefruits. Keep an eye on the local weather forecast and avoid leaving until the storm has passed. If you find yourself stuck on the road as a hailstorm is coming in, try to find undercover parking, park your car by the side of a building, or stop under a highway bridge or underpass.

If you don’t have a windshield cover, use your vehicle floor mats to protect your windshield, prioritizing your line of vision as the driver. Rubber mats can absorb the impact of the hail and help prevent damage.

Avoid driving behind large trucks on the highway

One of the biggest culprits of windshield damage is kicked-up rocks and debris or gravel flying off of the truck and hitting your windshield. For this reason, try to avoid driving behind trucks or large vehicles on the highway. Avoid busy highways when possible and if your commute involves busy roads, be sure to keep a good distance between your car and other vehicles on the road.

Choose your auto glass repair shop carefully

Last but certainly not least, the auto glass repair shop you choose for windshield chip repairs or full glass replacements plays a significant role in keeping your windshield damage-free. When a windshield is improperly installed, it can crack more easily at the slightest vibration. More importantly, this is a safety concern for you, your passengers, and everyone on the road.

Always go to an experienced professional for windshield repair and replacement, be wary of ‘quick and cheap’ sales offers, and never settle for subpar work on something as important as your windshield.

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