Maintaining Automotive Glass and Mirrors 101: Tips You Need to Know

Maintaining Automotive Glass and Mirrors 101: Tips You Need to Know

Regular car maintenance is incredibly important to ensure a vehicle functions optimally. From increasing its lifespan to preventing major breakdowns, routine care ensures both drivers and passengers are kept safe.

Windows and mirrors are a vital part of this equation. While both components perform different functions¸ even small problems with either can cause significant damage to the car if you get into an unfortunate situation. Not to mention, malfunctioning mirrors and a cracked windshield hinder the visibility of the driver, often making it impossible to drive safely on the road.

According to Canadian motor vehicle traffic collision statistics, more than 1800 people suffered fatal injuries in 2017, while nearly 10,000 people suffered serious injuries due to traffic collisions and accidents.

While accidents can happen for a number of reasons, such as driving under influence or over-speeding—a blocked view is definitely near the top of the list. The inability to see a car coming from the side or a tree in an unusual spot can cause the driver to lose control and crash even if they’re careful. Situations like this occur when the driver is unable to properly see the mirrors or has limited visibility due to problems with the windshield.

Different techniques and tricks can help you keep your car’s windows and mirrors in top notch condition. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Keeping Auto Glass Clean: Maintenance Tips

While there’s a sea of products available in the market that advertise better cleaning and help you achieve smudge and streak-free outlook, without understanding the other variables involved, they’ll rarely work well. These include:

Cleaning Cloth

It’s not just about the window cleaner you use; it’s about the way a product is applied on the glass. If the cleaning cloth is of low-quality, the cleaner won’t perform to the best of its ability regardless of how high-end it is.

Your choice of cloth should further be dictated by the weather. When it’s freezing outside, you need a different cleaning cloth than one used in normal, moderate weather.

When buying a window cleaning cloth, keep a few things in mind.

  • Typically, it should be  a microfiber cloth to ensure finesse
  • It must be lint-free
  • It should be easily washable with regular detergent
  • It shouldn’t be oversized (the ideal size is 16×16 inches)

A well-kept secret in the cleaning industry is that cleaning cloths don’t have to be designed for car windows. If you understand the features required, you can buy any cleaning towel/cloth and use it for auto glass cleaning. Make sure that you have a few extra sets available for emergency purposes, though.

A good rule of thumb is to reserve window cloths for windows and mirror cloths for mirrors. This avoids the transfer of chemicals from one place to the other.

Inside vs. Outside of Window

Many people don’t consider this, but the external and internal sides of car windows need different care techniques. The reason behind that is a completely different set of use cases.

  • Outer Surface: Exposed to weather, dirt, water and other elements such as fall-out or impacts
  • Inner Surface: Hazy build up that occurs due to the chemical gasses emitted by manufactured components as well as window film

It’s important to keep in mind that these different use cases also lead to different levels of wear and tear. If your car windows are always rolled up with the AC on at all times, you’ll need to consider the impact of heating and cooling on the glass as well.

Here’s how you can best clean the inside of your car’s windows.

  • Use rubbing alcohol and distilled water to clear away residue
  • Wipe it away with a damp cleaning towel
  • Spray the window cleaner (2–3 spritzes) and then use a microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe it clean.

When washing outside of the windows, follow these instructions.

  • To avoid extra work, save window cleaning for the end and wash the car first.
  • Start with the windshield and then move to the rear window, since these are the hardest to clean.  You may need a cleaning tool to reach the inaccessible parts of the window such as  tight corners and the space between the dashboard and the windshield
  • To remove contamination,

It’s best to fold the cleaning towels when wiping off the cleaner so you can use it twice or thrice from the dry sides without the need to wash it. Avoid circular movements when using the cleaning fabric.

Windshield and Wiper Blades

Wipers play a crucial role in windshield maintenance, both positive and negative. A clean, fully functional wiper blade will be able to clear away water, dust and fog quickly as you drive. On the other hand, old or damaged wiper blades will be unable to perform their basic functions and leave the glass scratched.

This is why it’s crucial to keep their maintenance in mind when caring for the rest of the auto glass in your car.

Mirrors

While the basic cleaning tips remain the same, there are a few things you should keep in mind for mirror maintenance:

  • Move your car out of the sun and clean it under shade to prevent the formation of water stains due to evaporation
  • Mirrors are a small part of your vehicle, so you may convince yourself that they don’t need an exclusive glass cleaner. However, the critical role they play in safe driving makes them worthy of special attention; which is why you should never use multi-purpose cleaner for them.
  • Circular motions when cleaning mirrors lead to the best results, unlike with windows.
  • Instead of spraying cleaner directly onto the mirror, spray the lint free cloth and then wipe. This prevents build-up.

While the above-mentioned tips will help you keep your windows cleaned and fully functional, often achieving a spotless look can become difficult. Stubborn stains like bird poop or bug splatter may not come off during a regular clean. Multiple attempts will not only further the stain but may leave scratches on the glass, which is it’s best to consult a professional service.

 If you notice any scratches or chips that may have been invisible before due to the dirt, you’ll need expert auto glass repair services. If you’re currently looking for a reliable auto glass repair and replacement company, we provide expert services in British Columbia, Langley and Maple Ridge.

You can get in touch with us at 310-GLAS or book an appointment for a consultation.

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