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

vector image of car rolled overWant 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.

Boat Rock Chip Repair

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”.

ham sandwich; ham between 2 slices of breadEnough 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.

ADAS And Windshield Repair

The replacement of front windscreens and the method vehicles must be (re) calibrated is evolving fast. Calibration is the process of re-setting an automobile’s Advance Driver-Assisted System (ADAS) back to the vehicles original factory specifications. This process is necessary after a camera mounted windshield is replaced due to road debris or an accident. Calibration ensures the ADAS features will continue to function properly.

Modern passenger cars and commercial vehicles need a safer and more efficient windshield replacement procedures. The windscreen serves as the backboard during an air bag deployment and todays automobiles are stiffened by bonded windshields. If a windscreen is not installed effectively, it can come loose in an accident and separate from the cars or truck body, causing major injuries or worse. Presence of ADAS does increase the difficulty of doing a good quality windscreen replacement because it is not as basic as just replacing the glass. And, the usage of non certified auto glass replacement adhesives with poor process handling can lead to come backs, safety dangers and customer frustration.

ADAS Auto Glass Details

Today’s passenger cars and commercial truck are developed with light-weight materials and utilize cutting edge ADAS innovation such as automotive imaging, LIDAR, radar or in-car networking. Such systems can prevent mishaps from taking place or at least actively help the motorist to decrease the chances of a mishap. A properly set up windshield supports the function of numerous security systems such as video cameras and the radar system.

Cam and radar are sensitive to geometric and optical tolerances, glass density and mass of the windshield. The software application is fine-tuned for each windscreen variation and demands incredibly stringent optical tolerances to function as intended. These ADAS systems can be impacted in case of the replacement of a windscreen which is implementing mechanical alignment modifications.

diagram of ADAS types available on today's vehicles

This could be either static, dynamic or both. Static calibration is carried out in a specifically tailored workshop environment, without needing to drive the automobile. Static calibration needs the usage of specialized device’s such as cam and sensor calibration (CSC) tools. Dynamic calibration needs driving the car to complete the ADAS calibration procedure. The calibration is finished with the aid of a hand-held unit plugged in straight into the automobile. The car will need to be driven at the OE maker specified speed and in excellent weather as a part of the windshield replacement process.

Rock Chip Repair and ADAS

The point is this: Newer cars and truck with ADAS is a difficult and expensive repair. IF, the damage to the windshield is small and not in front of the camera, there is a great chance the rock chip repair service can be performed. And for a whole lot less money. Don’t wait on this. Call us today for your windshield repair.

Your Windshield – Repair It or Replace It

Unless you keep your automobile parked inside your home all the time, ultimately you will experience a chip in your windscreen. It’s simply the nature of driving on our highways and roadways. The concern then turns into one of whether to fix or change it. How do you choose which is ideal for you?

four examples of repairable rock chipsWindscreen repair work is attained by cleaning up the broken location of all dirt and getting rid of any present moisture. The finest outcomes occur when the repair work is carried out quickly after the initial damage takes place.

Waiting too long to address a repair might lead to the chip expanding or spidering throughout the whole windshield. If this occurs you actually are just left with the choice of a replacement. You might likewise need to change the glass if the chip damage takes place within the motorists field of vision – your rock chip repair expert can recommend on this.

Rock Chip Repair – It’s A Good Thing

Little chips and “bullseye” markings are likely a basic repair and effectively fixed will be noticeably clearer. Some subtle visual distortions might appear in bigger repair work, especially if this damage remains in within the motorists field of vision. You might need to change the windscreen for security factors in this case.

Windscreen repair work is an excellent option in numerous circumstances and it returns the glass to a structurally sound condition and the repair work is eco-friendly too. Naturally, not all damage can be fixed. Multiple long spidery fractures are one such type. And holes in the glass are not repairable with the resin injection system either.

When you find yourself in need of windscreen repair work (or replacement) find a quality automobile glass repair center to carry out the work. You are not required to utilize the business your insurance provider advises, so opt for the one that you are comfortable with. Also, check online for reviews of the company you’re checking out. Seeing what other people are saying makes choosing a company that much easier.

Auto Glass Repair – Don’t Dilly

Your car needs to not be moved throughout the adhesive set up period if your windshield is changed. Keeping the car as still as possible guarantees the very best seal and minimizes the chance that any movement of the vehicle does not pop the seal around the windscreen, potentially triggering future leak issues. The real time needed for the adhesive to cure can be explained by your expert glass replacement center. It’s not long most of the time, just a couple of hours on average.

Keep in mind, deciding to carry out a repair of a small break or chip is very important. The damage will likely get worse if not fixed quickly and might lead to a more expensive replacement versus a basic repair work. Sometimes alot more. Many newer vehicles are equipped with ADAS – Advanced Driver Assisted Systems. These are also referred to as lane departure warning system and forward collision alert systems, among others. It’s common for these windshields to run over $1,000 USD.

Ask your neighbor glass repair center to learn more. They’ll more than happy to answer your questions.

DIY Rock Chip Repair

Are DIY Rock Chip Repair Kits Worth It?

We’ve all been there. Driving along, minding our own business, when out of nowhere, something hits the windshield. If you’re lucky, you escape this situation with nothing more than a tiny pit or scuff mark on the glass. If you’re not so lucky, you see some damage.

Hopefully it’s just small. You know this situation needs to be addressed. And to save money, you think about heading on over to your nearest auto parts store or onto the internet to purchase a do it yourself (DIY for short) windshield repair kit.

You’re a pretty handy person and the idea of performing this seemingly simple repair just feels like the right call. The YouTube videos make it look like a cakewalk. But before you part with your cash, there are some things you might want to know.

What’s The Deal With These DIY Windshield Repair Kits?

rock chip repair lake forest

The big draw to these products is the price. They run about $15-$20 US. They come with a set of instructions, some resin, a tool to inject the resin and a piece of curing film. Seems complete right? If only it were that simple. Once you begin peeling back the onion, some other factors begin to arise…

  • How much pressure should be applied.
  • The rock chip doesn’t look the same as the once in the instructions.
  • The outside temperature might be too hot. Or too cold.
  • No customer support when questions arise.

And here comes the monkey in the wrench: if the repair you attempt is not completed properly, you’re screwed. Neither I, or any other windshield repair technician, can come in afterwards and fix the failed repair. Once the resin is inside the crack, it’s in there to stay. You get one shot to do this right. You’ll have to break out the magnifying glass to find mention of this fact in the fine print. If it’s even in there. And, instead of saving money, now you’re looking at spending more money to fully replace your windshield. In some cases, ALOT more. 4 figures more.

The Most Important Thing Missing From DIY Rock Chip Kits

Me. Or someone like me. A qualified professional. While not being able to speak for anyone else, I have performed over 10,000 auto glass repairs in my lifetime. An experienced windshield repair tech is able to determine the method needed for a proper repair, how much pressure should be applied and whether or not the windshield is too hot or cold.

We use professional grade injectors, the best resin on the market and cure the repair with LED UV lights. We also finish the repair by filling the impact pit with a thicker resin, curing it, scraping it smooth with a razor blade and buff the area with polishing compound.

Whatever you decide, do it quickly. Last thing you want to do is put off the repair. This gives the crack more of an opportunity to spread. Once this happens, replacement of the glass becomes mandatory. And, if you don’t believe it’s worth the risk, give First Choice Windshield Repair a call. We’ll happily perform the work at your home or office.

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