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.
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.
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?
Windscreen 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.