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.
Windshield Repair: Don’t Let Small Become Big
A few days ago, I noticed a small squealing noise coming from my engine compartment. After pulling into a large parking lot (thank you Target Mission Viejo), I popped the hood to see if I could determine the cause. While I am an experienced (and excellent) windshield repair tech, the same cannot be said about my diagnosing mechanical issue’s ability. And as you may have guessed, I could not figure out this particular problem.
A couple of days passed and the noise didn’t get any worse. But it didn’t get any better either. So, I decided to quit messing around and have the car professionally diagnosed. After driving over to one of my favorite local mechanics and describing the problem, we walk over to my car, pop the hood and start the car. It takes him all of 5 seconds to determine my water pump is on its last legs. So much for my brilliant deduction of serpentine belt replacement.
He then shows me where it is beginning to leak coolant fluid. There were just a few drips, but it was quite obvious once he pointed them out. It looked so easy for him because he knew where to look. This comes from training and experience. If I had decided to ignore the sound, the damage to my vehicle could have been much worse. Like new radiator worse. Or even new engine block worse. Water pump alone? Not bad. Add in new radiator? Not a deal breaker. A new engine, then we are talking mucho dinero. Or new car shopping time.
Don’t Drag Your Feet On Windshield Repair
So, what does a water pump have to do with windshield repair? Actually, not much. But it does have a lot to do with procrastination. Waiting to deal with an auto repair can lead to more money exiting your bank account vs. dealing with the issue right away. Doesn’t matter if it is your front windshield or your water pump. Paraphrasing the old (OK, very old) Fram Oil Filter commercial, your choice is to pay now or pay later. Problem is later is always more.
In the case with windshields equipped with ADAS (Advance Driver Assisted System), the replacement of your front windshield can easily run you on the wrong side of the 4-figure mark. ADAS includes such features as forward collision alert and lane departure warning, among others. The high replacement cost is due to the camera recalibration auto manufactures state must be performed whenever a new windshield is installed. And when adding the higher windshield part cost, glass labor, adhesives and miscellaneous parts to the calibration fee, it’s not hard to see how easy it is to reach the $1,000 mark.
Your Windshield Repair Solution
The question you have to ask yourself is $85 now vs. maybe $1,000+ later a good way to go? Honestly, this decision should take about 2.5 seconds to make. Windshield repair is a viable alternative when the damage is the size of a quarter or less. This type of repair is our specialty, having performed over 10,000 rock chip repairs. We at First Choice Windshield Repair can make sure your small problem doesn’t mushroom into a large one. And, whatever you do, get that rock chip repaired right away. Don’t let the hot weather make the decision for you.
Special shout-out to Tony over at A-K Auto Repair 23141 Orange Avenue Unit C & D, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 598-9000 as the inspiration for this post. Really good guy and business.
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.
Importance Of Auto Glass Repair
Car glass is more vital than we than we typically think it is. Tempering (heat treating) the glass makes it difficult to break. Lamination (2 layers of glass with plastic in the middle) greatly raises passenger safety. In case of an accident. your car’s auto glass produces an incredibly stable framework that protects driver and passenger as well as keeping them separate from the outside world.
Just think if your vehicle wasn’t equipped with a front windshield. You would have no defense from flying objects such as rocks, nails, baseballs or binkies. Plus, if you wanted to feel the wind on your face at 70 mph, you would have bought a motorcycle. All auto glass, and specifically the windscreen, are part of the safety control system of your car. Operating in tandem with your air bags and seat belts, the windshield helps to keep the car’s passengers from ejection during an auto accident. By keeping drivers and passengers inside, less fatalities take place.
Back in the day, those people that built model planes and trains and took apart transistor radios, it was fairly simple to learn all there was to understand about cars by taking them apart and putting them back together in your garage. A little experimentation and hopefully no extra parts left over, and boom, you’re done. From the nonprofessional’s point of view, glass is glass. Place it in the appropriate grooves, apply the glue, make certain the rubber is secured and be sure all parts are put back in their original place. When something appears simple, it is frequently viewed as not important. And that view would be wrong.
