driving during hurricane season

5 Tips for Driving During Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is officially upon us and residents across the Carolina’s are preparing for storms and worst-case scenarios. When it comes to driving in these storms throughout hurricane season, it’s crucial to always be prepared and keep these tips in mind.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

When you’re driving through rain and high-wind speeds, it’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings. Large trucks, trailers, buses, and motorcycles are more vulnerable during bad weather so keep your eye out for them on the road and make sure to leave them ample space when driving.

Keeping an eye out for standing water on roadways is also extremely important. If you are able to, avoid driving through standing water on the road. If you can’t avoid it, take precautions and never try to drive through more than 12 inches of moving water.

Slow Down

Even if there’s no standing water on the road, it’s still possible to hydroplane. Hydroplaning can occur in as little as 1 1/2 inches of water and can cause your vehicle to veer off of the road. To avoid hydroplaning, slow down and avoid taking any sharp turns.

Don’t Use Cruise Control

The last car feature you want to be utilizing during a storm is cruise control. Cruise control can actually increase your chances of hydroplaning and by driving normally, you can reduce your risk of hydroplaning by lifting your foot off the accelerator to reduce vehicle speed and loss of traction.

Be Prepared

Driving during a hurricane can come with its fair share of unexpected emergencies. Always have a first-aid kit, emergency bag filled with clothing, snacks, water bottles, and any other important items, and keep them in your vehicle in case you need to evacuate quickly. Always keep your gas tank filled in the days leading up to the expected landfall of the hurricane.

Don’t Drive at All

If you can, avoid driving during any severe storms or hurricanes. This is your only way to ensure your safety. Ride out all storms inside and stay off the road for a few days after the hurricane.

rear windshield

What are the Lines on My Rear Windshield For?

Whether you’ve been driving for 6 months or 30 years, you’ve most likely noticed the lines on your rear windshield and wondered what they were for. Sure, they’re great for assisting with parallel parking or backing up along a curb, but what is their real function?

What are the lines for?

The lines on your rear windshield are actually there to help defrost the windshield. Small electrical currents run along the lines to keep your windshield clear and clean and to make driving easier and safer. Because of these lines, replacing your rear windshield is a little different than replacing your front windshield. If you do experience damage to your rear windshield and need to replace it, our team at Carolina Windshield Centers is here to help!

How is a Rear Windshield Made?

The rear windshield of a car is actually made from tempered glass, contrary to popular belief. The same goes for your side windows. The rear windshield is also strengthened by a thermal or chemical treatment so that it can withstand blunt force. If your rear windshield does break, it will break into tiny chunks instead of large shards, making it safer for those within the vehicle.

mom friendly vehicle features

Mom-Friendly Vehicle Features

Each and every day, moms are driving the kids to school, waiting in the pick-up line, running errands, making dinner, and everything in between. To make their lives easier, vehicle manufacturers are starting to incorporate new technology and mom-friendly features into cars. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and have a couple of your own children running around, keep your eye out for their mom-friendly features.

Hands-Free Lift Gate

Whether your hands are full of kids and groceries or it’s raining out and the kids are done at football practice, having a hands-free lift gate will make putting away groceries easier as well as help avoid injuries from the trunk closing on little fingers. Most newer model vehicles not only have a button to lift the truck automatically on the clicker and near the driver’s seat, but some also have a sensor under the rear bumper so all you have to do is wave your foot to get it to open.

In-Seat Storage

If you’ve ever had children in your car or traveled with them, you know how much stuff they have. With in-seat storage, you’re able to save truck space for the larger items and keep smaller items, such as sports equipment, snacks and water, changes of clothes, and toys neatly tucked away in the seats of your car.

Entertainment System

Keeping kids entertained for short or long periods of time in such a small space. With an in-car entertainment system, such as TV screens mounted on the ceiling or in the backs of the driver and passenger headrests, you can put on a movie for the kids and keep them entertained for hours!

How to Fix Leaky Slider Windows on a Truck

Most older model pick up trucks have rear sliding glass windows, that have a tendency to leak, which can become an annoyance and a big problem for truck owners. When the window leaks, the water can travel down the track and get the seats and interior of the truck wet and if not dried completely, can cause mold to grow and the truck to smell musty.

The good news is that fixing these sliding windows is easier than you would think and as long as you catch the leak sooner rather than later, no major damage will be done.

Clear Drainage Channels

If the drainage channels on your windows are clogged, this could cause water to build up and leak into the truck. To clear these channels, all you will need is a pair of needle nose pliers, a flat-head screwdriver, a flashlight, and a can of compressed air.

Exterior

  1. Open the sliding window completely.
  2. Pull apart the rubber gasket on either side of where the glass sits when it is in the closed position.
  3. Shine a flashlight into the channel to see if there is anything visibly blocking the drainage channel.
  4. If there is blockage in the drainage channel, use the can of compressed air to free the blockage.

