Automotive glass, mechanics, car rental, we give you the low down on the traps in the auto industry.
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Buyers are more empowered than ever thanks in large part to the Internet and its offerings of car reviews, vehicle history reports, detailed listings etc. Unfortunately, the internet has given scammers a new method to find and exploit auto-repair victims.
Unfortunately, NCL’s Fraud Center also hears frequently from consumers who have fallen victim to fraud when purchasing a car via some online services. Different scams tend to affect buyers and sellers.
A small rock or pebble escapes swiftly and unexpectedly from below the tires of a jeep in front of you and leaves a tiny yet sharp and deep mark on your windshield. That is how it can start and slowly progress into a crack, expanding its limits deeper and broader in your windshield. Before you know, it is obstructing your line of sight, and you are confused while driving, especially at night.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should know that it is time for a windshield replacement. Sometimes, the damage seems small and contained within a particular area, but how do you decide that you do not require a windshield replacement? Why do you need to replace a windshield even if it seems that it is not going anywhere? What are the reasons that may compel you to replace your windshield? Let’s look at them one by one :
1) You see a Crack
Most automobile owners start to worry about windshields when they see a crack that is expanding in a particular direction. It is important to carefully observe if there is even the slightest crack in your windshield as they can grow unnoticeably into large cracks, thus creating a continuous safety hazard for you and any passengers in your vehicle. Do not wait for the crack to spread through to the entire screen and impair the driver’s side view. Get that looked at by a professional as you may need a windshield replacement depending upon the size, location, and type of crack.
2) You see Scratches
Sometimes due to various reasons including but not limited to sharp objects touching the windscreen of your vehicle repeatedly, excessive scratching can occur on your windshield. Getting to the bottom of the cause of scratching is imperative if you want to save your windshield. If the scratches are on the driver’s side and blurring the vision, then it may be too late, and replacement of the windshield might be the only option you have.
3) Incorrect Installation
Getting trapped in the hands of an inexperienced auto mechanic is a horrific nightmare that no one wants to go through, yet, for one reason or the other, it keeps happening around us. If the person doing an auto glass replacement on your car is not an experienced professional and makes even a little mistake in the balance or grip during the installation of the windscreen, you will soon see its repercussions and may need to replace your windshield as soon as possible.
4) Windshield Pitting
Pitting is the phenomenon that occurs when the light at a certain angle shines on your front screen and blinds you completely. It may occur either due to substandard quality of windshield or only after a particular time, due to repeated exposure to sand and dust at high speeds. Whatever the reason may be, the only solution might be a windshield replacement.
The front windshield of your vehicle is your optimum safety measure against anything in the external environment while driving. Its quality, health, integrity, and condition should never be ignored or under-estimated. If a quality professional who is an expert in the field tells you that you need a windshield replacement, do not waste any time.
John Anthony is the owner of https://www.lawrencevilleautoglass.net
Whether you bought a car brand new off of the lot or purchased a used vehicle from a private party, there are a number of considerations you probably made. From the total sticker price and included features, to the fuel economy and number of airbags, it is important to know upfront what you are purchasing and how it will perform. It’s highly likely that if you bought a used vehicle, you had it inspected by a mechanic to ensure there was no faulty equipment or underlying issues. Despite all of these considerations, it’s probably the case that you didn’t consider what type of auto glass was installed in the vehicle or the quality that it provides.
Auto glass has been in existence for more than one hundred years and has evolved considerably since its inclusion in the first vehicles. What was once no different than traditional glass has since been transformed into a safer, stronger alternative that provides added strength and convenience to any vehicle. From tinting to rain sensors, modern auto glass has been infused with a number of features that we often take for granted. Few know that this entire industry operates outside of the convention regulations that apply to most auto glass parts. Below, we’ll discuss the dynamics of this and what you should know about auto glass before any purchase or repairs.
