Finishing Your Basement

Are Your Vehicle's Windows And Windshields Ready For Winter Weather? 4 Things To Check reports that automobile accidents that occur during falling snow or sleet injure approximately 76,000 Americans each year. The site also states that, annually, around 900 individuals die from injuries resulting from travel during a sleet storm or snowstorm. These alarming statistics indicate that there may be a connection between severe weather and automobile accidents, so it's important to do what you can to stay safe on the road when the elements threaten your visibility. Before winter weather arrives, have a trusted auto expert perform four basic tasks that can impact the performance of your windows and windshields.

Replace Wiper Fluid

Unless you drive a new vehicle with a sophisticated engine tracking system, you may not realize you are out of wiper fluid until you turn on your windshield wipers. It's dangerous to let your wiper fluid get low because it helps your wipers glide back and forth easily. It also removes residue from your windshield, such as particles of dirt and ice-melting rock salts that may find their way onto your windshield.

Even if your wiper fluid isn't low, you may still need to replace it. There are different types of windshield wiper fluid, and if you are using the same fluid you used during the spring or summer, it may lack the anti-freeze properties that a winter fluid has. You can figure this out by checking the color of your fluid with a dipstick and wiping the dipstick on a white cloth or paper towel. Most freeze-resistant windshield wiper fluids are blue, so if your fluid is orange, red, or yellow, it's time to take your car to the shop.

Examine Wipers Thoroughly

Just because your wipers work okay today doesn't mean that they are ready for winter. Have an expert examine the blades and arms of your windshield wipers to check for cracks, bent metal, and similar issues that may get worse over time. A small crack on a wiper blade can quickly increase in size, which may cause the arm of the wiper to protrude through the blade. If this happens, your wipers will not clean your windshield very well and may even scratch it.

Bent metal on a wiper arm is unattractive, but sometimes this issue is more than just a cosmetic concern. If the arm becomes too bent, it won't move properly. It may even stop moving completely and get stuck in the middle of your windshield, obstructing your view. An automobile expert can bend it back into shape if the damage is minimal or replace the entire arm if it is badly bent.

Inspect Wiring

Electrical wiring typically runs from multiple mini motors, plus one large motor, to the different parts of your vehicle. If a fuse blows in the wiring for your automatic windows or windshield wipers, they will not not move at all. If the windshield wipers don't move, snow and sleet may pile up on your windshield, making it impossible to see the road. If your automatic windows won't roll back up, then the wind may carry snow and sleet into the interior of your vehicle, creating an uncomfortable, and dangerous, ride.

If you suspect any of your fuses are blown, pull over to the side of the road or a gas station and request towing service if the weather is severe. You may not always receive a warning sign that a fuse is about to go out, so it's wise to have them checked regularly for signs of damage.  

Check the Windshield's Glass

Approximately 23% of vehicular accidents are weather related. If you are in a car accident, your vehicle's airbags may save the lives of you and your loved ones - but the airbags might not eject if your windshield is damaged. The condition of your windshield directly affects the performance of your airbags, and a windshield that is badly cracked or inserted incorrectly makes it difficult for airbags to deploy during a crash. If your windshield is damaged or you suspect it was installed by a novice repairman, take it to a windshield repair expert and request a windshield replacement. 

You can't always prevent an accident from occurring, but there are steps you can take to protect your loved ones. Reduce your risk of becoming a statistic this winter by having the components of your windshield and windows examined before cold weather arrives. For more information about maintaining your windshield, visit sites like