Why Bother With Auto Glass Repair?
Repairing a small crack on the vehicles front windshield provides many benefits to you, the car’s owner. Previously, we have written quite a bit about the emerging technology known as ADAS. Advanced Driver Assist Systems. Terms such as forward collision alert and lane departure warning are two of the more common ADAS’s. There are others. Should you wish, you can read more about them HERE and HERE.
Windshield Repair Benefits
What exactly does this mean for you, the reader? Or potential customer? Here are just a few benefits to rock chip repair…
- Safely restores the structural strength of the windshield.
- Windshield’s original factory urethane seal is preserved.
- Blocks moisture entry into the plastic laminate layer of the glass.
- Reduces the sun’s glare from the windshield’s damaged area.
- Glass surfaces is smoothed out for best windshield wiper use.
- Clarity of damaged area is almost completely restored.
And, most importantly…
- A repair will save you up to 95% the cost of a new windshield!
Also, please check out the following video from the National Windshield Repair Division of the Auto Glass Safety Council. You can watch it either on Twitter or YouTube. Video is only 85 seconds long but does a great job of explaining why vehicle owners with ADAS should consider auto glass repair vs. replacement. Enjoy.
Don’t Let A Rock Chip Ruin Your Day
Imagine today is a good day. A great day in fact. Life is good. Bills are paid. Weather is nice. And you decide to go for a drive. Because it has been a while since you have done this. You jump on the freeway, crank up your favorite music and roll down the windows.
Then you remember the I-5 in south Orange County absolutely sucks. Pavement resembles an off-road trail instead of a freeway. And you begin to think that this might not have been the best idea. Then your suspicion is confirmed when a pebble jumps up and creates a rock chip in your front windshield.
After the swearing has subsided, you start thinking what’s next. Do I need to replace the windshield? Is there a way to repair it without changing the glass?
Rock Chip Repairs Are A Great Alternative Vs. Replacement
If this situation has ever happened to you, be thankful for the way this piece of glass is manufactured. All windshields are constructed with 2 layers of glass sandwiched around a plastic laminate in the middle. Like the meat of a sandwich. This is a requirement by the United Stated Department of Transportation (DOT).
This structure is incredibly strong. It supports the car’s roof structure during a rollover accident. Without this piece of glass properly installed, the front metal pieces (called A-pillars) would fold and the passenger compartment would be crushed the vehicle chassis. A properly installed front windshield also acts as a backstop for the passenger side air bag when it deploys.
When the damage caused by the road debris can be covered by a quarter, the rock chip can almost always be repaired. Like 99% of the time. And just to be clear, the damage is the physical impact point and anything spreading out from the impact point.
Fixing Rock Chips Saves You Money
So, you may think to yourself, “Self, it’s no big deal. I can live with this tiny amount of damage.” If you are thinking this way, smack yourself across your face a couple of times to snap yourself out of this delusion. OK. Maybe that is a little harsh. But sooner or later, that small rock chip can turn into a long crack. Once this happens, your only option is replacement.
Maybe you can roll the dice with an older vehicle where the difference of rock chip repair vs replacement may not be a huge difference. However, if you have a late model vehicle with lane departure or forward collision alert systems, replacing the front windshield will more than likely be a 4-figure expense.
In this case, it is a no-brainer to have that rock chip repaired. And to have it done as soon as possible. Bad roads (cough, I-5, cough), extreme temperatures or just pulling in and out of your driveway can cause that small ding on your windshield to become a huge crack.
Moral of the story: If you get a small rock chip, get it repaired right away. Look no further for mobile rock chip repair in south Orange County area. First Choice Windshield Repair can help you with this. We specialize in rock chip repairs, performing well over 10,000 of them since opening in 2008.
All About Auto Glass Repair
Lousy drivers, crummy weather or perhaps some good old road construction can become the cause of damage to your car’s front windscreen. These factors might even damage the other auto glass parts on your car too. Anyone who has driven the I-5 thru south Orange County lately knows what I am talking about. Even with brand new shocks on all 4 wheels, I wonder at times if I am still on a paved road. Mr. Toads Wild Ride anyone?
Anyway, the very first thought that pops into our mind is what is going to be the cost for auto glass repair. And hoping that you can avoid replacing the windscreen. As you can probably gather, auto glass repair is always less money than replacement. Sometimes ALOT less. Cars and trucks with ADAS fit this description. So what do you do?
Auto Glass Repair vs. Replacement?
To the outside world, repair and replace mean pretty much the same thing. Within the auto glass industry, they are vastly different terms. A few decades ago, some very clever people came up with the idea of filling small holes and cracks in the front windshield with a special resin. This process is now known as windshield repair. Or auto glass repair. And most commonly as rock chip repair.
This process put an end to the days of an automatic windshield replacement on really small dings. It also ended the automatic removal of large chunks of cash from your wallet. Due to the constant improvements in resin quality, injector tools and curing lamps, the auto glass repair end result is excellent. Not only in terms of preventing the crack from further expansion, but also the clarity of the damaged area.
In the case of major glass damage, your windshield must be replaced. And in the case with ADAS equipped vehicles, the cost can easily run into the 4-figure range. Lane departure warning and forward collision alert systems are all part of ADAS. Cameras allow for these systems to work. And the software must be re-calibrated anytime a windshield is replaced on vehicles with these systems. Current fees for this service seem to range from $300-500 range. Bear in mind this does NOT include the cost of glass, labor and materials. Isn’t technology wonderful?
The Auto Glass Repair Process
While windshield replacement requires the removal of the entire glass and installation of a new one, the repair process keeps the current windshield in place. And in the case of the factory installed glass, the original seal, the adhesive bond between glass and car, is kept intact too.
