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Tips for Drivers to Prepare For Winter Driving and Visibility

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This article supplied free to The Auto Channel By Rain-x

Winter Driving is Headed Our Way - Tips for Drivers to Prepare For Winter Driving and Visibility

From snowflakes to snow-slush, winter weather plays a factor in driver visibility so it's important that you remember to prepare your car for the wintery mix ahead. Outsmarting the elements when it comes to visibility can play a critical role for road safety. Quality products from wiper blades to glass cleaners, windshield fluids to headlight maintenance make the difference and gives drivers peace of mind while on the road. Here are a few standard practices that will help maintain your car or truck through the winter months and into spring.

Changing wiper blades?

When it comes to wipers blades, experts recommend changing blades about every six months or whenever the wipe begins to degrade. The quality of wiper blades varies with some rubber squeegees lasting much longer than others. Natural rubber performs well, but usually does not last as long as synthetic. The blade needs smooth edges to wipe the windshield cleanly and needs the flexibility to flip from side-to-side each time the wiper arm reverses direction. The only contact with the glass is the very edge of the rubber. During the winter months wiper blades like Rain-X LatitudeR Wiper Blades are engineered for proper contact with the windshield to avoid streaking and improper wiping.

Ultimate visibility for wiper blades in rain, sleet and snow is imperative for driver visibility but road film, dirt and other hard particles wear on those edges and destroy wipe quality. Ozone and UV light attack and weaken the rubber and cause it to deteriorate. Heat will deform the rubber into a permanent set where it develops a curl to the side and will not flip properly and contact the glass smoothly. All these things will reduce the quality of the wipe and impair driving visibility when you need it most. When you buy a quality blade, this small investment goes a long way for driving comfort and safety. Many auto parts stores will even choose the proper blade and install it for you at no extra charge.

Proper Windshield Maintenance

Windshield maintence is key to driver visibility and proper care must take place in order to stay safe especially when severe weather comes along. Glass treatments and cleaners should be a go to so that you are prepared and a quality cleaner with water beading technology such as Rain-X Original Treatment helps drivers when conditions are not optimal. Initially before you apply a product to your windshield it must be washed and dried with a hand towel, then the product can be applied directly on the glass using a firm, circular, and overlapping motion. Allow a product to dry is required as a slight haze may appear. This can easily be wiped into the glass for an even coating. Additionally wiper blades with water-beading technology are available with Rain-X Quantum that provide superior wiping and provide the original glass treatment in one.

Chips and cracks to the glass are sometimes unavoidable during unfavorable weather. Rain-X Windshield Repair Kit help facilitate the crack before it becomes a visibility hazard. Minimizing the appearance and sealing in the additional formation of the break helps maintain the affected area before it develops into a far worse issue. Along with winter driving fog on the glass of your car and side mirrors prevents a magnitude of problems that usually appear before it's too late. Rain-X Anti-Fog prevents interior fogging before the problem begins but must be used prior to getting in the car.

Using the correct windshield wiper fluid and sprayer upkeep

Windshield washer fluid does more than help your wiper blades clean the windshield. A quality fluid like Rain-XR De-Icer or Rain-XR All Weather Fluid will also leave behind an invisible water repellent that makes it easier to see when it rains. This repellent also can lessen ice and snow adhesion to make your windshield easier to clean. Use winter fluid with a freezing point well below the expected coldest temperatures for your area. Summer fluids contain a lot of water that will freeze easily. This will prevent your washer fluid pump from operating. And even if it does spray, the fluid could freeze onto the glass.

When replacing a summer fluid with a winter fluid, don't just top off with a small amount. A cold snap could freeze the fluid in a short time. Fill the reservoir with winter fluid and generously spray some of the new fluid onto the windshield. This will clear the summer fluid out of the hoses and spray tips. Otherwise they may freeze and even winter fluid in the reservoir will not spray. You also may need to switch to winter fluid whenever driving to a higher and colder elevation or when traveling from the South to the North in the winter. For windshield sprayer malfunction, the most common issue is ice blocking supply lines and sprayer tips. These thin lines freeze quickly. This goes back to the point that it is easily preventable by using the proper winter fluid before driving in cold weather.

The simplest fix is to allow the vehicle to warm in a heated garage if available. Parking in a warm sunny protected area can speed thawing. A blow dryer on the lines can also help thaw if electricity is available. Even engine heat can contribute to thawing. Sometimes a fine wire can be used to clean the sprayer tip, but this only helps if the lines leading to the tip are thawed and clear. And of course the fluid in the reservoir must also be thawed. The best quick fix is to plan ahead and use the proper winter fluid. An alternative to help break up ice or snow on the windshield is to pour fluid onto the windshield and wiped manually or with the wiper blades.

Headlights Restoration Modern headlights look great and perform better than old styles. However, the plastic surface can become dull and yellow, sometimes even ugly brown as it ages which can result in poor visibility. To restore and look like "new", the first step is simply to keep the headlights clean. Wash them regularly. If you need to clean your windshield at the gas pump, the headlights also need cleaned.

In the winter always keep them clear of ice and snow. If you need to remove ice or snow from the windshield, you need to remove it from the headlights. This is more important than ever since modern headlights may not become as warm as older types and ice may not melt quickly.

As the vehicle ages the headlight can build a surface film that does not easily clean and the plastic itself may darken. Now it's time for a little restoration. Several kits are available at your local auto parts store to do the job. Follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the kit. The Rain-XR Headlight Restoration Kit also has a helpful video on You-Tube. This kit does not require any power tools; just use the polishing pads and polish starting with the coarser (more aggressive) pad and moving to the finer pads. Finish with the sealer and you're done. The surface becomes clearer and smoother as you go and your headlights will become brighter.