Interior

  1. Located the drain holes (also called weep holes) on the interior of the window; These are typically located just in front of the glass on the bottom corners.
  2. Close the sliding window complete and use your flat-head screwdriver to push the slider cable mount to the side and release the mechanism.
  3. Use the can of compressed air to clear out the drainage hole to help remove dust and build up that is blocking the flow of water and condensation.
  4. Replace the slide cable mount.
  5. Open the sliding window completely to release the tension on the automatic slider cable and use the flat-head screwdriver to release the mechanism.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on this side of the window.

Reroute the Water Away from the Window

By adding a rubber channel above the length of the sliding window, the rain coming off the roof and down towards the window will be rerouted away from it. This will help reduce the water that falls down the sliding window and will fix the leakage problem.

Using a 5/8″ tall black drip rail molding with 3m adhesive on the back, adding the molding to your truck is extremely easy. Keep in mind that the length of the molding should span the entire width of the window, not just the sliding portion.

In order to add the molding to your window, you will need rubbing alcohol, a rag, and scissors.

  1. Wet the rag with rubbing alcohol and clean the surface of the glass where you will be mounting your rubber molding.
  2. Once the surface is dry, use your scissors to cut the molding to the length you need and make two small marks on the molding so you can easily center it on the window.
  3. Remove the plastic cover on the adhesive strip and line up the marks and stick the molding to the window.
  4. Press firmly along the molding and smooth it down to ensure it has good adhesion to the window.

How to Check & Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades

One of the most overlooked parts of a car during routine maintenance are windshield wipers. As one of the key moving parts to ensuring your windshield is clean and clear, without properly functioning windshield wipers, it can be difficult to see when it’s raining or snowing out.

To ensure your windshield wiper blades are in good condition and to avoid damage to your windshield, follow these tips.

Inspect Your Windshield Wipers Regularly

On average, you should be inspecting your windshield wipers on a 6-month basis to ensure they’re not cracked, torn, or heavily worn. If you notice any of these things, you’ll want to replace them to ensure they are gripping the windshield properly and removing any debris so you can drive safely.

How to Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers are relatively quick and easy to replace! Follow these tips below to make sure your wipers are replaced properly.

  1. Visit your local automotive shop and get the windshield wiper blades that are specific to your vehicle make and model. If you’re having a hard time figuring this out, ask one of the employees for help!
  2. Remove the warn and damaged wiper by lifting the wiper away from the windshield and press the tab on the underside of the wiper. Pull down to remove the blade.
  3. Attach the new windshield wiper blade onto the arm. Once you hear the click, you’ll know it’s attached properly. Lower the arm back down to the windshield.
  4. Repeat this process for the second arm.
  5. Test the wipers once both are replaced to ensure they are working properly.

What is Windshield Calibration and When Do You Need One?

Most newer model vehicles have made the switch from autonomous driving to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to provide a better driving experience and increased vehicle safety. ADAS systems can alert drivers of vehicle hazards as well as take control of the vehicle if necessary. An example of this is applying emergency brakes if the vehicle is at or above a certain speed with an object in close proximity to avoid a collision. Due to these systems, replacing the windshield on a vehicle is more complex and the new windshield will need to be calibrated properly to ensure these systems work.

What is ADAS Windshield Calibration?

Windshield calibration is the process of adjusting the parameters of a camera lens in order to ensure a complete image of the vehicle, road, and surroundings. Once the windshield is replaced, the following recalibrations will happen.

  • Static Recalibration – A target will be mounted in front of the vehicle to assist with the calibration and takes an average of 45-minutes.
  • Dynamic Recalibration – The vehicle is driven on a road at a specific speed to recalibrate the systems and typically takes an average of 30-minutes to one hour.

During the calibration process, the camera is essentially retrained to know when to activate automated safety measures.

Is ADAS Calibration Necessary?

Without ADAS calibration, the system won’t run properly, which can jeopardize the functionality and can lead to dangerous driving.

What Does a Misaligned ADAS System Affect?

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Adaptive high beam
  • Adaptive light control
  • Automatic parking
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Collision avoidance system
  • Driver monitoring system
  • Emergency driver assistant
  • Hill descent control
  • Lane change assistant
  • And more!

To schedule your windshield calibration with our team at Carolina Windshield Centers, contact our team today at (800) 900-1505.

windshield replacement

How to Care for a Newly Replaced Windshield

After having your windshield replaced, taking the proper steps towards maintaining your new windshield will keep your windshield in great condition and will help it last as long as possible. After installation, make sure to follow these tips.

For the First Hour…

Wait At Least 45-Minutes to Drive

After having your windshield replaced, wait at least 45-minutes to drive your car to allow the adhesive used to hold the glass in place to set and dry. This adhesive creates a strong, waterproof seal around the glass. Your technician will remind you of this when they are done replacing your windshield. Be sure to also keep an eye out for glass pieces in your car. Your technician will clean up after the replacement, but it’s always good to be extra careful.

