Your windshield is one of the most important safety devices in your car. Not only does it shield you from the wind, but it protects you from flying debris. It also keeps you inside the car during a car accident, protecting you from injury.
However, your windshield requires some work on your part. Follow this timeline to keep it in top condition.
Weekly: Clean Your Windshield
Streaks and stains on your windshield impact visibility, so it's important to clean your windshield as often as possible. Fortunately, the cleaning process is simple:
- Spray half your windshield's exterior with glass cleaner. Wipe it with a microfiber rag in a straight, up-and-down motion.
- Wipe the same half again in a straight, right-to-left motion.
- Repeat on the other side of your windshield.
- With a new microfiber rag, move your hand in a circular motion until you've buffed the entire windshield.
- Now it's time to clean the windshield interior. Put some towels on the dashboard to shield it from the spray.
- Spray a few squirts of windshield cleaner on a scrub pad, and a few squirts on the windshield itself. Wipe one half of the interior windshield in a straight, up-and-down motion.
- Repeat for the other half of the windshield.
- Wipe off any remaining glass cleaner with a dry microfiber rag.
This process ensures that you cover every inch of the windshield without leaving streaks behind. If your windshield needs a touchup, use the provided squeegee at the gas station each time you gas up.
Every Few Months: Top Off Windshield Wiper Fluid
Your windshield wiper fluid cleans dirt and bugs from your windshield as you drive. However, you don't want to run out of it when you need it most-so make sure the windshield wiper fluid level remains high.
Check your windshield wiper fluid level at least every few months. You should also check it during times when you use it more often, such as periods of rainy weather. You can find the fluid reservoir by looking under your hood for a symbol that looks like windshield wipers. The reservoir should have a line indicating how high to fill it.
Add more fluid by unscrewing the cap and placing a funnel over the reservoir's opening. Pour windshield wiper fluid through the funnel until the fluid level reaches the fill line. Finally, replace the cap.
Every Year: Replace Windshield Wipers
If your wiper blades leave streaks on your windshield or if they make loud noises, it's time to replace them. An auto mechanic can install fresh wiper blades.
As Needed: Get Cracks and Chips Repaired
A chip or crack in your windshield isn't just unsightly. It can compromise the integrity of your windshield glass, putting your safety at risk. You may be able to fix tiny chips with an at-home repair kit. But to ensure the highest quality repairs, your best bet is to take it to an auto repair shop. Many car insurance plans cover crack or chip repair and replacement.
Auto repair shops can typically repair chips that are an inch or smaller in diameter or cracks that are three inches long or less. For larger, more complex chips and cracks, you may need to get your windshield replaced. This also applies if the chip or crack is near the end of the windshield, where it could compromise the windshield's integrity.
An auto mechanic can evaluate your windshield and determine whether repair or replacement is required. You can't afford to neglect your windshield, so follow this timeline to keep it clean and intact.
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