Why Replacing Windshields Might Soon Get Harder

The automotive industry is one of the fastest evolving markets. Due to the unprecedented influx of technology, keeping up with the latest innovations can be quite difficult. This is especially true for car parts and accessories with its dozens of innovations.

Take the windshield, for example. Windshields are an integral part of a vehicle. While it doesn’t appear to have changed in decades, it underwent significant alterations. Originally, windshields were just made of regular glass. But this was soon replaced with shatter-proof glass, followed by impact-resistant glass, allowing for better road safety.

The method of installation has likewise changed over the years. Most modern windshields now require precise measurements, tools, and specialized skills. So if you think that windshield replacement couldn’t possibly get any more complicated, you’re absolutely wrong. In a few years, it’s just going to get worse.

Below is a list of reasons why we think windshield replacement is bound to get harder.

Reason #1 – Ongoing development

A windshield is made of glass, albeit more resilient than usual. It has a laminate material which makes it both scratch-resistant and shatter-proof.

Soon, a more specialized type of glass will be developed for windshields. Several car manufacturers are already working on Gorilla glass, which is a tough variety currently being used in airplanes.


Reason #2 – Limited availability 

Whenever there’s new auto glass, it won’t be immediately available on the market. Remember that manufacturers have to adapt to the latest standard.

As a result, mass production for the automotive industry will be initially difficult and time-consuming for these companies. The availability of windshields will be extremely limited in the first couple of years. Not only is it going to be difficult to buy one, but it will also be too expensive.


Reason #3 – Sensors will be a standard

Some of the windshields produced in today’s market are equipped with sensors. In the future, you can expect similar technologies to be integrated in a vehicle’s framework and wired directly into the system.

Some examples of this futuristic safety feature are the Automatic Emergency Braking System and Lane Departure Warning System. Both systems rely on sensors that are built into windshields and wired to a car’s safety system. With such features, the installation of a windshield will be even more complicated and labor-intensive.


Reason #4 – Higher prices

Given all the possible innovations, auto shops will require workers with specific skills. They would have to hire more workers or train their existing workforce to specialize in the installation, sensor integration, and wiring of windshields. To compensate for these additional expenses, the cost of replacing a windshield will go up. Windshield replacement is expensive, especially if it isn’t covered by insurance. A higher price point will only make the service less accessible to more car owners.

Whether you want to replace your windshield or have a new one installed, it won’t be as easy in the future. However, once a new auto glass becomes mainstream, you can expect lower prices and better availability overall.

When Can You Drive After Windshield Replacement?

You’ve recently had your windshield replaced due to some irreparable damage, and you find you’re pressed for time. You begin to wonder if you have to wait for an entire day before you’re finally able to drive your car and resume your day-to-day activities.

You might consider taking a bus or the subway. Then again, commuting can be a hassle. If you’re wondering how long you have to wait before you can drive a vehicle after its windshield has been replaced, everything you need to know is right here.


A Primer on Windshield Replacement Drying Times

Having a windshield replaced is no longer as time-consuming as it used to be. With the introduction of modern adhesives, it’s become possible to make durable, waterproof and quick-drying windshield caulking which dries and cures within 3 to 24 hours.

You might think that 24 hours is still too long, but you can actually start driving your car earlier than that. It’s because drying is a two-step process divided into two periods – safe drive-away time and the minimum drive away time.


Safe drive-away time

It basically only covers the bonding of your windshield to the frame. This is the minimum drying time required for your vehicle to be deemed safe for driving. Depending on the adhesive used, bonding time can be as quick as 3 to 5 hours. Although the most advanced adhesives allow driving in as little as 30 minutes.

If we think in terms of structural integrity, your new windshield won’t fall out or cave in once the adhesive has reached safe drive-away time. But neither does it promise to be completely set and thoroughly bonded to the vehicle. It also doesn’t guarantee waterproofing capacity. So if you’re eager to drive your car with a brand new windshield, don’t do it in rainy weather.


