Is the Crack in My Windshield That Much of a Problem?

Having a rock or a piece of stray road debris strike your windshield isn’t much of a rarity on the road, and often your windshield comes through the experience relatively unscathed. But, all it takes is the perfect angle and speed and in an instant, your windshield has a nice big crack in it. Even though you know you should get it fixed soon, the reality is that three months down the road that crack is still going to be there. Even with convenient services, folks still put off their auto glass repairs for far too long and they really shouldn’t. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why that crack in your windshield is a bigger deal than you think it is. Read on!

Reduced Structural Integrity

A properly intact windshield does more to protect you in an accident than you think. For one, it reduces the overall shock inside the vehicle and thus protects its passengers. It also transfers the force from a front-end impact throughout the car which helps reduce injuries. But, if your windshield is a bit worse for wear, you are putting yourself and your passengers at risk for more injuries in the event of an accident.

Ejection

If you, or your passengers, have an unhealthy knack for not fastening your seatbelt, your windshield can very well save your life if an accident occurs. A healthy windshield can keep you from being ejected from the vehicle, while a windshield with some damage to it will not provide nearly as much protection.

Rollover Danger

If you’re struck with enough force that your car flips over and lands on its hood, your windshield can actually help keep the roof supported and prevent it from caving in. If your windshield is sporting a sizeable crack, it’s not going to withstand the pressure it’s supposed to. If the integrity of the windshield is compromised prior to a rollover accident and it breaks, the roof of your vehicle can fully collapse.

Airbag Problems

When an airbag deploys during an accident, the windshield is there to provide a stable place for the airbag to inflate toward the person it’s supposed to protect. If the airbag inflates and the windshield was previously cracked, the windshield can shatter which causes the airbag to inflate out of the windshield as opposed to protecting the passenger.

 

Had you considered all of these possibilities when putting off your windshield repair? We’re sure you hadn’t thought of one! Regardless, it’s important to ensure the safety of your passengers and yourself and commit to staying on top of your auto glass if it happens to get damaged. If you’re in need of quality auto glass repair or replacements, trust our excellent technicians here at Carolina Windshield Centers!

Why Compromised Auto Glass is Dangerous for Company Vehicles

We all know that driving with a damaged windshield is not ideal, even more so if the windshield belongs to a company vehicle. When putting your employees behind the wheel of a company car, it’s important to note the state of the vehicle they are operating. If there is compromised auto glass, you’re putting both your employee and other drivers at risk on the road. Let’s go over a few ways you’re putting your employee and other vehicle operators in harm’s way when auto glass has been compromised…

Impaired Vision

While driving, we’re often exposed to heavy sunlight. The larger your windshield is, the more sunlight filters through the cabin. While this might be beneficial for vitamin D intake, it’s not so great for your vision. When a windshield is cracked or chipped, sunlight gets refracted which sends beams in various directions. If one of those light beams shines into your employee’s eye(s), they’ll be momentarily blinded. This isn’t only dangerous for your employee driver, but for their fellow drivers on the road as well.

Less Protection From Road Debris

When your windshield is compromised it can’t protect you as well as it normally could. Yes, your windshield is made up of tempered glass that is designed to withstand blunt force impact, but it’s a bit hard to do that when there is a chip or crack present. Cracks make it easier for road debris to cause more damage to your windshield too, and collisions even more so. Put these fears to rest by simply getting your windshield tended to.

Wipers Can’t Perform as Well

When there’s a crack present on your windshield, your windshield wipers lose some of their ability to clean water from the glass. When the blade makes contact with the damaged surface, the crack or chip in the windshield keeps the blade from making complete contact which reduces the amount of water being wiped away. Not only that, but more water is spread about the windshield which significantly lowers visibility.

 

If you have drivers getting behind the wheel of company vehicles on a daily basis, be sure to keep an eye on the quality of those vehicles’ auto glass. If you don’t, you could be sending your employees out on a dangerous journey. For all of your auto glass repair and replacement needs, get in touch with us here at Carolina Windshield Centers!

How to Break Your Auto Glass in an Emergency

Accidents happen, we all know this. One moment you’re traveling along the road and the next you’re dealing with a dangerous situation on the highway. While it is a cliché, the saying, “it happened in the blink of an eye”, ultimately rings true in most cases of automobile accidents. Now, we also realize you may have to break your automobile glass when your car is safely parked in your driveway, or on the street, as well. Read on for more details on how to safely bust your auto glass in the case of an emergency.

