Protecting Auto Glass In Extreme Temperatures
If you've just moved to another region of the country and now face summer or winter temperatures that are far more severe than what you're used to, you need to learn how to protect your car windows from excessive heat or cold. In addition to doing things like protecting the glass from ice, how you use your car and where you leave it can affect how well the glass does.
Extreme Heat Cracks Glass
You see cars driving in the heat of summer in places like the Desert Southwest, so obviously car window and windshield glass can deal with some heat. But remember that a car that's moving is also experiencing the equivalent of wind. Even on a windless day, the car's motion will make the air move around it, cooling the car somewhat. Leaving your car in the heat, such as in an unshaded parking lot, can weaken the glass. In an August 2015 report, for example, KOCO in Oklahoma City noted that the heat that summer had actually made someone's back windshield explode.
Park your car in the shade whenever possible, be that in a garage, a covered carport, or near trees in an open lot. Use a car cover if you can't find shade. A sunshade isn't going to help glass in this case because the shade is on the inside of the car, so the glass is still exposed unless you find another way to get it out of the sun.
Extreme Heat and Cold Make Existing Cracks Worse
If you see any sort of crack or chip in the glass, even a tiny one, get it fixed immediately. Excessive heat and cold both make those cracks widen, and if they get too wide, your repair costs will go up substantially because you may be looking at replacing the window or windshield instead of just repairing the crack. If the weather is very cold and you're expecting rain, ice, or snow before you get a chance to get the crack repaired, place tape over the crack to keep water out. If ice is coming, cover the windshield with cardboard to help keep a lot of that ice off.
Your Car's Defroster
A temperature differential that's too great can cause your windows and windshields to break. You've likely heard that you should never pour hot water on a windshield to melt ice, and that you should use your defroster instead. However, even the defroster can cause a problem if you end up making one side of the glass very hot while the other side remains cold. Put the defroster on low at first and gradually increase the power.
Blasting Your Heater Can Blast Your Windshield
But even if there's no ice, your windshield is still at risk. If it's very cold and you put the heater on to warm up the inside of the car, that too can make the glass break. Again, start the heater on low, and gradually increase the temperature as the car warms up.
If you want to get a crack in your windshield fixed, have damage looked at, or ask other questions about weather and auto glass, contact auto glass companies near you. They will have a good idea of what cars go through in the area each winter and summer, and the staff can give you region-specific tips to help protect your car.