Minimum drive away time

By this time, the adhesive on your windshield would have already thoroughly bonded. It is also now waterproof and resistant to most impacts. It takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for a complete, seamless, and durable bond to set.


Factors That Affect Drying Time

Now that we’ve tackled the technicalities on when it is safe to drive, it is important to note that other factors also affect a windshield’s drying time.

  • Weather. The bonding and curing time of urethane adhesive is shorter during the summer months since the heat helps it to dry more quickly. Wet or cold seasons make this specific adhesive bond and cure slower than usual.
  • Driving speed. If you decided to drive your car within the safe drive-away time, be warned that driving in very high speeds can be dangerous. If, on the other hand, you’ve waited for the adhesive to dry and cure completely, you’re good to go regardless of your driving speed.
  • Windshield type. Old-fashioned windshields are easier to dry compared to modern windshields with built-in displays or sensors. These take a while longer and may need a specialized repair crew to undertake the task of replacing it.

Ultimately, you no longer have to wait forever to drive your vehicle after you had the windshield replaced. But as a general precaution, always ensure that a perfect bond has formed and that the adhesive has cured before you drive your vehicle.

What You Need To Know About Side Mirror Auto Glass Replacement

Side mirrors are safety features which have been designed to help keep you safe while driving. They are useful for maneuvering, especially in making sharp reversals and quick turns, or when overtaking slow-moving vehicles on the highway. It should come as no surprise that a broken side mirror is considered a safety hazard. When a cop catches you driving with one, you’d be asked to pull over and issued a ticket.

The problem with side mirrors is that they break rather easily. In fact, aside from the bumpers and wheels, side mirrors are among the most commonly damaged parts of a vehicle.


My side mirror is damaged. Now what?

If you lurk car repair forums, you might have read that a damaged side mirror has to be replaced. But then, others might tell you it’s completely okay to have them repaired, and that there’s no need for a costly replacement.

Both answers are actually correct. It all depends on the extent of the damage involved. Below are some tips so you’ll know what to do with your broken side mirrors.


Tip #1: Figure out which parts are broken 

A side mirror consists of several parts. These include the mirror assembly which hides the electronics in your mirror, the mirror cover which is essentially the framework that holds everything together, the turn signal, and the mirror glass itself.

A broken mirror glass or a malfunctioning turn signal can be repaired. On the other hand, a cracked mirror cover or mirror assembly will necessitate replacement.


Tip #2: Modify your side mirrors 

Mirror assemblies and mirror covers are typically prefabricated. When replacing your side mirrors, you’d have to match them with your car’s paint job. Some of these parts are pre-painted to suit the specific model of your car. However, most are sold in a standard matte black hue. If you’re concerned about maintaining your vehicle’s aesthetics, prepare to dish out some cash and have the side mirrors painted in the same color as your vehicle.


Tip #3: You can buy side mirrors as parts 

Side mirrors would sometimes come in whole pieces which you can buy and install by yourself or with the help of an expert. There will also be repair shops who offer them exclusively as whole pieces.

If you only need repairs, the good news is that you don’t have to pay for a complete side mirror. You can buy the parts separately by looking for shops that sell them.


Tip #4: It’s cheaper to buy online 

What’s great about online shopping is that you can buy practically anything and have the items shipped to you. If you want side mirrors made for a specific model or make of a vehicle, you have better chances of finding them online than you would in brick and mortar shops.

Online shopping may have its risks. But if you find a reputable, you can purchase parts at an incredible bargain.

Don’t let a broken side mirror put you at risk for accidents or otherwise make driving a hassle. Whenever you see some damage, attend to it immediately.

What Size Windshield Wipers Do You Need?

Imagine you’re driving in heavy rain. Nothing could be worse than struggling to get a clear view of the road, simply because your windshield wipers are not doing an effective job of removing most of the surface water.

