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6 Common Car Windshield Issues and How to Fix Them

Your windshield is important to protect both you and those around you when driving. You must take the time to maintain and inspect your windshield regularly as it can crack or develop other issues, whether from an accident, vandalism, hitting an object, or due to age. Here are six common problems that can happen to car windshields and how to fix them.

1. Rain-X or Other Product Build-Up 

Rain-X or any other windshield product can build up over time and potentially obstruct your view. To remove this, you will need to mix a solution of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and water in a 1:1 ratio into a spray bottle and apply it to the glass with a microfiber towel. Shake off the excess and let it dry before driving. It can be hard getting Rain-X off without using fire, so keep in mind that it may take several applications and some elbow grease to remove it. You can also dilute the mixture with more water and use a toothbrush to reach into smaller cracks in the glass. Please note: check your local laws before using this method for cleaning your windshield - you may not be allowed to clean it without professional help.

2. Minor Scratches

To remove minor scratches and chips in your windshield, you will need a rubbing compound (such as a 3M Rubbing Compound), a low-speed drill with a rubber polishing head, and toothpaste (in place of the rubbing compound if the windshield is tinted). Put some rubbing compound on a microfiber towel and rub it over the area with damage. Then, get your drill and head down to a low speed. You can then use a wet sponge to wipe off the excess compound from the glass while it is spinning to prevent any of that residue from drying into the glass. Then, use a different microfiber towel or your fingers to rub toothpaste over the damage in small circles until it is removed. When finished, wipe off any excess toothpaste with water and dry off the windshield with another microfiber towel. 

3. Rock Chips 

Rock chips are very common, especially if you live in an area where roads are not perfectly maintained like highways or mountainous regions with large rocks. You can easily repair these at home without having to see a mechanic, simply purchase touch-up paint from your local auto parts store and follow the directions on the back of the container to apply it.

4. Broken Windshield 

If you notice water seeping in through any cracks in your windshield, it means that you need to have it replaced immediately and will not be able to repair it (leaving your car like this can become dangerous if left long enough). You may also notice water leaks if there is a large crack in your windshield - it will need to be replaced as soon as possible. If your windshield is broken and cannot be repaired (such as if you hit a really hard object), then you will need to get a replacement windshield installed at the nearest dealership or place that repairs windshields to prevent further damage from occurring. A broken windshield always requires an entirely new windshield, so you should be prepared for this as it may be a costly repair. 

5. Foggy Windshield 

You can apply a product to your windshield for defogging and then buff it out with a microfiber towel for non-tinted windows. If the problem persists, you may have an issue with the glass itself or the sealer around it - you will need to speak with a mechanic to determine the cause, or get a windshield replacement. 

6. Pigeon Droppings 

If birds are defecating on your windshield, you can remove them with an ice scraper or a plastic card. You can apply some vinegar to the area they are on, let it soak in for 10 minutes, and then use your scraper or card to scrape off all of the residues. This will prevent any stains from taking hold of your window and is a great way to save money when you need to clean the bird droppings.

It's always better to be safe than sorry when car troubles arise, and most of the time it will end up being an easy fix that can be done at home with simple tools or by taking your car to a mechanic. If you notice anything strange with your windshield, take care of it accordingly and do your best to prevent any further damage from occurring. If you hit a rock and crack your windshield, be sure to visit a service center or dealership for replacement as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse.


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