Auto glass repair entails completely filling the damaged area of the windshield with our high-quality resin, curing the resin with our high-powered LED curing lamp and then patching and polishing the surface damage. When done correctly by a trained and experienced profession (such as yours truly), the structural integrity of the windshield is restored to pre rock chip condition PLUS the damaged area looks almost like new.
I said almost. It will never be perfect. If you need perfect, break out your wallet and spring for a whole new windshield. This is your trade off. And ultimately your decision. But if you can live with some very minor flaws, the repair process will definitely save you money. And in the case of the newer ADAS equipped cars, ALOT of money.
Moral of the story: Get a small chip, get it repaired right away. If you are looking for auto glass repair in the south Orange County area, First Choice Windshield Repair can help. We specialize in rock chip repairs, performing well over 10,000 of them since opening in 2008.
Windshield Integrity Can Keep You Alive
Although windshield repair can seem like simple auto maintenance, it really isn’t. Just like an onion has many layers, so does the front windshield. It’s not just a piece of glass. Your windscreen protects you from weather, wind, rain, debris and bugs from entering the passenger compartment. It also helps keep the environment inside the car stable and calm. However, your windshield serves a much more important and greater purpose.
The front windshield is a critical component of your car’s ability to keep the driver and passengers safe. This is commonly referred as the Supplementary Restraint System (SRS). The SRS is found in all vehicles and is designed to provide protection against serious injury as well as death when an accident occurs. ALL vehicle’s front windshield provides a large percentage of the vehicle’s passenger compartment structural integrity. In the case of a rollover accident, this “piece of glass” is the main thing keeping you and your passengers among the living. Everyone should consider the front windshield just as important as your seat belts and airbags.
Windshield Importance in Collisions And Rollovers
Want to know just how important a properly installed windshield is? Of course you do. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that roughly 1/3 of the American highway fatalities occur after people are ejected from a vehicle. Many of these occur during rollovers. The National Glass Association (NGA) has confirmed that a large percentage of those fatalities occur because the windshield does not remain firmly bonded to the vehicle.
Almost all the cases of death by rollover is due to an improper replacement of a windshield. Meaning the installation was done by a glass company and not the factory. The main issue here is a poorly installed windshield will not remain firmly bonded to the body of the vehicle during a severe crash or rollover. The NHTSA states that rollovers account for just 3% of all collisions and accidents but are responsible for about 31% of crash and accident fatalities. Additionally, most rollovers involve just the one car.
Auto Glass Considerations
My guess is that for most people out there, this might come as a surprise. Maybe a shock. Good. It should. Replacing a windshield is a very exact procedure and it’s most important function is to restore the vehicle to factory safety standards. Making it look pretty is a far less important feature. For those individuals out there who will make 17 phone calls to save $5.00, hopefully this will stimulate the grey matter between your ears to ask the more important questions.
One of the best ways of avoiding the consequences of a poor installation is to have small windshield cracks repaired immediately. Don’t allow the damaged to grow if you can help it. First Choice has specialized in windshield repair since 2008 and have performed over 10,000 rock chip repairs. Keeping the front windshield factory seal intact is one way to ensure your car is safe for you and your passengers.
Rock Chip Repair On Other Types Of Glass
Most people have now heard of rock chip repair. The service is just like it sounds: repairing a small amount of damage on the windshield caused by a rock that was kicked up by a vehicle in front of you. However, I have had this question asked of me a lot lately: “What kind of glass besides the front windshield can you do the rock chip repair service on?” Not sure of the reason but I figure now is as good as any to answer it.
To be capable of being repaired, the glass MUST be laminated. Absolutely. Without question. You may be asking to yourself: “What the heck is laminated glass anyway?” Well, good ‘ole Wikipedia defines laminated glass as “a type of safety glass that holds together when shattered. In the event of breaking, it is held in place by an interlayer, typically of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), or Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU), between its two or more layers of glass”.
Enough of the geek speak. Think of it like a sandwich. There are 2 layers of glass (the bread) with a piece of plastic laminate (the meat) in the middle. In the case of a typical rock chip repair, only the outer layer of the glass is damaged. Due to the manufacturing process, the assembled glass (laminated) is considerably stronger and more durable than just a single layer of glass. And it is because of this assembly that the windshield repair process is made possible. Why? When injecting the specially formulated resin into the damaged area, it can only go as far as the cracks go until that area is full. If this were attempted on just a single layer of glass, the resin would seep out the opposite surface of the glass when pressure is applied.
Glass Repair On Boats
Yes, the rock chip repair service, and even longer cracks, can be performed on boat (ship, vessel, yacht, etc.) glass. As long as it’s laminated. And, oddly enough, we have been called out to perform the windshield repair service a few times in the local marina. After speaking with several boat owners, doing the repair vs. replacement is preferred, mainly due to the large difference in price. The other issue is finding replacement parts. Most auto glass companies here in southern CA are not set up to replace boat glass due to the NAGS database utilized by them excludes boat parts. Plus, getting the boat and the replacement technicians’ vehicle close enough to one another is a logistical nightmare.
This doesn’t affect the well-organized rock chip repair professional. All tools and materials needed for the service can easily be transported from the tech’s vehicle to the boat in just 1 trip. So, for all you boat owners out there dreading the idea of replacing one of your boat windows, look into the rock chip repair service offered by most glass companies. Even better, seek out a company that specializes in rock chip repair and can travel to the local marinas. A company like ours. Get in touch with us by phone, text or email right away.
Inquiry is free. Waiting too long is costly.