Owning a car is one of the greatest events to ever happen in our lives. We do our best to care for it by providing the gas it needs, tuning services, oil changes, car washes, repairs, you name it! But as our personal lives start to get busy with work, school, or just personal matters, we may start to pay less attention to our vehicles. We sometimes push our vehicles beyond the 3,000 mile or 3 month limit and our vehicles are pretty good at turning on the “check” engine light to remind us that it needs an oil change. When our tires do not have enough air (or is flat), the vehicle will shake and/or the tire will hit the rim of the car. There are many signs that appear that help us to remember to take care of our cars. But, there is one automobile issue that we do not necessarily get reminded of and that is a dirty windshield.
Dangers of a Dirty Windshield
When the windshield becomes too dirty, it can be hard to see the road ahead of you. Light either from the sun or the headlights from another vehicle can increase the glare which can sometimes be quite blinding. Visibility is one of the most important aspects when it comes to driving and when that is compromised, it can lead to unfortunate events like accidents.
Typically, drivers don’t realize how dirty their windshield is until it is extremely obvious (like when some random person starts to draw pictures on your windshield). By that point, one would feel embarrassed enough that washing the vehicle becomes a top priority (perhaps that artist is doing a huge favor!)
What Causes a Dirty Windshield
Over time, dust starts to collect on the windshield. This alone will reduce visibility. Depending on where you drive, dirt and/or pollen can start to accumulate as well. Depending on the weather, you may even experience rain or snow which will combine with the dirt or dust to make the windshield even more dirty.
Bugs and other insects may also be splatting on your windshield while driving. All of these particles will lead to a more dirty windshield which further increases the likelihood of an accident. Fog may even start to accumulate on the windshield easier with these particles.
What I Did to Resolve the Dirty Windshield
Like what many would probably do after noticing a dirty windshield, the first action would be to activate the vehicle’s windshield wipers and fluid system. When caught early, this typically does the job well. However, if you are like me to notice ONLY after the windshield is too obviously dirty, the car’s windshield wipers and fluid system may not do the trick. After activating, it might actually worsen your view. By this point, you will need a handheld squeegee device at the nearest gas station.
When I do finally visit that gas station, they sometimes offer the squeegee and windshield wiper fluid for drivers to use (provided that they haven’t been stolen). Unfortunately, these squeegees are also not of the best quality (at least 80% of the time for me). One is considered lucky if they have access to a brand new squeegee at the gas station. Depending on how dirty the windshield is, you may need multiple squeegee cleaning sessions for your vehicle.
What I Found to Be a “Hack”
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Because there is no guarantee whether you will have access to a good quality squeegee at the gas station, there has to be a better solution. Although it might sound obvious, the better solution would actually be to purchase your very own personal squeegee and keep it in your trunk for 24/7 usage. This can be quite handy actually.
Early in the morning, dew and mist may collect on your windshield. You may already be running late to work/school and you may only have front windshield wipers so you can get by with that. However, your back windshield may not have windshield wipers, so it will still have dew and mist on it.
This prevents full visibility of the road. You also won’t have time to drive to the nearest gas station due to the morning traffic and there is no guarantee of a good quality squeegee there. But if you have your own personal squeegee, you will not have to worry about not being able to see the road. You would just have to go to your trunk, pull out that personal squeegee, start wiping away all windows, and be on the road within 5 minutes or so.
Our vehicles are quite good these days in reminding us when to seek various services like oil changes, flat tires, etc. But one of the few things it does not do well is reminding us to clean our windows. Having dirty windshields can be hazardous while driving as it reduces visibility of the road. Therefore, it is recommended to wash your vehicle regularly.
In the cases where you do not have that luxury, it is always good to make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. If that is still not possible, there is always the squeegees at your local gas station. Since there is no guarantee that you will have access to a good quality one, the best solution would ultimately still be to purchase your own individual squeegee and keep it in your trunk.
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