Proper Auto Glass Repair Features
Nowadays, being a grease monkey just won’t cut it. Glass techs need to be part computer geek and part engineer. Car glass and also the adjustments of it should never ever be taken for granted. As an example, if you ever find a couple of small pieces of glass left over from a side window breakage, just remember, the part was designed to break in this manner for your safety. If these parts had not been through the tempering process, those tiny pieces would have been large, jagged and dangerous shards capable of slicing an artery.
With much even more innovative safety and security functions than were in place just a few years ago, car manufacturing engineers made automobile glass, seat belts, and air bags to function together to maintain driver and passenger safety. In the event of a collision or rollover, a poorly installed windshield will merely pop out of its setting unless high quality adhesives are used. And, not allowing these adhesives to set up and cure properly will also have the same result.
Cars and truck glass is also instrumental in prohibiting much of the noise and weather from bombarding you and your passengers. And lastly, there are the newest components that your windscreen effortlessly takes care of in the background. Features such as lane departure warning systems, forward collision alerts, heads up displays and rain sensors. It’s pretty amazing how many things your cars glass handles without your realizing it.
Vital Benefits Of Auto Glass Repair
For these factors as well as many even more, it’s critical to get your glass repaired quickly after damage occurs due to accident or just road debris. When having any pieces of glass replaced, it’s critical to choose well trained and experienced professionals. Here is some FREE advice: choosing a company based solely on price often doesn’t end well for the customer. Just a thought.
If repairing the car’s front windshield in an option, get this done. Immediately. Because once the damage begins to spread, you only choice left is the more expensive replacement. And speaking of choice, First Choice Windshield Repair (that us) should be at the top of your list for rock chip repairs. We have been in business since 2008 and have been performing windshield repairs since the late 1990’s.
Auto Glass Repair And ADAS
If you have purchased a new car in the last few years, you might have been told it was equipped with a Lane Departure Warning System, a Forward Collision Alert System or even an Adaptive Cruise Control System. These are all fancy terms for another fancy term: ADAS, otherwise known as Advanced Driver Assisted Systems. ADAS is the umbrella under which all of these terms would sit. So, why would a rock chip repair guy be writing about this? Glad you asked.
Typical ADAS sensors. LIDAR is not yet used in production vehicles. (Image: Texas Instruments)
What Is ADAS?
These are advanced features designed to increase driver and passenger safety. I know – you probably could have guessed this. Here is a little more detail: The ADAS cameras and sensors are often part of the vehicle’s rear view mirror assembly and sit very close to the front windshield. These items bring in outside information to the driver of the car. This connection of man and machine improves the drivers ability to react to dangerous road conditions or correct driver error by reducing reaction times to potentially harmful situations. These systems can even actively prevent accidents by automatically correcting the steering or applying the brakes to reduce the chances of having an accident.
These cameras and sensors quite sensitive. Optical clarity and glass thickness will affect their efficiency. The software that runs this system is fine tuned to the glass thickness and optical tolerances and clarity at the factory. So, if a windshield doesn’t meet original equipment (OEM) specs, there is a very good chance these systems won’t work properly. And each auto manufacturer has their own unique set of specifications. A few months back the Auto Glass Safety Council released a checklist of vehicles that require ADAS recalibration after front windshield replacement.
Repairing An ADAS Equipped Windshield
Replacing a windshield without ADAS is relatively simple vs one with ADAS. Not only does the new windshield have to be positioned properly, glass shops have to make sure the cameras are calibrated properly after the new windshield is installed. Neglecting to do this could result in failures through out the cars ADAS and could even result in a collision which could have been avoided.
Many car dealers and manufacturers recommend replacing the windshield with and original OEM part. When combining the cost of an OEM part with the fee charged for ADAS recalibration, AAA found that the average cost of replacing a windshield with an OEM part on a vehicle equipped with windshield dependent ADAS ranged from $1,300—$1,650.
Obviously, this is ALOT of money. If you end up with a rock chip on one of these windshields, the best thing you can do is get this repaired right away in order to avoid the MUCH more costly option of replacement. However, there is one condition. If the damage is located in front of the camera or sensor, it should not be repaired – and should be replaced. Good thing is that this is a very small area of the windshield. Naturally, if you decide on the repair option, you should contact First Choice for this type of auto glass repair.