The current YouTube sensation features the exploits of an SUV driver who decided to use his vehicle to uproot a tree stump. He ties one end of a rope around the stump, the other to the back of his SUV, puts his foot on the gas and– you can guess what happens next.  Suffice to say the cost of professional, and safe, stump removal would have been lower than the cost of windshield replacement.
But stupidity aside, damaged and broken windshields are a fact of every vehicle owner’s life. A loose stone flicked up by an oncoming vehicle can cause damage and that is not really something that you can mitigate against.
This handy checklist will help you stay ‘windshield wise’ at all times:
⦁    Keep your windshield clean
It isn’t just a stray stone that can cause damage, a build-up of dirt and grime can lead to problems down the road, pardon the pun. Keep your windshield clean inside and out to avoid nicks and scratches. Also, much safer to have good visibility at all times.
⦁    Check your windshield regularly
Do a thorough check for chips and cracks whenever you are cleaning your vehicle.  If you find a problem, take it to an expert for assessment. Nipping the problem in the bud will save you time, money and inconvenience.
⦁    Check your windshield wipers
To avoid scratches, don’t allow your windshield wipers become hard or damaged with overuse; replace them often. And keep the water topped up in your washer bay so that you can clean the windshield when required
⦁    Act immediately if you have a leaking windshield
The molding around your windshield glass can deteriorate causing the shield to leak. Whistling is a tell-tale sign, but that happens relatively late in the process, so check your windshield for loss of integrity whenever you clean it. If you find a leak, take it straight to a professional. Chances are you won’t need a full windshield replacement, just a new seal which can be done on the spot. Walmart for instance, will be able to fix it on the spot.
⦁    Carry a mini windshield repair kit
When the inevitable happens and your windshield is hit by a stray stone or other piece of debris, you should apply a mini windshield repair patch to stop debris getting into the crack. This will prevent minor cracks becoming bigger headaches. But you should still visit a windshield replacement professional at your earliest opportunity.Time is of the essence because, once your car is moving again a small chip can lead to a big crack.
⦁    Never go DIY with windshield replacement
Call the experts, it’s just too important a job to try and do yourself if you are not a qualified windshield installer. Also, sometimes windscreens can be repaired rather than replaced; there are several factors that can determine this: the size, shape and location of the crack. But only a qualified windshield technician will be able to decide what is best.
Whether you need a windshield repair or a windshield replacement, the cost is not great and the time it takes for either is minimal, you could be back on the road in no time at all.

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