Preventing Windshield Cracks in Freezing Temperatures

February 15, 2024
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For those of us who live in places with colder climates, the winter season welcomes a plethora of hazards to our precious cars. One such issue is freezing weather, worsening windshield cracks and chips. Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate the possibility of cold weather spreading cracks in your windshield.

The key to preventing windshield cracks from cold temperatures is to avoid sudden changes in the temperature of your car. Since glass expands when heated or cooled, extreme temperature fluctuations cause stress, leading the glass to fracture.

If you’re wondering, “Can cold weather crack a windshield?” the unfortunate answer is yes. However, while freezing weather can threaten your windshield, it doesn’t have to. Here are some ways you can keep your car safe this winter.

Avoid Sudden Changes in Temperature

Windshield glass is highly responsive to temperature, expanding and contrasting as its thermal environment changes. As such, drastic changes in temperature can cause the glass to crack. Consider what would happen if you put a glass cup into a microwave. Would you want that to happen to your car? When the frosty glass of a windshield suddenly becomes hot from the warmth of the vehicle, costly damages can occur.

Due to this, it is best to resist the temptation of immediately blasting your car’s heat when getting into it on a cold day. Instead, gradually adjust your heat, increasing it slowly, allowing your vehicle to warm up without threatening its windshield. Although you may be cold for a short while, it is worth the sacrifice for the health of your car and to mitigate windshield cracks from the cold.

Regularly Inspect your Windshield for Pre-Existing Cracks

Cracks spread! Ensuring that your windshield is crack-free regularly will significantly reduce the impact that freezing weather can have on it. Consider getting your windshield inspected for damages at an auto glass company in Sioux City, IA. If your windshield has a crack, consider seeking a replacement or repair service.

Clear Off Built-up Snow and Ice

This may seem like an obvious solution, but there are many ways clearing snow and ice off of a windshield can do more harm than good on damaged windshields. However, cleaning build-up can save you from paying for windshield repair services and prevent cold weather from cracking your windshield. The first common mistake is to use your car’s defroster to melt the ice. Still, this strategy stresses the glass, causing its temperature to fluctuate quickly. Additionally, pouring hot water on frost to melt it poses a similar risk. The most intuitive solutions for clearing windshields can end up being costly.

Instead, turn on your car’s engine and let the interior warm slowly. This method gently melts the ice without harming the windshield. Instead, turn on your car’s engine and let the interior warm up gradually. This method gently melts the ice without damaging the windshield. Next, apply a deicing solution to the affected area, readily available in hardware stores or through online DIY recipes. These solutions, often made from water, isopropyl alcohol, and dish soap, help loosen winter debris. Once applied, easily remove any remaining ice or frost using a plastic scraper.

Park in Sheltered Areas

One way to prevent freezing temperatures from affecting your windshield is to avoid freezing temperatures in the first place. While it is difficult to uproot your life in Minnesota and relocate to Florida, finding parking in an area sheltered from your city’s cold temperatures is an accessible solution. If you have a garage at home or a parking garage near work, consider utilizing them often– your car will thank you, and so will your wallet.

Use a Windshield Cover

Similarly, employing a windshield cover prevents the winter weather from wreaking havoc on your windshield and is the perfect alternative for drivers lacking access to a covered parking space. While you may not be able to control the weather, you can control its access to your car. Using a windshield cover is a simple fix, offering protection from freezing temperatures. Like all of the aforementioned preventative measures, however, nothing is foolproof. If worse comes to worse, plenty of windshield replacement services in Sioux City can return your car to its former glory!

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