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A windshield cover is a device used to prevent ice and snow from accumulating on a vehicle's windshield while the vehicle is parked. The windshield cover is typically fitted with magnets on its edges and clings onto the vehicle when the magnets are placed in contact with the metal frame surrounding the windshield. The installation of the windshield cover keeps the glass free from snow, frost and ice, thereby eliminating the need for scraping before the vehicle can be put into motion. While most paper or cardboard can become frozen to the glass, windshield covers feature a non-stick surface which is easily removed from the glass and cleaned of any snow or ice by briskly shaking it once removed. The windshield cover is able to be folded and stored in the vehicle's trunk or on the floorboards until once again needed.
Vehicles parked outside in cold climates frequently suffer from snow and ice buildup on the glass. This buildup makes operating the vehicle virtually impossible until the glass is scraped clean. This can lead to cold hands, damaged clothing and jewelry as well as ruined glass. Ice scrapers often leave scratches on the glass that are difficult to remove. Placing a windshield cover over the vehicle's windshield can help eliminate this wintertime frustration.
Some manufacturers of the covers recommend an application of automobile finish wax to the windshield prior to placing the windshield cover over the glass. The wax is rubbed onto the clean windshield and allowed to dry. Once dry, the wax is removed with a clean cloth and the windshield is buffed to a clear finish. Once this wax coat is buffed and removed, in most cases, it eliminates the possibility of the windshield cover becoming frozen to the surface of the glass. Manufacturers suggest this procedure should be repeated two or three times per week during periods of severe weather in order to maintain the best non-stick finish.
In some areas that are subjected to severe winter weather, some vehicle owners place a windshield cover over not only the windshield, but the rear window as well. This double application allows the vehicle operator to start the vehicle and quickly drive away. The time spent scraping the snow and ice free from the front and rear glass is reduced to the few seconds required to remove the covers from both windows and place them in the vehicle's trunk. Some vehicle owners also use a windshield cover in the heat of summer to shade the vehicle's dash and interior from sun damage.