Some people prefer the hot temperatures of summer, while others may look forward to seasonal changes in cooler months. Regardless of the time of year, there is always something to look forward to and something to dread. Many people will find that driving in various climates and temperatures present new challenges that the previous season did not offer. It isn’t uncommon to have a temporary shock when the seasons begin to change and your driving habits have to adjust accordingly. Fortunately, we live in a time where modern convenience has minimized these elements more so than ever before.
The elements of the great outdoors can impact our ability to drive and see the road ahead of us, and it seems like each new season presents a different challenge. For those of us who have to drive for work, school, or simply don’t have access to public transportation, we understand that even smaller elements can impact our driving experiences. In the following article, we’ll discuss some common nuisances that you can expect to encounter from season to season and how you can reduce or eliminate the effects of each.
After a long, cold winter, we can’t wait for the first hints of spring to arrive. Suddenly, the days begin warming up and you remember why it is you love this season so much. Not much time passes, however, before you suddenly wake up one morning and see every outdoor surface covered in a yellow layer of tree pollen (including your car). This nasty stuff not only can cause headaches, allergies, and other health issues but is also a nasty element to have all over your vehicle.
While you certainly cannot stop the instance of pollen, you can take a few measures to protect your windshield and auto glass for guaranteed visibility. A car cover may be the best bet during drier times, as you’ll otherwise have to wipe and wash the stuff off of your windshield. While some might not consider a thin layer of pollen to be a big issue, it can obstruct visibility on your auto glass in some cases and lead to harmful scenarios while driving. It’s easy to use your windshield wipers and fluid to remove the stuff from your windshield and line of sight, but the other windows don’t have the same accommodations. You can also park in a garage or under a covered space to minimize the effects.
Summertime Hail and Heat
With severe storms more likely to occur in the summer, your car may be subjected to nuisances like hail. Unlike the other items we’ll discuss today, hail can actually be substantially harmful to your vehicle, windshield, and other types of auto glass often requiring the need for a windshield replacement. While there is no real way to prepare for what hail may do or when it can strike, you can be proactive in ensuring that your car is not exposed to the elements when you are not driving it. A garage is the best solution, but even a carport will help protect your vehicle from hail during a thunderstorm. It also can help prevent unnecessary fading of your car’s paint when the sun’s rays are most intense.
Another major issue that may affect your auto glass’ structure and integrity is the heat of the sun. Glass is designed to expand and contract based on temperature, which is a good thing in most cases. When you run the air conditioner and blast the windows and windshield with cold air, however, you can actually weaken these elements and even create bigger cracks if existing damage is already present. Be sure to angle your air conditioning vents away from the windows and do not leave your automobile’s A/C on full blast for long periods of time.
Wintery Ice and Salt
Ice can be extremely hazardous to glass and windshields in a number of situations. For starters, falling pieces of ice from roofs, trees, and other structures can make contact with your windshield and cause damage much like hail would. Another way it harms glass is similar to the way that heat can cause damage: if ice or snow works its way into existing damage, it can melt and freeze again, causing the crack to expand and resulting in more wear and tear on your windshield or glass.
Salt on the roads can be harmful as well, as its chemical structure can be melted and allow it to adhere to other objects. Tiny pebbles and gravel on the road can become intertwined with chunks of salt and tossed into the air by passing cars – if you happen to be behind the vehicle that does it, you may find these salt-covered objects making contact with your vehicle. Salt is also abrasive, which means that constant contact with auto glass or just your vehicle will have negative consequences for any existing damage to glass, paint or rust. DMV.org recommends that you thoroughly wash down your vehicle before winter and occasionally during the winter to prevent damage.
Virtually every season brings new hazards to watch out for while on the road. Your auto glass may find itself in the path of dirty pollen spores, icy chunks, and salty pebbles, all of which can cause damage in the right situations. By being prepared for this, you can help minimize the likelihood of damage, but some scenarios just can’t be avoided. Regardless, you are now aware of the most common nuisances that Mother Nature may throw at your auto glass and will hopefully be able to avoid these issues.