Addressing that Crack in Your Windshield

Windshield damage can strike at any time. One moment you’re listening to one of your favorite songs, and the next a rock is hitting your windshield. Sometimes, you get lucky and no damage is inflicted. Other times, however, you’re left with a lovely crack on your windshield. Regardless of if the crack is small or large, it is in your best interest to mend the issue quickly. Not everyone does this though, so the real question is how long should one wait before addressing the issue?

In short, the answer is as soon as possible. By getting the crack repaired quickly, you avoid allowing the crack to spread and cause further damage. If the crack is fairly minor, you can likely drive for hundreds of more miles without there being any further issue. Large cracks, on the other hand, have a greater chance of developing into a more serious problem, so it is best to address those early on.

The longer you wait to get your windshield fixed, the greater the chance is that something will inflict more damage upon it. Anything from another rock hitting your windshield to severe weather can influence how your damaged windshield holds up over time. The location of the crack is also a factor. If the damage is located on the driver’s side, especially within your field of view, it is best to not operate your vehicle until you address the issue. Since most of us require our vehicles for everyday use, utilizing mobile windshield replacement services is incredibly convenient.

If you happen to live in Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, or South Carolina, which are zero deductible states, you won’t have to pay any money to have your windshield replaced. That is, as long as you have car insurance. If you live in any of the other 45 states, you will have to pay to have it replaced. This is one of the main reasons why people wait so long to have their windshields sorted out, aside from it being completely inconvenient. Sadly, the damage will not disappear on its own, so try your best to remedy the situation before your entire windshield spider webs or completely breaks open.

It can be easy to ignore small cracks on your windshield, even big ones for that matter. But, just like any other car damage, the crack will worsen over time. It will also get more expensive to repair the worse it gets. Repairing a small crack is much less costly than getting your entire windshield replaced, so keep that in mind the next time you continually put off repairs, and do your best to keep your windshield healthy.

Carolina Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop. For more information about our windshield replacement services, contact our Charlotte, NC auto glass shop at 800-900-1505.

The Effect of the Summer Heat on Your Windshield

Did you know that the leading cause of windshield damage is temperature change? With summer coming up quick, your windshield could be at risk for chips or cracks.

Dramatic changes in heat or cold can alter the integrity of glass, making your windshield and any existing damage vulnerable. Most cracks only affect the first layer of glass without reaching the polyvinyl layer, but added stress will increase their growth. Turning the air conditioner on full blast as soon as the car starts is one of the worst things you can do to the windshield: while cold air is hitting the interior of the car, the hot sun waves will still be against the exterior. The change is more likely to exacerbate the glass and lead to more thorough damage.

While you can’t control the weather, there are things you can do to limit risk to your windshield between seasons. Avoiding slamming your doors when the temperature is extremely hot or cold, and park under shade during summer months. Instead of putting your air conditioner on full blast as soon as you start the car, cool off the interior by opening the doors and windows for several minutes before taking off and gradually lower the temperature of the AC.

If you need a windshield replacement this summer, Carolina Windshield Centers will be more than happy to come to you at work, home or school. Click here to make an appointment online, or call us at (800) 900-1505.

The Science Behind Your Windshield

Windshields have gone through one of the biggest evolutions since the automobile was invented. The earliest car windshields were made using ordinary glass and shattered easily, injuring passengers and those nearby. Starting with Fords in 1919, the process of glass laminating was used to increase safety.

Modern windshields are a little more complex than early windshields. They are made with laminated safety glass, which consists of two layers of clear glass and an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral. The inner layer is key to the windshield’s shatterproof capability: while the glass may chip or crack, the polyvinyl mix binds the glass layers together and provides visual clarity that would be difficult to maintain through the glass alone.

A windshield begins as a plain piece of glass. A machine called a plotter runs a wheel over the glass and scours it until it is in the desired shape, depending on the vehicle. A torch is run over the scour marks and the shaped glass is popped out of the sheet. This process eliminates most of the jagged and uneven edges of the glass, though the process still requires sanding and polishing through a process called seaming. The glass is seamed, washed and sprayed down with a formula of talcum powder and water so the glass won’t stick to another sheet of glass. A silkscreened border is sprayed onto the glass sheets to conceal any blemishes or imperfections, followed by a visual inspection. The windshield is put through a bending leer at 1382° Fahrenheit, where it is melted down to the correct angle, cooled and hardened. An opaque vinyl sheet, previously formed into the shape of the windshield, is placed between the sheets of glass and put through a nipper, a machine designed to get rid of air bubbles. Following the nipper is an hour in large pressure cooker called an autoclave. The autoclave is followed by the steel ball test. Steel balls are dropped on the windshield from several heights to prove the windshield’s durability. If it does not shatter, the batch is ready to move on to a final visual inspection before getting sold.