Metal, Stone, or Porcelain

This tip is for those who have their car parked in their driveway, a parking lot, or on the road. Remember when going into this that windows are made of tempered glass, which means they are built to withstand blunt force blows. However, using a sharp piece of metal, stone, or porcelain makes that a bit of a different story. Rather than dramatically shattering the window, a sharp object will concentrate the force blow on a tiny area and subsequently create small cracks or holes. Continuing along with this method will allow you to get inside of your vehicle. This method is particularly effective in a situation where a pet or baby have to be rescued from the car, seeing as it won’t lead to glass flying everywhere.

A Claw Hammer

A claw hammer is heavy, sharp, and should make breaking your auto glass relatively simple. Keep in mind that if you use heavy metal to break glass, you should go around the edge of the glass. Auto glass is reinforced in the middle, so the surface is weakest at the edges and is the place where the glass is most likely to crack or chip. Begin there and slowly make your way to the middle of the glass where it will eventually shatter.

The Headrest

Plenty of drivers have no tools at their disposal to utilize in breaking their auto glass. Surprisingly, your head rest can be a life saver. Pull the headrest completely out of your front seat, aim the metal pegs on the headrest at the glass, and jam them down inside the area where the window moves up and down within the door panel. When you have pushed the pegs as far down as you can get them, pull the headrest towards you until the window snaps. The glass should then fall away from the door.

 

While it certainly isn’t pretty, sometimes your auto glass gets in the way of a dire situation and needs to be broken. If you’re in an emergency and need to get out of your car, or gain access to your car, utilize our suggestions above. If you need auto glass repair after performing said suggestions, you know who to call. Contact your nearest Carolina Windshield Center and we’ll have you good to go in no time.

Window Trouble? Broken Window Glass Might Be the Problem

Gone are the days where we use a handle crank to roll our windows up and down. Well, not gone, since there are still plenty of vehicles on the road with crank handle windows, but a lot of drivers now have electronic windows. When we begin experiencing issues with our windows rolling up and down, we immediately think the problem is due to a bad fuse or wonky motor. However, have you ever considered the problem to be the cause of broken, or cracked, glass?

 

Even the smallest of broken pieces or chips can get lodged in the window track and interfere with operations. When rolling up a window, you’ll never see the bottom portion of it. There must be more window than the frame for the window to be properly sealed, and this is where the trouble is. Not being able to view the bottom part of the window glass can make it difficult to tell if that portion has been damaged. However, you can look for the following signs.

 

  • The window tilts either backward or forward, or both, as it goes up and down. If this is the case, the entire bottom portion could be completely broken off and will need replacing.

 

  • The window begins moving slowly midway through when going up or down. If this is happening, the broken piece of glass in the window track is becoming lodged as it moves up and down.

 

  • The window makes a scraping noise as it moves up and down. Hearing a distinct scraping noise means there is likely a small glass chip sliding up and down the metal frame.

 

If you’ve been experiencing any of the issues listed above, you should come pay us a visit at Carolina Windshield Centers. We’ll get your windows back in top shape and have you confidently back on the road in no time. We look forward to seeing you!

Technician Timothy Beane Places 3rd in the World at the Auto Glass Technician Competition

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Timothy Beane took home the Bronze at the Auto Glass Technician Competition

Each year for the last 10 years, the Pilkington Clear Advantage Auto Glass Technician Competition has been held during Auto Glass Week. This competition gives technicians from around the world an opportunity to showcase their skills in replacing damaged auto glass. Overall performance is judged on their procedures, cleanliness, safety, and customer engagement. While this is a competition first and foremost, it also provides competitors a chance to observe other auto glass professionals at work, and learn from their technique. Granted, the real reason one chooses to compete is to stand a chance at being crowned the “World’s Best Auto Glass Technician”.

This year, one of our own bravely entered the fray! Timothy Beane from our Greensboro location in North Carolina competed amongst some of the best and took home the bronze! Being among the top 3 best auto glass technicians of 2017 is a huge professional accomplishment, not to mention a major personal one. Did we mention this was his first time competing in an auto glass technician competition? He was the only competing technician to use a fiber wire to cut out the windshield, and the only one to use the Solo Neo to set a new one. He did a fantastic job, and all of us here at Windshield Centers are incredibly proud of him! Who knows, next year he could find himself in the top position. Revel in your accomplishment, Tim! We’re lucky to have you as part of the Windshield Centers family!

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.