Windshield Repair And Replacement
Did you know your car’s windshield is a safety device? In addition to its primary role of protecting vehicle occupants from wind, water and debris, a windshield can help reduce crash injuries and could even save your life or that of a passenger. How? In a collision, the windshield prevents most outside objects from penetrating into the vehicle interior. In many cars, the windshield also plays a critical role in front passenger airbag deployment. Finally, the windshield (and rear window) supports the vehicle roof in a rollover to help prevent it from collapsing.
windshield replacement nj damage can compromise driver vision in addition to the safety features described above. This makes it important to check the windshield, and other glass, for problems on a regular basis. If your windshield is cracked or damaged in any way, you should contact your insurance company or an auto glass specialist to arrange for repair or replacement.
Glass Inspection and Cleaning
To keep windshields and other glass clean, use non-ammonia cleaners and soft cotton or microfiber towels that will remove dirt and grime without causing streaks. Ammonia-based cleaners can damage dash and upholstery materials, and window tint films as well.
Here are some tips on what to look for hen performing an auto glass inspection:
- Check the glass, inside and out, for chips and cracks. Minor “star” or “bullseye” rock chips, and small cracks, may be repairable. Any significant damage calls for windshield replacement.
- Tiny micro-pits build up on the windshield over time as airborne particles hit the glass at high speeds. These pits reduce vision when illuminated by oncoming headlights, or a rising/setting sun. The only practical fix for a badly pitted windshield is replacement.
- Inspect the edges of the glass for damage to surrounding bodywork. Any problems that affect the seal of the glass to the body can weaken structural integrity and need repair.
- Make sure the rubber windshield wiper blades are soft, pliable and clear water from the glass in a single swipe. Brittle blades can break and allow a metal wiper arm to scratch the glass.
Today, innovative processes and materials make it possible for auto glass specialists to repair many types of windshield damage. Some auto insurance companies will cover glass repairs with no deductible because it costs less than windshield replacement. However, other carriers prefer that damaged windshields be replaced rather than repaired.
The size and location of a chip or crack determine whether it is suitable for repair. Chips smaller than a quarter and cracks less than a few inches long are usually repairable. Some states do not allow glass repairs in areas that are directly in the driver’s line of sight because even small fixes create distortion that can affect visibility and safety. Glass specialists also recommend replacing any windshield that has a crack extending from an edge. These types of cracks tend to spread quickly and easily, making it likely that a repair will be ineffective.
The glass repair process for chips and cracks involves injecting a polymer resin into the damaged area, allowing it to dry, and then smoothing the surface to make the imperfection nearly invisible. The outcome depends on the quality of the tools and resins, and the skill of the technician doing the work. Do-it-yourself glass repair kits are available from many sources, but the job may be better left to an expert. Professional auto glass technicians are equipped with more-sophisticated tools and advanced resins that help ensure a satisfactory repair.
Finding Quality Auto Repair
AAA recommends that you plan ahead for vehicle service by finding an auto repair shop and technician you can trust before you need them. AAA.com/Repair provides information on nearly 7,000 Approved Auto Repair facilities that have met AAA’s high standards for appearance, technician training and certification, insurance coverage and customer satisfaction. AAA regularly inspects every Approved Auto Repair facility and surveys their customers to ensure ongoing performance. In addition, AAA members receive special benefits that include auto repair discounts, an extended 24-month/24,000-mile parts and labor warranty, and AAA assistance in resolving repair-related issues.