The Manufacturing Process
While you won’t hear it in any commercial, auto glass is an integral part of safety in any vehicle and its inclusion is an absolute must. The manufacturing processes surrounding auto glass do have some regulations that protect consumers, and auto glass is traditional manufactured in one of two ways. The first type of auto glass is laminated glass, which is made by sandwiching a layer of chemical in between two pieces of glass. This helps hold the glass together while also providing extra security and reducing the instance of shattering. The layer inside of the glass helps absorb shock and energy in the event of a wreck or roll-over. Laminated glass is commonly found in windshield applications.
The second type of manufactured glass is tempered glass, which is more common in side windows and back windows. This type of glass is made by super-heating the material and then rapidly cooling it down through a series of fans and blowers. The process of rapid heating and cooling creates compressive and tensile stretches, which cover the entirety of the glass. While this might not sound safe, the resulting process is very sturdy and capable of “stretching” under certain circumstances. If the material is ever compromised, the stretches in the glass ensure that it breaks into tiny pieces and helps drivers and passengers avoid any major injuries.
Where the lack of regulation really kicks in for the auto glass industry is in the installation and repair processes. Due to a variety of neglected legal loopholes, there is absolutely no standard by which auto glass technicians have to operate. This means that virtually anyone – a seasoned professional who is trained on how to install auto glass, or your next door neighbor – can open an auto glass repair and replacement business. Because of this, there is a wide variance of skill-sets and qualifications between various auto glass installation companies.
This can be worrisome, on a number of levels. For starters, your insurance company may require you to pay out of pocket for certain replacement jobs; if the job is faulty, then you’ve wasted money. In addition to this, the improper installation of auto glass can lead to a variety of failures in the event of a collision or roll-over that may compromise the glass’ ability to protect you. Since windshields can provide up to half of the vehicle’s roof strength in the event of a roll-over, an improper installation could result in death under the right conditions.
Evaluating Your Choices
How can you be sure that the auto glass company you select for repairs or replacement is qualified to do the work? There are a number of things to look for in any technician or company. First, verify whether or not the business is verified via the Auto Glass Safety Council, which is the closest to a standard that the industry currently has. Next, check with entities such as the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company – or if it is ranked at all. Next, scour local search results for reviews and comments about the business. You may find out that others have had negative experiences with the company, and can use this to scratch off potential candidates for your repairs.
Even though portions of the auto glass industry are not regulated, there are a number of safety standards in the manufacturing process of the glass. This does not mean you are safe, though: you can only rest easy when you know that the job has been performed by a qualified technician that has the necessary training to ensure proper installations. By being aware of this and using your skills to pick the most qualified local technicians, you can avoid any potentially life-threatening situations.
With winter now in full swing, it comes as no surprise that the elements are taking a harder than normal toll on our automobiles. From dead batteries that plague us when we’re trying to go to work to the occasional flat tire caused by cold temperatures, there can be plenty of problems that arise due to cold weather and frozen precipitation. Not many people, however, have considered how temperatures can impact their windshield and auto glass; with rapid fluctuations in temperature being fairly common in the winter months, this can cause extra strain on your glass and present numerous problems.
Nobody wants to be caught in the dead of winter with a broken window or windshield, so it only makes sense to be as careful as possible to ensure optimal performance of this vital piece of automobile equipment. Whether you drive for a living or simply need a vehicle to get from point A to point B, you want to take precautions to ensure the quality and safety of your drive is a top priority. In the following article, we will discuss some common problems you may experience in the winter with your auto glass and how to either avoid these issues or correct them quickly and safely.
Damage to Existing Cracks
If your windshield or auto glass already has damage that is visible, then it is vital that you have this repaired as soon as possible. Rapid changes in temperature – like those experienced during winter driving – can quickly cause glass to expand and contract. This is a constant occurrence in any form of auto glass, but it is usually so subtle that you would never notice it. Whenever the glass is damaged, however, these contractions and expansions can cause the cracks to quickly become worse, possibly turning a simple repair into an expensive replacement. Nobody wants to have to deal with that.
Fortunately, most insurance policies cover repairs to your windshield and auto glass with no out of pocket cost to you. We highly recommend that you consult with an auto glass technician at the first sight of any damage, particularly in the winter months when these rapid changes in temperature between night and day can further damage the glass. In some cases, it only takes a few days of bad weather to turn your windshield or window into an unsalvageable prospect; by acting quickly, you will save yourself time, money and frustration (not to mention the obvious safety implications that come with properly maintained auto glass).
