Especially as fall and winter settle in, rain, snow, and ice can significantly reduce your ability to see the road ahead. Now’s the perfect time to give your car a “Visibility Tune Up” to make sure you’re prepared for the yucky months ahead. And the best part? It’s all really easy to do.
Follow these essential tips and you’ll be well on your way to tackling that gloomy weather with confidence and ease.
1. Check Your Wiper Blades
Wiper blades are your first line of defense against rain and snow. Inspect them regularly for cracks, tears, or uneven wear. If they're not functioning at their best, replace them to ensure they clear your windshield effectively. We usually recommend replacing wiper blades every six months to a year, or whenever you notice streaking or poor visibility. (Not sure how to install them? Swing by the shop and we’ll be happy to do it for you)
2. Keep the Windshield Clean
Grimy windows can wreak havoc on visibility. The glare that can sneak up on those dark, rainy nights can be downright unbearable sometimes. A clean windshield goes a long way in reducing that. Regularly clean the inside and outside of your windshield to remove dirt, grime, and residue. Your eyes (and windshield) will thank you.
3. Defrost the Windshield
We all want to run out the door as fast as possible, but it's important to make sure you give yourself time to fully defrost the windshield. Using the defrost setting can help speed up ice removal and clear fog from the inside of the windshield. Also be sure to take a minute to clear the side windows, rear window and side mirrors to give yourself the best possible view.
4. Use Winter-Grade Wiper Fluid
Ordinary wiper fluid can freeze in cold temperatures, and will either freeze in the bottle, or - even worse - freeze on your windshield. There’s nothing worse than spraying your windshield, in hopes of getting a better view of the road, only to have it instantly freeze and smear all over your window. Not the best situation to be in in the middle of say, oh, a drive over the pass to go skiing (not saying that’s ever happened to any of us before…) Opt for a winter-grade fluid with antifreeze properties to keep your windshield clear even in freezing conditions.
5. Clear Snow and Ice Properly
Before driving, make sure your windshield, windows, and mirrors are completely cleared of snow and ice. This excellent article has tons of ideas for speeding up the de-icing process on a chilly morning. Check it out and come up with your personal plan to fight the freeze this
6. Raise Wipers Before Freezing Conditions
If freezing rain or snow is forecasted, lift your wiper blades off the windshield to prevent them from freezing to the glass. This will make it easier to clear the windshield and reduce strain on the wiper motor. That simple move can save you some major headache the next day.
7. Park in a Sheltered Area
Well, duh, right? Nearly all these issues can be minimized simply by parking in a covered area. If you're blessed with a garage or car port, use it. (Like you needed us to tell you that, though.) This prevents snow and ice from accumulating on your windshield and wipers, making your morning go that much smoother.
8. (Bonus!) Check Your Headlights
Have you ever felt like you just can't see very well at night? While some of this can be attributed to personal vision issues, sometimes the problem can be as simple as dim or cloudy headlights. As we move into the fall and winter months, there's simply more dark hours in the day, so it's a good time to check if your headlights could use a little bit of love. If you notice that the housing for your headlights seems a little cloudy, a good first step would be to try out our headlight resurfacing service - it removes the cloudiness and can significantly improve visibility on dark nights.
By following these simple tips, you'll ensure that your visibility remains at its best, allowing you to sip that pumpkin latte on the way to work with confidence and ease.