The wipers you have are probably not the right size for your vehicle. Now you might wonder how or why they would even find their way to your windshield. After all, shouldn’t a car be equipped with properly sized wipers? But this isn’t uncommon at all, especially if you’ve replaced the wipers at least once, or have had some work done on them. You’ll only notice they’re the wrong size when there is heavy rain or snow. By that time, you will have problems with road visibility and realize just how important they are in driving safety.


Why You Need the Right Sized Windshield Wipers

Wipers that are not properly fitted can cause irreversible damage to your windshield. In a worst-case scenario, they might not function as efficiently and leave water and snow in their trail. These can obstruct your view and make you prone to road accidents since you’ll have difficulty seeing the road, other vehicles, and pedestrians.

Windshield wipers can malfunction for a variety of reasons. The most common of which is general wear and tear. It can also result from a faulty repair or improper replacement.


How to Choose the Right Windshield Wiper Size

Windshield wipers that are damaged or malfunctioning have to be replaced. If you want to know what size you should get, here is a simple guide on choosing windshield wipers.


Tip #1: Check with your vehicle’s manufacturer

Windshield wipers are usually designed for a specific car model and make. This means that manufacturers have a set standard depending on your vehicle. In which case, it should be easier for you to narrow down the search to wiper blades that are compatible with your car.


Tip #2: Find out the blade symmetry

Most vehicles are pre-installed with windshield wipers that are similar in size. Some have one larger blade along with a slightly smaller one. So how do you know which settings are for your vehicle? You can refer to the manual that came with your car, or you can consult online forums on DIY repairs.

You may think this is a very small technicality that can be ignored. But failure to follow these specifications will prevent your wipers from functioning properly. In turn, they can impair your road visibility and speed up the wear and tear of your brand new wiper blades.


Tip #3: Know what’s compatible with your car’s features

Newer vehicles will have water and soap sprayers built into the frame, whereas older models will not feature them. Knowing whether your vehicle has these features will help you choose. Modern wipers tend to be incompatible with old cars, whereas dated wipers will be unusable on modern vehicles.

All of that being said, it’s also imperative that you replace your windshield wipers whenever they are no longer functioning at peak efficiency. If you notice any streaking noises while operating your wipers, or if they’ve begun to leave a thin film after every wipe, these are tell-tale signs that a replacement is needed.

Summer Heat and Chipped Windows: What You Need to Know

It’s the height of summer, and for one reason or another, you have a chip in your windshield. Unfortunately, you lack the funds to address it. Or maybe you don’t have time to get it repaired. Naturally, you’d be worried that it will only get worse the longer you wait. If the damage is too extensive for a conventional filler or repair kit, a quick-fix solution is out of the equation. But is there anything else you can do about it? Let’s find out.

Why Summer Is Bad For Your Car Windows 

Summertime is the season when your auto glass is most likely to break, chip, or crack. Extreme heat during daytime, combined with the sudden drop in temperatures by night, will lead car windows to crack even further since their structural integrity has already been compromised. If the cracks or chips are on the driver’s side, they can distort your view or cause glare. Both of which can impair your driving and contribute to road accidents.


How To Reduce Damage With Chipped Auto Glass

Of course, nothing beats an auto glass repair service. This is why most people with cracked windows won’t even dare to attempt a DIY approach and are willing to wait until they can have it fixed. Thankfully, there are some tricks you can do to prevent chipped windows from getting worse in the summer.


Tip #1: Apply nail polish on chipped areas

It may sound like a strange way to minimize damage. But coating the chipped areas in several layers of clear nail polish will seal and protect your windshield. Dust and debris can actually make things worse by slowly wearing away at the damaged parts. Keeping them sealed ensures that they don’t worsen while waiting for professional help. What’s more, acrylic nail polish is easily removed with acetone. Acetone is completely harmless to auto glass and can be used just before you take your car to a repair shop.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to tell the repair crew about your use of nail polish. This is so they can take the appropriate measures and ensure that there are no remnants on your window before they patch it up.