Whether you have noticed damage to your windshield or to one of your windows, it is important to keep the area free from moisture until it can be repaired. Whenever moisture works its way into cracks or chips, it can add an exponential effect to what was discussed above – namely, the expansion of liquid as it freezes can lead to cracks being exacerbated in a much more rapid fashion than under normal conditions. This means that your windshield or glass may have moisture in it on a cold winter morning (which froze there), is melted to some degree while driving and then freezes again once the vehicle is parked. This back and forth will damage the windshield and result in replacements for the glass being needed sooner or later.
The best way to ensure that this does not happen is to park in a covered area to prevent moisture from forming. In the event that dew or frost somehow manages to find its way into an existing crack or chip and has frozen, a good de-icer can quickly remove any moisture and help you ensure that no further damage is done while the vehicle in being driven during daylight hours.
Go Easy on Your Doors
The winter months can make even solid windows naturally more susceptible to damage, so you should strive to be more careful when it comes to your handling of doors. Weaker glass may shatter at any time when the door is shut too hard, but the winter can cause even the best auto glass to shatter if the door is shut too strongly, leaving you without a window when you need it the most. We recommend a way to avoid this fate, which involves maintaining contact with the door handle until the car door is completely shut and by not exerting too much force.
Whether you want to make it through the winter months without sustaining any new damage to your automobile’s glass or simply need to prevent existing damage from becoming worse, there are a few simple tactics you can employ to guarantee this. By going easy on your doors when you open and close them, you can avoid the unexpected shattering of windows. The elimination of moisture from existing damage areas will ensure that the damage is not accelerated by freezing and thawing processes (but the existing damage must be taken care of as soon as possible). Finally, you can protect yourself and your family by ensuring that the vehicle is not exposed to cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time, which can weaken glass and exacerbate existing defects. All of these strategies will keep your auto glass in solid shape and help ensure your safety when on the road.
Whenever an automobile accident or road-related issue affects your auto glass, there are plenty of considerations that you have to make in a short period of time. If your windshield has been completely destroyed by a wreck or a large object coming into contact with it, then you must find a suitable replacement windshield before you can operate your vehicle safely. Any attempts to operate a vehicle without a windshield can result in danger to you and stiff fines from law enforcement if you are caught. Did you know that windshields provide up to half of the total strength of the roof structure in the event of a roll over?
If the damage to your windshield is less obvious, then you may need a simple repair to solve the issue. Many people may wish to put off such repairs, as it is only human nature to procrastinate (especially when money is involved). This can be equally dangerous, so a repair is needed as soon as possible to avoid long-term issues that can be more costly. Whether you need a repair or replacement, there are plenty of questions and concerns that you may have about the process. In the following article, we will address some of the most often asked questions about windshield repair and replacement to help you get the answers you need.
How long do repairs or replacements take?
The answer to this question depends upon a couple of issues but is usually a straightforward process. Any repairs that are needed to your windshield are almost always completed within a half-hour and the vehicle can be driven as soon as the repair is complete. A windshield replacement, however, may take up to an hour and usually requires the vehicle to remain parked for an additional hour before it is safe to drive. Another concern with windshield replacement is if you select OEM glass over OEE glass; in some cases, this will need to be ordered and may take a couple of days to arrive.
What conditions are needed for auto glass repair or replacement?
In many cases, an auto glass repair technician will come to your location to perform the repairs. Unless your vehicle is stranded in an outdoor location and is incapable of being relocated due to safety concerns, it is ideal that your vehicle be under a covered or inside when the repairs are performed. Various forms of inclement weather present a problem for the replacement or repair of auto glass, so it is generally a good idea to have a safe place from which the auto glass technician can perform the repairs and ensure that the work is not compromised by weather conditions.
Does a windshield repair job remove any visible signs of the crack or blemish?
