Some Reasons Why Auto Glass Replacements Vary

When getting an auto glass estimate for windshield replacement, you might be surprised to hear the number is much higher or lower than you were expecting. To get to the bottom of why the estimates vary so greatly, we’re going to provide you with a few examples.

1.) Insurance Company

Whether or not you decide to go through your insurance company to replace your windshield has an impact on how much you’ll pay. If you go through your insurance company, you might be able to get away with only paying your deductible. If you pay out of pocket, however, you’ll likely notice the final price you have to pay is much less. The reason for this is because a majority of insurance companies have a pre-negotiated discount rate based on volume. So, you may take the price you see for the ordinary price, when in fact it is only the ordinary price when going through an insurance company.

2.) Make and Model Impacts Price

One of the biggest influencers on price is the make and model of your vehicle, and most people do not realize this. Different types of cars often use different types of glass, in addition to variations in glass shape and size. If your car is a bit older, it may cost more to replace your windshield because locating a windshield for your car type could prove difficult. The situation will vary depending on your car, so keep the make and model of your automobile in mind when getting a replacement estimate.

3.) Windshield Special Features

Does your windshield have any special features, or features that your car has connected to the windshield? An example of a car feature connected to the windshield would be having automatic windshield wipers. If you’re replacing your windshield, the wiring work would have to be redone for the wipers. The latter will crank the price up. There are also windows that utilize unique tinting for digital displays, which is another example of a feature that can raise the price of an estimate. If your windshield has any of these features, expect to cough over more cash for your replacement.

Forking over money for a replacement windshield is not something most people want to do, but going in prepared helps to make the situation more manageable. For all of your windshield replacement needs, come on over to Carolina Windshield Centers!

How Windshield Wipers Can Scratch Your Windshield

An often over looked aspect to any vehicle, windshield wipers are an essential part of your driving experience. Granted, you might not have use of them for an entire month or longer, but it’s always best to have them in proper working order for when you do. After all, who knows when foreign matter might plant itself onto your auto glass? However, most of us are driving around with old wiper blades on our vehicles, and this simply won’t do.

Like anything else, windshield wipers break down as they age. They become brittle and pieces of rubber begin to break off, which leaves tiny gaps along the body of the blade. Not only does this make it harder for the blades to do their actual job, but it can also cause them to damage your windshield. When there are gaps along the blade body, rocks and dust can get trapped within those gaps and subsequently scrape along your windshield. Also, depending on the condition of your wipers, small bits of plastic and metal that make up the blade can fray out and rake along your auto glass. At first, you might not even notice, but over time you’ll be able to see the damage being dealt. If your windshield wipers have a bit of metal or plastic popping out, the damage will likely be quite visible. Not to mention the fact you’ll be able to hear the blade as it scrapes across your windshield. That is, as long as your music isn’t so loud it drowns out the noise.

It’s important to keep your windshield in good shape. If you cannot remember the last time you installed new wiper blades on your car, it’s high time you got yourself some new ones. Any type of consistent damage over long periods of time is bad for your auto glass, so take a peek at your blades to assess their condition. If things are looking rough, purchase some new ones. If you have visible scrapes along your windshield, or often hear your wipers making strange noises, it’s best to hop on acquiring new blades as quickly as possible. New blades are relatively inexpensive when compared to some auto glass procedures, so save yourself time and money and get some new windshield wipers. You’ll thank yourself in the long run!

Why Rear Windshield Replacement is Different

Car accidents wreak havoc on many aspects of your vehicle, including the rear windshield. If your windshield is shattered or damaged due to a collision, the next step is getting it fixed. However, upon receiving the quote for the rear windshield replacement, you might be surprised to find the price differs from that of the front windshield. We’re here to tell you why this is.