For the First Two Days…

Leave the Window Cracked

When you close your windows, the air pressure in your car builds up and after a windshield replacement, the pressure can put extra stress on the adhesive seal around the glass. To help avoid this pressure from building up, leave your window cracked an inch.

Don’t Remove the Retention Tape

After your windshield is replaced, the technician will place retention tape to help hold the moldings of your windshield in place while it dries. To help keep the adhesive protected from the elements as it dries, leave the tape in place for a day or two.

Avoid Car Washes

For the first day or two after a windshield replacement, avoid going through the car wash and any power washers to help avoid damage or shifting on the new moldings on your new windshield.

To schedule your windshield replacement or to ask our team any questions, contact us today at (800) 900-1505.

How Important is Your Windshield to Your Safety During a Road Trip?

Windshields can crack in a blink of an eye and are a quick and easy repair, although when you’re planning on leaving for a road trip, they can throw a wrench in your plans. So how important are windshields? Not only do they protect you from the outside elements, but they also ensure your aoirbags work properly, but they also help maintain the structural integrity of your car in a rollover.

Before heading out for your windshield, consider these tips when it comes to your windshield!

My windshield is chipped, should I have it looked at?

Yes! A chip can easily spread into a large crack at any time, but more so during the warmer months due to constant temperature changes. The last thing you’ll want to worry about is having your chip spread and having to find someone to replace your windshield mid-road trip. If the chip is small, it will most likely be able to be repaired which maintains the original seal and is a safe, economical alternative that can be repaired faster than a full replacement.

How does a windshield repair work?

When you are having a chip in your windshield repaired, a vacuum is created over the damaged area in order to remove air and moisture in order for the resin to properly penetrate and fill all cracks. Once the resin is injected, a UV light is used to harden the resin.

What if the crack cannot be repaired?

If the crack/chip in your windshield cannot be repaired, your windshield will need to be replaced. Depending on the make and model of your car and car insurance coverage, the cost of replacement can differ.

How long should I wait after a windshield repair/replacement to drive my car?

Depending on the weather conditions, most cars can be driven with 45-minutes to two hours of your windshield repair/replacement. Always confirm with your technician!

hurricane damage

Hurricane Driving Hazards & How to Avoid Them

With a hurricane comes high winds and flooding rains, which can reap havoc on power lines and roads, making driving unsafe. Whether you experienced damage at your home or not, venturing out in your vehicle can still be dangerous so it’s important to practice safe driving. With these tips, you’ll be able to identify hurricane driving hazards and know how to avoid them.

Dangers of Driving During & After a Hurricane

When electrical lines go down during storms, whether they are utility, cable, or telephone cables, they can energize the other lines as well. Mix in water and even non-conductive materials around the effected lines can be electrified and create safety problems. If you see downed lines, stay away from them and allow the professionals to clean them up.

Driving in Hurricane-Effected Areas

Avoid driving during or immediately after a hurricane if at all possible. If you absolutely have to or if there is an evacuation underway, be watchful of power lines, tree limbs, and other road blockages. Driving over downed lines can cause your car to become energized, and in which case, you’ll want to remain in your car and call for help.

If you experience a cracked or damaged windshield during a hurricane, contact our team at Carolina Windshield Centers to schedule your repair or replacement appointment at 1-800-900-1505.

first aid kit

10 Items to Always Keep in Your Car

Issues with your car will come up when you least expect them and usually at inconvenient times. To help diagnose the issue, get you back on the road ster, and safe, there are a handful of items that you should always keep in your car. Not sure what they are? Keep reading!

1. Jumper Cables – Batteries die and jumper cables will get you back on the road so you can get a new battery installed quickly.

2. First Aid Kit – Experiencing an unexpected injury? Involved in a car accident? A first aid kit will hold you over with the necessary supplies until EMTs arrive or until you can get to a hospital.

3. Spare Tire – Most recent model cars have run flats but if you have an older car and experience a flat tire, having a spare tire in your trunk will get you back on the road in no time!

4. Jack and Lug Wrench – Have a flat tire and need to put on your spare? Without a jack and lug wrench, you will have no way to jack up the car and take off the old tire.

5. Air Pump – Are you outside of town, possibly on a road trip, and notice your tire pressure is low? Avoid a tire blow out by keeping an air pump in your trunk.

6. Tire Pressure Gauge – Small and inexpensive, a tire pressure gauge will be able to help you determine how much air to put in your tires and can be conveniently stored in the center console or glove box of your car.

7. A Durable Multi Tool – Having a durable multi tool can help with virtually any scenario.

8. Hazard Triangles and Flares – When experiencing car troubles at night, it can be hard for drivers passing by to see you stopped on the shoulder of the road. Utilize hazard triangles, flares, and even safety vests to make yourself more visible.

9. Blanket – Whether you’ve broken down in the middle of winter, need to change a spare, or are cleaning off tools, a car blanket is great to have for all different reasons.

10. Flashlight – Keeping a flashlight in your car will help you find things that may have fallen in or under the seats or help see at night when you’re experiencing car troubles.