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You follow all the rules. You keep your car in your garage to avoid heat damage, you defrost only with cold water, you try to park under cover everywhere you go. But when you have no choice but to park your favorite car-baby outside, how do you protect your auto glass from environmental damage?

We realize that not everyone has the luxury of parking their vehicles in a garage – or even in a covered parking space – but even if you do have to park outside in merciless conditions, there are steps you can take to protect your automobile. If you’re parking outside this summer or winter, check out these helpful tips for avoiding an unnecessary auto glass repair or replacement.

Avoid Parking in Direct Sunlight

Whenever it’s possible, park in a shaded area. If there isn’t a lot of shade, semi-shaded is better than nothing. If there’s no shade at all (think the mall parking lot) and you’ll be there for a few hours, try to park on the side of the building where the sun will end up casting shadows.

If you’ve ever touched your car after leaving it for hours in the sun or accidentally burned yourself with the seatbelt clip, you know how hot your car can get, even in normal summer conditions. And while hot glass may not be your top concern, excessive heat can compromise the structural integrity of your windshield. If you already have minor chips or cracks, excessive heat can cause them to worsen and spread as the glass expands and exerts pressure on them.

If you’re positive you’ll be parking in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time, protect your auto glass by having any existing chips and cracks filled to prevent further, more expensive, damage. And go ahead and invest in a quality sunshade to place in your windshield to protect your car’s interior from fading, sweating, and suffering other damage caused by heat and sun.

Avoid Parking Under Trees

No matter the season, you should avoid parking under trees if at all possible. Limbs and branches falling from a great height can cause damage to the roof of your vehicle as well as to the windshield. Even acorns can cause damage if they fall from high enough.

While this is less likely in the summer, and trees can provide shade, it’s best to avoid parking underneath trees. In the winter, you want to be especially careful. Ice and snow can make branches brittle and heavy, causing them to drop on your car. Protect your auto glass by looking for a less precarious parking spot. If your driveway or parking area is surrounded by trees, consider trimming back the branches to prevent a calamity.

Avoid Parking on the Street

We know it’s not always possible, especially in an urban area, to avoid parking on the street. But parking on the street means you’re leaving yourself open to the driving acumen of whoever is parking in front of or behind you. You increase your risk of parked fender benders and you’re more exposed to passing trucks that can kick up rocks and gravel in the road which can hit your windshield and leave rock chips.

If you consistently park downtown or on the street, try to remember to turn your mirrors inward and leave several inches of space in front of you and behind you when you park. Try to aim for the center of the space.

If you have any questions about how to protect your auto glass or you need auto glass repair in NWA, contact Fast Glass Service! We’re happy to answer any questions or schedule a time to repair your auto glass. We also offer mobile services, so you can work from home while we repair your windshield right in the driveway!