The weather has taken a decidedly chilly turn and there can be no denying that winter is now well on its way, which means you need to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your car in good condition over the next few months, so it can keep you safe on the roads.
First of all, you need to make sure that your windscreen wipers are kept clean and free from debris at all times. Make sure that they’re fitted properly, so they can work effectively and keep the windscreen clean and clear, no matter what the weather chooses to throw at you over the next few weeks.
Replace your wipers twice a year, once before the cold weather sets in, so you know they’ll be working at optimum levels.
If we see snow and ice this winter, make sure that you’re careful when removing anything from the windscreen and always use a proper scraper to get the job done. If you use a broken scraper or something you have lying around at home or in the car, you can scratch your windshield and this can prove costly to repair.
Never use anything like hot water to defrost the windshield, as this can cause damage as well, so try to be patient if you can – and give yourself enough time in the mornings before setting off to work to clear the snow and ice properly.
Also make sure you know what to do if you do find a chip or crack on your windscreen, as these can be exacerbated by cold weather. Moisture can easily get into these cracks and freeze in cold weather, expanded when it warms up – making the cracks worse.
Best practice with chips and cracks is to get them sorted out as soon as you can. It will always be cheaper – and safer – to get problems resolved as soon as you spot them, as small cracks and chips can turn into something bigger and more expensive quite quickly. Remember that a fully cracked windscreen will probably need to be replaced in its entirety.
Small chips can be repaired with an injection of epoxy or acrylic adhesive to seal the chip, stopping dirt and moisture from getting into it and making the problem worse. But bigger cracks are harder to deal with.
In terms of driving during the winter, you can help protect your windscreen by being careful on roads with poor surfaces or any roads that are under repair, as you could easily throw gravel and stones up from the road and these could cause real damage to your windscreen.
Your Highway Code says you need to have a full view of the road ahead and the glass on your windscreen should be kept in a good condition, or you could be driving illegally and find yourself on the wrong side of the law.