The days are starting to grow warmer, which means drivers need to start thinking about de-winterizing their vehicles. This can include washing and waxing the vehicle, cleaning it out and checking parts for damage and wear.
The windshield is as good place to start as any, and there are a few things drivers should check. Start with the windshield wipers. The recommended interval to replace this accessory can vary depending on who you talk to and where you live. The best way to tell if you need new blades is to visually inspect them. If the rubber blades are at all cracked, torn or brittle, you should swap them out for a new pair. This will help to improve visibility through the temperamental month of March, which often brings a mix of snow storms and heavy rains.
It's also a good idea to make sure the windshield washer fluid nozzles are working properly. They may have become clogged with road salt or other debris over the winter. Most vehicles have two spray nozzles to accompany two wiper blades. However, some vehicles are fitted with one large wiper, so they may have just one spray nozzle. To see if the washer fluid system is working properly, hop into the driver's seat and test them out. If the fluid sprays unevenly, in smaller amounts than usual or not at all, the nozzles may be clogged, or there could be other issues at play.
First, check the reservoir to make sure there's enough fluid and top it off if the levels are getting low. If this doesn't solve the problem, you can delicately insert a needle or a toothpick into the spray nozzles to clear any blockage that may be there. Still not working? Pop the hood and examine the hoses for leaks - replace as necessary.
Next up, check the windshield for any cracks or chips that may have formed over the winter. If any are found, it is best to address the issue as soon as possible, lest the damage worsen. Not only can a large crack disrupt visibility, but it can increase the risk of the entire pane of glass breaking. Some smaller chips and scratches may be easily fixed by injecting special resin or epoxy into the damaged area, but larger cracks may require more extensive repairs or even replacements.