Carolina Windshield Centers provides some of the best repair and replacement services in Charlotte, Greensboro, Morrisville, and Hickory, North Carolina. We have expert glass technicians and provide convenience so you can get in and get out with the peace of mind your windshield will protect you. Call us at 800 900-1505 to request a quote or schedule your next appointment today!

Top 4 Driving Tips

It is important to practice caution on the road. Here are the top 4 driving tips for every season and driving situation:

  • Drive Defensively
    • Always keep a 2 second reaction time distance between you and the car in front of you. And make that a 4 second cushion in slippery or low visibility weather.
    • Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing at all times.
  • Drive Distraction Free
    • All of your attention should be on the road. Avoid distracted driving, such as texting while driving or using your phone for any other reason while driving. Distracted driving is a leading cause
  • Drive Alert
    • Make sure you are well rested and have eaten a meal before taking a long drive.
    • Take breaks from driving if you feel groggy or unfocused.
  • Drive Safely
    • Do not drink under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Keep your necessary items within reach.
    • Don’t take your eyes off the road.

Carolina Windshield Centers has locations across North Carolina. Please contact us for more information about our windshield replacement services!

Helpful Tips to Buying a Car on Craigslist

Craigslist is a massively popular website for advertising. Millions of people use Craigslist for selling and buying products, services, apartments, and job hunting. Craigslist has recently become very popular for auto sales. However, with the occasional horror story related to Craigslist sales, many people have avoided Craigslist. Using common sense and a few tips, Craigslist can be a great way to buy a used car at an affordable price.

  1. Utilize both search options; the private seller and dealer options. The dealer options will provide you with a more legitimate buying option. The dealer option will also provide you with a certified and warrantied vehicle. This option may be the smartest choice if you aren’t looking to sift through thousands of cars that people are selling from their backyards. If you are looking for a car at a slightly more affordable rate, the seller option may be perfect for you. You will have many choices!
  2. Read the ad closely. Look for typos, or all caps, and grainy pictures. These can be indicators of a faulty car and a seller who isn’t looking to disclose much.
  3. Call the seller first. Try to judge the person’s character, and ask as many questions that you can about the car itself. Ask for more photos of the car, including any photos of problem areas that the ad might have mentioned.
  4. Meet in a public space. Many police stations now allow people to make Craigslist exchanges in their parking lot. This is a perfect place to use for safety. If you don’t have a convenient police station to use, an area with a lot of foot traffic is also safe.
  5. Have the car inspected. If it’s just you, take the car for a drive and test out the essentials. If you are buying for a family, or would like to be a little more cautious, have the car inspected by a reputable mechanic. A seller with nothing to hide will agree!
  6. Try to negotiate the price, and make sure that the title is clean.
  7. Head to your bank to sign papers! The bank will provide a secure and official space for the sale to become finalized.
  8. Once the car is yours, make sure you have all of the items with you. Check to make sure all of the parts to the car are included, and that you aren’t leaving anything behind with the seller.

Once your sale is finalized, you are free to enjoy the car! You have made it out of your Craigslist transaction safely and easily.

 

Heat & your Auto Glass

The relationship between heat and the automobile is something of a constant battle, especially here in North Carolina. Extreme heat can do a number to cars in terms of overheating, tire damage, engine performance, and most other parts of the vehicle.

One area we have the most experience with is of course auto glass. Heat can have a damaging effect on auto glass over time. Auto glass can potentially suffer in cases of severe heat. Already existing cracks in auto glass can spread and expand when exposed to extreme heat.

If you have a small crack in your windshield, you may be in luck. Many small cracks can be repaired, rather than fully replaced. However, if you blast the windshield with the AC during a hot summer day, you very well may need to get a full windshield replacement. That’s because the contrast between the heat and cool air can cause that small crack to spread.

Carolina Windshield Centers has locations across North Carolina. Please contact us for more information about our windshield replacement services!

Five Common Driving Misconceptions

After years of driving on the road, you may consider yourself a good driver and for the most part you are correct. You have probably heard a lot of driving tips from a number of people, but how do you know if they are true or not. Here is a list of five common driving misconceptions you have probably heard.

