Keeping Your Windscreen Clear

Keeping Your Windscreen Clear

Your windscreen is the window to your soul … and safe driving.
Just as you wouldn’t wear cracked, chipped, foggy or dirty glasses, you shouldn’t drive with a windscreen in that state. Not only would it look horrible, it’d impair your vision. Hence, a clear windscreen is the ticket to safe driving.

Every season brings with it its own form of impediment to a clear windscreen and if you don’t regularly clean it, the debris will accumulate pretty rapidly.

  • Spring calls all sorts of birds to leave droppings on your car, droppings which contain a form of corrosive acid that messes up the paintwork and smears all over the windscreen when you try to wipe it off.
  • Summer heat summons splattered bugs whose corpses add to the debris.
  • Autumn summons a film of dust and fallen leaves that stick like glue to the glass.
  • Winter brings with it cold and rainy weather, resulting in fogged up and icy windscreens.
  • This debris could be on the outside, inside, or both the outside and inside of your car. Depending on the type of issue you face to clear your windscreen, the method will differ.

Foggy Windscreen?
A foggy windscreen usually occurs in cold, rainy and humid weather. Just like it’s difficult to see through mist, it’s difficult to drive with a fogged up windscreen. There are two methods of dissipating fog from the windscreen.

Demister
Most cars these days have air con and climate control that can be used to remove fog. The demister is the most appropriate and can blow either hot air or cold air.

  • Hot air from the demister is not a good idea. It takes more time to clear up the windscreen and at first only adds to the fog. Furthermore, blasting hot air in cold weather will only make you sleepy.
  • Cold air blowing from the demister will not only clear up your windscreen in a jiffy, it’ll also raise your level of alertness. After all, in the cold weather, most people want to curl up in a blanket and sleep – a blast of cold air should do the trick.

Wind Down the Windows

  • If you’re one of those unlucky few who don’t have air con in their ride, it may be best to wind down the windows completely to let the air in. This will take more time than an air con and it would be a good idea to be ready early in order to give the windscreen time to clear if you’re running late for work.
  • If you’re in a massive rush and don’t have the time to wait for the air from the windows to do their job, you could also wipe the glass with a microfibre cloth. A microfibre cloth, unlike ordinary cloths, doesn’t scratch surfaces, or leave residue and fluff on the glass.

Regardless of the method you use, make sure your windscreen is completely clear before you start pulling away from the curb. If the windscreen fogs up during the car ride, pull over in a safe place and ensure it’s clear again before moving.

Icy Exterior?
A common occurrence in winter or if you take your car out really early in the morning, it is easily solved before you even enter your car.

Garden hose
All you need to do is hose down your car with tap water and you’re ready to go (after using the windscreen wipers to get rid of excess water of course).

Don’t use hot water as it may result in a cracked windscreen and a whopping bill to replace it.

Dirt and Grime?
Even if you never use your car and leave it in an enclosed space, objects gather dust. It’s a fact of life. So no matter what you do, your windscreen will accumulate dirt and grime. The solution is simple.

Time for a Car Wash
Whether you do it yourself at home or go to a pro car wash, you need to get rid of all that dirt. After all, if your windscreen is grubby and smeared, not only does it look unappealing and unhygienic, it’s dangerous as you’ll be driving blind.

Even if the layer of dirt isn’t thick enough to completely impede your vision, dirt is still a danger as there are situations that require you to be able to detect hazards early. Difficult if your vision isn’t 20/20.

Cracks
Depending on size and location, chips and cracks can be cheap or very expensive to repair.

  • The smaller the chip, the easier and cheaper it is to repair. Most chips can be repaired for a cheap price.
  • Larger chips and cracks may necessitate the replacing of your entire windscreen – especially if they’re located in the driver’s line of sight – as these can’t be repaired easily. This’ll generally cost you a lot.

If you do notice a chip or crack, it’s critical that you get it repaired immediately, as these can spread along the windscreen until there’s a pattern of spider webs across your entire windscreen. This is dangerous as your windscreen now has a high risk of shattering and can cause injuries or even fatalities if you’re driving.

It’s important to notes sudden changes in temperature or a bumpy road can speed up this process.

It’s not just what you see on the screen…
Don’t forget, the key to a clean windscreen isn’t limited to the glass itself.

  • The windscreen wipers must be clean, fresh and replaced regularly (about once a year). Frequent usage can wear out the blade and make them ineffective, whilst the wipers themselves can gather tiny grains of dirt that will eventually scratch the glass.
  • The washer fluid of your car should be regularly topped up with a mixture of water and cleaner so that you can always wash off the dirt and grime on your windscreens.

Just as eyes are the windows to the soul, your windscreen is the window to safe driving. So make sure you clean your windscreen regularly to prevent the grime from building up.

References:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/06/02/2916309.htm

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