Unfortunately, a repair does not guarantee that the previous damage to your windshield will no longer be visible. A windshield repair is not performed due to aesthetic concerns but rather to prevent further damage to the windshield, which can lead to a more costly replacement and a compromised strength of the roof in the event of a rollover. In a large percentage of windshield repair cases, a slight blemish or visual defect will remain where the damage once existed, but this is merely superficial.
Does a windshield repair job always result in the damage being corrected?
In the vast majority of cases, a windshield repair job will halt and correct any damage sustained to the windshield. In a small number of cases, however, underlying damage that is not yet visible will be exacerbated by the repair job but can be corrected by the same technician and in the same day. This may leave a larger visual blemish than before, but the damage can be stopped by an auto glass technician. In many cases, if additional damage is sustained during a repair job, the auto glass company will provide partial credit toward the repair.
How do I know if I need a windshield repair or replacement job performed?
There are multiple considerations that can only be assessed by an auto glass technician that is on-site and able to inspect your vehicle’s windshield, but most cracks, blemishes, or issues with your windshield that are smaller than a dollar bill will result in a simple repair job. Larger issues, such as running cracks, will almost always result in the entire windshield having to be replaced. Auto glass companies such as Safelite provide ample information on how to further assess these differences and what to expect in terms of cost.
What types of windshield glass are available in the event that a replacement is needed?
There are two main types of auto glass available for those who need a windshield replacement: OEM glass and OEE glass. OEM glass is the same type of glass that comes standard in each new automobile and is designed by a licensed manufacturer to meet the exact specifications of your vehicle. OEE glass can be thought of as aftermarket glass and does not meet the exact specifications of your automobile due to legal considerations. OEM glass often comes with a warranty, while OEE glass does not. Usually, OEE glass is perfectly fine for any replacement job, but professional drivers and car enthusiasts may wish to spend more on OEM glass for added value and the benefit of a warranty.
Auto Glass Regulations Across the Country
The automobile industry has been around for more than 100 years, and during this time has been on the receiving end of countless forms of regulation from both the federal government and the state. These regulations were designed to ensure safety for passengers and drivers, improve reliability of vehicles and address a number of other key areas that automobile owners, pedestrians and governments alike should all be concerned with. With millions of auto industry employees and tens of millions of drivers, these regulations have profound consequences on our day to day lives.
This is why it is so shocking to learn that despite the fact that auto glass has been around for just as long, there is very little in terms of regulation that applies to the industry – outside of the direct manufacturing of the material. Keeping you safe is a paramount goal of regulations passed at the state and federal level, yet auto glass installation and maintenance has historically been unregulated. What types of regulations exist and where can they be found? We’ll discuss examples in the following article in order to shed light on what regulations look like across the country.
Federal Auto Glass Regulation (Installation)
The biggest surprise to many who seek to have auto glass repair or replacement work done is finding out that no real regulation exists on the industry at the federal level. If your state has no regulations on auto glass technicians, then it’s possible that your work could be performed by someone who is completely unqualified. There is nothing stopping a person in states with no regulation from slapping a logo on a van and providing auto glass repair services immediately. This might be okay in other industries, but auto glass is a crucial part of your vehicle’s rollover strength and stability in an accident. An improper repair can lead to injury or even death.
The Auto Glass Safety Council has been at the forefront of pursuing sensible regulations in the auto glass industy at the federal level. This organization is comprised of qualified business and technicians who have taken the time to understand and learn about all auto glass related concepts, and can perform the work safely. We recommend that you only deal with auto glass shops that are AGRSS-certified. If you are unsure whether or not the shop in question is certified, then be sure to ask. You can also verify via the internet any other applicable certifications that they may have.
Federal Auto Glass Regulation (Manufacturing)
Despite the fact that virtually no federal regulations exist for the installation or maintenance of auto glass, there are ample examples of regulation when it comes to the production and manufacturing of auto glass. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration was formed in 1970 to handle issues relating to safety on our highways and in our automobiles. Since then, it has developed several pieces of regulation that pertain directly to how auto glass is made and how it is installed (by the OEM) in automobiles.
