Winter is perhaps the toughest time of year for your windshield. Wildly fluctuating temperatures, road debris, poor driving conditions, and heavy precipitation can all take a toll on the health of your auto glass. At Centennial Glass, we know just how damaging our Minnesota winters can be, but we also know that with the proper care, your windshield can withstand the season. To help you avoid an auto glass repair or replacement, we’ve put together a few tips on how to maintain your windshield during winter.

Use Your Ice Scraper Properly


An ice scraper is a winter driver’s best friend—but it can be a windshield worst enemy when used improperly. Applying too much pressure while using your ice scraper can further small chips and cracks in the glass. Instead of attacking ice while it’s still fully frozen, allow your vehicle to warm up for a few minutes before breaking out the ice scraper. Not only will the ice be easier to remove, but you also reduce your risk of causing damage to your windshield.

Avoid Sudden Temperature Shifts


Have you ever tossed an ice cube into a cup of room-temperature water? What happens? Cracks. The same idea applies to your windshield. It can be tempting to crank your vehicle’s defrost to the max in an attempt to quickly remove ice from your windshield. Don’t make that mistake! When temperatures are low, your auto glass expands slightly; when they are high, the glass contracts. If your windshield is cold and you crank the defrost to high, you create a sudden temperature shift, which can cause significant damage to your windshield. Instead, let your vehicle warm up slowly before turning on the defroster.

Be Proactive About Minor Repairs


Throughout winter, your windshield takes a beating. Ice scrapers, temperature fluctuations, heavy precipitation, and poor road conditions can all result in minor windshield chips and cracks. To prevent minor damage from becoming worse, as soon as you observe damage, be prompt about your windshield repairs. If you fail to have chips and cracks repaired, harsh winter conditions can cause the damage to spiral out of control, necessitating a full windshield replacement.

Maintain a Safe Following Distance


Winter road conditions necessitate maintaining a safe following distance at all times. It’s important to keep in mind that many drivers fail to fully remove snow and ice from their vehicles’ windshields and roofs. When these drivers reach higher speeds on the road, the excess snow and ice on their vehicles can fly off suddenly, which creates a road hazard. If you follow these drivers too closely, you put your safety at risk, especially if you’re moving too fast to avoid a sudden road obstacle.

Depending on your location, many snow removal companies may sprinkle small amounts of dirt and gravel on the road for extra traction. When you follow other drivers too closely, their tires can easily propel road debris toward your windshield, potentially resulting in rock chips and cracks. Always maintain at least three seconds of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. If road conditions are particularly bad, aim for four to five seconds for increased safety.

Schedule Your Auto Glass Repair With Centennial Auto Glass


If you’ve noticed minor chips and cracks in your windshield, it’s important to have them repaired as soon as possible. At Centennial Auto Glass, we specialize in windshield chip repair and crack restoration to help you remedy minor damage before it grows out of control. For over 25 years, we’ve been serving vehicle owners throughout the Twin Cities metro with prompt, high-quality auto glass repair and replacement, and we’d be honored to make you our next satisfied customer. To learn more about our services or to schedule your appointment, give us a call at 651-653-1777, or feel free to message us on our contact page.