Rear Windshields Are Made Differently than Front Windshields

For starters, the rear windshield is made from different glass than the front one. The windshield at the front is made of laminated glass, which is comprised of two or three layers of glass. This way, the windshield will not shatter when something hits it. The rear windshield, however, is made of tempered glass. This kind of glass is designed to shatter when damaged enough. But, when it does shatter, it shatters into tiny pebbles, which greatly aids in reducing glass related injuries. Since these two glass types have different methods of creation, there is a price difference between the two.

Clean Up is Necessary with Rear Windshield Replacements

Since rear windshields are made to shatter when significantly damaged, there is usually a lot of glass strewn about the car afterwards. Upon bringing the car to the repair shop, the technician has to comb the car for glass pieces to make sure the area is clean before installing the new rear windshield. This clean-up process is typically not involved with front windshield replacement, since they often don’t shatter outright, so it factors into the cost of the replacement.

Rear Windshields Have a Defrost Grid

Rear windshields usually come equipped with a defrost grid that helps to melt ice and snow in the winter months. This is another major difference between front and rear windshields. Installing the defrost grid requires more time and effort, which plays into the price difference for replacing rear windshields.

Knowing the difference between rear windshields and front windshields can prep you for some sticker shock when coming in for a replacement. For all of your windshield replacement needs, head on over to Carolina Windshield Centers! You can reach us at 800-900-1505, or by filling out our online contact form.

Why Rust is Bad for Your Windshield

If you live in an area where the winters are harsh, it is likely you’ve either noticed rust on your own car or spotted it on others’ vehicles. This rust is the result of your vehicle being exposed to the salt and sand that is spread along the roadways in times of major snow storms and sleet. While it is important to keep your car clean in the winter to prevent adverse effects from all the salt and sand, rust can sneak up on you with even the most diligent care.

Rust, when present, often reveals itself as an eyesore on some portion of the body of your vehicle. This is when most people notice it, at least. However, what drivers aren’t aware of is that rust can have other unfavorable impacts upon your automobile. By default, rust causes the objects it attacks to become less stable.  This could mean that if it attacks any of the area around your windshield, it could be much more difficult to have your windshield replaced the next time it is necessary to do so.

When caring for your car, keep an eye out for rust around the edges of your windshield. This could mean there is a leak in that area too. On the bright side, minor amounts of rust around the perimeter of your windshield can be managed by an auto glass center no problem. However, if larger portions of your vehicle are impacted by rust, it is likely you’ll have to see someone of a more specialized skill set to remedy the issue. For example, a body shop. They have the appropriate tools to remove the rust on your car in an efficient manner. Since most primers used during windshield installation don’t adhere well to rust, it is best you get your car tended to as quickly as possible if you notice a spreading rust problem.

Does My Windshield have to be Replaced or Repaired?

So, a rock has flown into your windshield and left a lovely crack along the side. The ultimate question following this event is whether the crack will only require a quick fix, or an entire windshield replacement. On the bright side, there are some things you can examine on your own to determine the next steps for your windshield.

1.) Where is the damage located?

Having damage on any part of your windshield is never a good thing, but one of the deciding factors of whether or not you’ll need to replace it is the location of the damage itself. If the crack or chip is located along the edge of the windshield, there is a good chance you can get away with a simple repair. Although, a crack or chip on the corner of the windshield could render the entire thing unstable. If the chip or crack is located in your field of vision, however, there is a good chance your windshield will have to be replaced.

2.) How much damage is there?

One small chip on your windshield is not going to warrant a full replacement of your auto glass. Having up to three chips on your windshield means you can still have it repaired. However, having more than three chips in your windshield can make it prone to shattering without warning. Cracks in your windshield, on the other hand, are a bit different. If you have three separate cracks, please get yourself to the nearest auto glass center. One small crack usually only warrants a repair, but if the crack is longer than a pen you might be in need of a replacement.

Regardless of if you decide to head to the auto glass center right away or not, it is always good to keep an eye on any windshield damage you may have acquired. Over time the damage will get worse, not to mention the fact that law enforcement can write you a ticket for operating a vehicle with unsafe equipment. Do your best to keep on top of your windshield, and you’ll likely avoid any unsavory outcomes.

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.