Two of these pieces of regulations are FMVSS 205 & 212, which deals with how thick auto glass and windshields must be, the transparency of the material and how strong it must be. This helps ensure protection from debris and reinforces the vehicle in the event of a rollover. FMVSS 216 also relates to rollover strength, helping ensure that the contact between windshield and roof is sound enough to protect you if the car flips. FMVSS 219 is another great example of glass regulation, which states that no part of a passenger vehicle can penetrate the glass by more than six millimeters in the event of a collision.
State Auto Glass Regulation
While listing the nuances in 50 states is a bit much to absorb, it is safe to say that there are underlying trends that can be observed based on regional location. In the South, for instance, very little regulation at the state level exists when it comes to auto glass installation – save that the replacement product must be of a similar quality as the original. In the Pacific West, you will find regulations that guarantee auto glass shops meet certain conditions for repair and disclosure, providing information on all parts used. The fitting criteria mentioned above also apply in most instances.
The Northeast may have the strictest state regulations on auto glass as a whole. Not only do some states require that auto insurance provide full coverage for replacement of damaged windshields, but aftermarket replacement parts must meet or exceed the quality and fit of the original glass in order to be used. Most states specify that the insured can select where the repairs are performed, but a few states like Alaska do not offer this. Unfortunately, no states currently have regulations on training or certification that auto glass technicians must have to perform the work.
Cleaning WindowsWhenever you need to repair a windshield or piece of auto glass, you may wonder where to begin. The instructions in your auto glass repair kit may tell you how to perform the repairs, but some can leave out important beginning steps that professionals know to do. One of these steps pertains to cleaning the windows of your car – did you know a primer solution should be used before any repairs are made? Most repair technicians bring their own cleaning supplies to the scene when performing any repairs, and they are designed to break down any grease, dirt or residue that might cause an improper repair to occur. Most do it yourself repair kits include some form of cleaner, but the quality of it can often be questioned. If you want to start your repair job off right, then you can’t resort to a do it yourself solution.
Resin and ToolsUnfortunately, we often get what we pay for. When it comes to the type or quality of resign that is included in do it yourself auto glass repair kits, you’re likely going to find an inferior product. Resin is used by injecting it into the crack as a way to seal the damage and prevent it from spreading. Unfortunately, these types of resins can fail at their job. It doesn’t have to do with the resin exclusively, but also the tools that are used in the process. Whenever resin is introduced to a crack or chip, there are a variety of tools that an auto glass technician would use. These professional tools can make sure that the resin makes it way into every crevasse and pocket; regular resin isn’t inherently much different, but the tools used in a DIY kit are. You may think it’s a simple process, but do it yourself kits often include plastic tools – many of which are not capable of delivering the same pressure or quality of application as professional tools that auto glass technicians possess.
TrainingRepairing a windshield or any type of auto glass isn’t easy. It takes time, education and dedication to do properly. Why then would you try to repair it yourself with no prior experience? Your auto glass plays an important safety role when you’re behind the wheel: it keeps wind and debris from harming you, but also protects the roof of the vehicle’s strength in the event of a rollover. Without a properly repaired windshield, you could be risking life and limb. This is why trained technicians are so important in the process of repairing your auto glass. Even the slightest mistake – one that could easily be made by you while using a do it yourself repair solution – may leave the windshield or glass compromised to the point that severe injury or even a fatality might occur in an accident in the future. Even if this isn’t the case, there could be other problems (like leakage from an improper resin bond). Your auto glass provides ample safety and convenience anywhere and everywhere on the road. In order to guarantee that, you must procure the services of a qualified auto glass technician whenever there is damage. In some cases, a repair is not possible – a complete replacement will be needed. If you perform the repair with a DIY kit, how can you be for sure which is needed? You should steer clear of any do it yourself auto glass repair kits due to several reasons, which include the lack of training on your part to perform the repairs, the reduced quality of tools that are included in the repair kits and the quality of cleaning products provided with these options. By leaving these repairs in the hands of qualified professionals, you’ll be sure to receive top-notch auto glass repair and replacement services.
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