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Golf cart windshields are like your average vehicle windshields in many ways — they are accepted simply as a given part of your vehicle purchase and are rarely given much thought unless they end up damaged and needing replacement. Many of our customers believe that all golf cart windshields are essentially alike, but that’s not true! There are different types of windshields that work best for different purposes. Today, we’ll walk you through a few essential facts to know about maintaining your windshields and customizing your choice so that it’s the perfect option for your lifestyle.
How Many Types of Windshields Are There?
There are approximately three different kinds of materials that your windshield might be made out of. First off, acrylic, a strong plastic and the most basic material you’re likely to see. It’s the hardest material of the different options you’ll find, and also the least expensive to manufacture. That makes it a cost-effective option for buyers, but also has a very low shatter resistence that leaves it vulnerable in case your cart is hit by a golf ball, rock, or other flying objects. Acrylic is extremely scratch-resistant, however, and so may still be a good choice for you.
Impact-modified acrylic is essentially what it sounds like. Rubber is added to the plastic during the manufacturing process, creating a material that ups the impact resistance level. Impacts from a golf ball or rock may still crack the windshield (and so require replacement), but will most likely not shatter, so these windshields have a higher safety rating. However, the rubber that is added does soften the overall windshield, leaving it more vulnerable to scratches and requiring for careful maintenance and cleaning. It also costs more than traditional acrylic, so this must be weighed against the added benefits.
Finally, there’s polycarbonate, considered somewhat the Gold Standard of windshield materials. The only choice that can take a direct hit from a golf ball or rock without breaking, polycarbonate is the safest option. Polycarbonate plastic is softer than either acrylic or impact-modified acrylic and so the material is able to give when hit by an object rather than cracking or shattering. This softness does make it the material most vulnerable to scratching, so even greater care will need to be taken while cleaning. It’s also the most expensive option available.
What About Hinges?
Unlike traditional automobile windshields, golf cart windshields often come with hinges that allow it to be removed more easily. Some manufacturers may use simple PVC as a cover for the hinges, which will eventually wear down and break apart with sustained exposure to sunlight or heat. In South Carolina it’s especially important to invest in good quality hinges in order to get the longest lifespan possible for your golf cart’s windshield.
Customized Windshields From Go With Garrett’s
While we’re able to provide many different customization options, from something as simple as a cooler to more complex options like greater storage space or more rugged tires, we do provide a custom windshield option! With a 70% polycarbonate/30% acrylic blend, we work to combine impact resistance and scratch resistance for your specialty vehicle in a way that the traditional blends simply can’t match. Rather than fight with dust, sand, or dirt flying into your eyes, the windshields will help protect you from adverse weather conditions and keep you safe if an errant golf ball heads your way when you’re out on the green.