1.“If you get into a skid, put your vehicle in neutral”

We all dread the moment your car starts to skid and you are left with seconds to make a decision. You have probably been told that “putting your vehicle into neutral will help you straighten your wheels” from family or friends. However, this tip only works for some vehicles. If the back end of your front-wheel-drive vehicle is skidding, the best option to straighten your wheels is to apply power. If you have shifted neutral, you will be unable to apply force to pull yourself out.

  1. “Rushing up to red lights will save time”

It is never a good idea to accelerate before making a stop. When coming up to a red light it is best to gradually slow down than to rush to a red light. Gradually reducing speed will reduce the chances of being hit from behind and will save you fuel and brake wear.

  1. “All-wheel drive is a safety feature”

Do not be fooled by auto manufacturers that hint in commercials that all-wheel drive is a safety feature. All-wheel drive is a performance feature that only affects the vehicle’s dynamics, like acceleration. All-wheel drive will not allow your tires to grip more for braking or steering. All-wheel drive leads drivers feeling overconfident on roads that are actually slippery and unsafe.

  1. “Fog lights”

Most of us drive with our fog lights on at night even though there isn’t a sign of fog anywhere. Fog lights are designed to be used when the fog is so dense the headlights reflect back off the water droplets in the fog and make vision difficult. It is best to leave them off when driving, so not to blind oncoming drivers.

  1. “Wider tires give you more rubber on the road”

This is a common misconception that many people defend. People will argue that more rubber will give your vehicle more traction on the road, while in fact, wider tires change the shape but not the size of the contact patch. This is only true as long as the weight of the vehicle and the tire pressure stay the same.

Carolina Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop working in Charlotte, Greensboro, Hickory, and Morrisville, NC. For more information about our windshield replacement services, contact our Charlotte, NC auto glass shop at 800-900-1505.

Tips for Cleaning your Car for Spring

It’s important to use the right tools and products to clean your car thoroughly in the interior as well as the exterior.

Here are some helpful tips to prepare your car for springtime:

  • Use wax to protect the paint on your car, it’s helpful because the wax absorbs stains and small scratches before affecting the paint on your car.
  • Make sure to take the time to vacuum all your carpets, seats, and use a narrow end extension to get into the cracks.
  • Cleaning your auto glass is important because there is always grime and dirt that builds up. It’s best to use a non-ammonia glass cleaner with a dry soft cloth or crumpled newspapers.
  • Most professionals recommend washing cars by hand to help you better inspect and get familiar with the car’s surfaces.
  • For your tires, make sure they are cleaned before you clean and protect your car’s paint and to use a nonacid product.

With the warm weather approaching, it’s always a good idea to give your car a detailed clean and wash for the upcoming season!

Carolina Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop. For more information about our windshield replacement services, contact our Charlotte, NC auto glass shop at 800-900-1505.

Taking Care of your Auto Glass

Though many drivers may not know it, your auto glass is one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. However, many drivers do not think to maintain it as they might spend time maintaining other parts of their vehicle. While windshield cracks and chips should always be handled by a professional auto glass repair company, there are some things that you can keep in mind when driving and parking your vehicle.

  • Whenever possible, park your car in the shade. This is overall better for your vehicle, but it is especially smart for your auto glass. Extreme heat in the summer time on your vehicle’s glass can damage your windshield over time. On a similar note, cranking up the heat onto your windshield during the winter can negatively affect your auto glass.
  • Avoid slamming your car doors. We know how kids love to slam their doors, but this can actually rattle your auto glass and potentially stress the glass. It’s also just not good for your car doors!
  • Use a microfiber cloth for glass when you are cleaning your auto glass. Microfiber cloths are meant for cleaning glass and will not scratch your glass in any way. Additionally, ammonia based cleaners will damage your auto glass over time, so you should avoid these products when cleaning your auto glass.

Carolina Windshield Centers has locations across North Carolina. Please contact us for more information!

New Auto Glass Shop in Morrisville, North Carolina

We have recently opened our fourth Carolina Windshield Centers location in Morrisville, North Carolina!

From our new location, our mobile auto glass repair specialists will be able to make on-location windshield repairs and replacements throughout the greater Raleigh-Durham area. We are proud to expand into this new area where we can provide our safe, fast, and convenient windshield replacement services! You can contact our new location at (919) 670-2885.

We also have locations in the following cities:

Charlotte, NC

Greensboro, NC

Hickory, NC