The winter solstice and the official start of the winter season is December 21st, which means the cold weather is only just beginning. With snowfall and colder temperatures in our future, it is important to know how to prepare yourself and your vehicle to withstand the inevitable so you can get around safely on icy roads. Every vehicle has routine maintenance that should be performed in a timely manner (i.e., oil changes, tire rotations, etc.) to keep the car running as well as possible. As the cold weather intensifies, take a moment and think about the last time you had these general maintenance tasks performed. If it's been a while, pay a visit to your mechanic or auto repair shop and ask them to give your car a good once-over including checking of fluids, tire treads, etc. Whether you work indoors or outdoors, it is crucial to keep warm when exposed to harsh temperatures. The most efficient way to stay warm is by wearing a hat, in addition to gloves and thick socks. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the heat from your body escapes from your head first, followed by your hands and feet. Keeping these areas bundled up is more effective than thick coats and sweaters, although those are also important. If you are spending a lot of time outdoors, take a break inside and warm up. Much like keeping your body warm, it is important to be warm inside your vehicle. That being said, a stark change in temperature, caused by pumping up the heat inside your car, can cause a crack in your windshield. The crack occurs because temperature shifts can cause the glass to expand and shrink rapidly. When this occurs too quickly, the glass cracks. A gradual, slow increase in the indoor heating of the vehicle will allow the glass to adjust while you are driving. This is the best method to prevent damage. That being said, if your windshield or window gets a chip or crack, Glass America is one phone call away. With our trustworthy, free mobile service, you can have a new windshield installed in your own driveway in no time. If all you need is a rock chip repair, our technicians will happily take care of that as well. Contact your local Glass America today to schedule a free consultation! As the temperature continues to drop, unpack your warmest sweaters and make sure your car is equipped to handle it!