To make this car maintenance tip easier, I’m subdividing this post into different sections. Since we’ve already tackled how you should inspect the rear of your vehicle to find possible auto problems, now we switch over to the front of your ride.
The Importance of Keeping your Vehicle Clean
True, we already know that aesthetics play a big factor in increasing your vehicle’s value, but did you know that keeping the front of your vehicle clean can also help you in preventing vehicle damage brought by obstruction caused by debris?
Inspect the front of your vehicle. First, check the grille around the front. Is it filled with debris and dead bugs? If so, then you need to clean this vehicle part immediately. The accumulation of debris can help prevent proper heat dissipation. It can also prevent cool air from entering your vehicle’s vents. Wipe away the debris and use a brush for those hard-to-reach places.
Also inspect the area where your wipers sit. If there’s an accumulation of dirt in that area, clean this part immediately. If you don’t do this, the debris might get caught in your wiper blades, and this can scratch your windshield’s glass or worse, it can get sucked down into your ride’s air ducts, effectively blocking necessary air flow.
Checking the Windshield and Your Vehicle Windows
Step 1: Checking the Windshield
The next step is to search your windshield for signs of cracks or dings. If you find that there are small scratches on your windshield, take note of their location and how deep they are. Even the smallest pockmarks in your windshield could turn the glass into an “accident-waiting-to-happen”. You wouldn’t want your windshield shattering while you’re driving at high speed down the freeway, right?
Step 2: Checking the Seal
Don’t forget to check the seal around the windshield glass. The rubber-like seal helps hold your windshield in place. You may have already seen a vehicle or two whose windshield is secured in place with electric tape or any other form of adhesive. Although it may seem like a quick fix, believe me when I tell you that this “instant solution” is hardly safe and not recommended. Make sure that the rubber seal is not separating or cracked. If you find that your vehicle’s seal is about to separate from your vehicle completely, you’ll need to glue it down tightly onto your windshield. There’s a special type of hardwearing glue that you can use. This type of glue is usually sold at auto parts stores. If the seal continues to crack or separate even after you’ve glued it down several times, then you have no other recourse but to have this part replaced by a professional mechanic.
Step 3: Checking Your Vehicle Windows
Now that you’re done checking the windshield, you can now proceed to the next step and that’s to check your ride’s windows. Conduct the same process as listed above. Although it’s usually the windshield that receives the most amount of stress while you’re driving, you certainly won’t want to lose any of your car’s windows. Just make sure all of the seals are in their proper place and in great condition.
Step 4: Cleaning Your Wipers
After checking your windows, proceed to the well at the front section of your vehicle where your windshield wipers rest. Pull up your wipers and place them on a vertical position. Clean your wipers and your wiper blades using a brush. If your wiper blades are no longer as efficient as they used to be, or if they’re no longer working, then you need to replace this auto part as soon as possible.
Replacing Your Wiper Blades
Step 1: Check your owner’s manual to determine the type of wiper blade you need.
Step 2: Clean your windshield completely to prevent grit from sticking onto your new blades. Debris can easily destroy your new wiper blades and can also help create more scratches on your windshield.
Step 3: Purchase the right wiper blades for your ride.
Step 4: Remove the clips that secures your current wiper blades in place.
Step 5: Remove your current wiper blades. Most blades can be removed by simply sliding them off.
Step 6: Slip your new wiper blades into place.
Step 7: Re-fasten the clips to secure your new blades completely.
A Note On Windshield Replacement
In most cases, your vehicle insurance policy should cover the cost of window or windshield replacements without affecting your insurance rates. You’ll still have to fork over some cash, but it usually does not exceed $150. However, if you recently had a major repair shouldered by your insurer then you might need to pay for windshield replacement. Check your insurance policy details to see if your insurance will cover the replacement. If you’re unsure, call up your insurance agent to check.