Tip #2: Ditch the reflective shade

Reflective shades are designed to keep your car cool if you’re parking it outside in broad daylight. However, these can be detrimental to chipped and cracked windows. Even though they prevent heat from reaching into the car’s interior, the same heat tends to collect in the windshield. The collective heat will cause the glass to expand and for cracks to spread.

Pro tip: If you want to keep your vehicle cool without risking further windshield damage, you should park it in the shade away from direct sunlight.


Tip #3: Slowly cool down your vehicle

Wanting your car to stay cool during the summer is only natural. But if its windows have chips or cracks, sudden shifts in temperatures may cause the glass to contract. Cracks can worsen and might even shatter your windshield.

Pro tip: No matter how hot it is, you shouldn’t crank up the AC on full blast. Instead, let the air conditioning slowly cool your vehicle by gradually bringing down the temperature setting.

How To Keep Your Windshield Clear

Having a clear windshield is of utmost importance if you’re concerned about safety while on the road. When you have a dull, foggy, or scratched windshield, it can mean all the difference between staying safe and an accident waiting to happen.

Keeping your windshield clear and protected from damage isn’t all that difficult. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths circulating online on how to take care of your windshield. While some of these at-home tips are proven to be effective, many are detrimental and may cause more harm than good.


If you’re curious about the easiest and safest ways to maintain your windshield, we’re giving you four easy tips you can follow.


Tip #1: Use proper windshield cleaners

You may have heard that baking soda and vinegar can do wonders for your windshield. It may work in a pinch, but you do have to be careful with these two.

For starters, baking soda is a mild abrasive. And it can cause microscopic scratches to form on your windshield with repeated application. Meanwhile, vinegar is a weak acid which degrades the protective film that some windshields have.

If you want to guarantee proper cleaning without risking damage to your windshield, only use specially formulated cleaners. Windshield cleaners are completely non-abrasive and do not cause any buildup. Additionally, you should use the right tools. A soft sponge is usually recommended for cleaning.


Tip #2: Clean your windshields regularly

As long as you’re using proper windshield cleaners (and the right tools) there is no harm in washing and polishing your windshield more often. In fact, the more you clean your windshield, the less likely it will be damaged. Remember that dust, dirt, grime, and road salts can accumulate on your windshield. Unless you remove them through cleaning, they can cause unsightly scratches which are very difficult to remove.


Tip #3: Keep your wiper blades good as new

It’s true that dust and debris can cause minor scratches and pitting on the windshield if you travel at high speeds. However, it isn’t the only reason why this happens. In most cases, windshields get scratched by the wipers themselves. Wipers have a layer of rubber which helps to flick away water and other debris. But these eventually wear off with use and exposes the bare metal underneath.

Using a windshield wiper that’s lost its rubber squeegee will cause the metal to scratch the glass. If you want to keep your windshield looking perfect, always replace worn or damaged wiper rubbers with new ones.


Tip #4: Clean your windshield last

One very common cleaning mistake that a lot of car owners make is they clean the windshield first before everything else. This results in the accumulation of products on the windshield, such as waxes, buffing compounds, and surfactants. The collective buildup causes the glass to become dull over time. You can avoid this by cleaning and polishing your windshield last.


With these tips, you can be sure that your windshield will be clear and scratch-free.

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Windshield?

Did you ever get a cracked windshield but never found the time to get it repaired or replaced? You’re probably one of those people who think it’ll take forever to get it fixed, or that you’ll have to dish out a huge amount of money.

Well, you’re in for a surprise because windshield replacement is fast, efficient, and affordable. If you have a damaged windshield that badly needs fixing, the nearest auto repair shop should be able to attend to your needs.

When you do decide to get some work done on your windshield, you might wonder how much time it’s going to take. But how long is too long? In this short guide, we’ll help you with everything you need to know about windshield replacement and what to expect – so you’ll know what to look out for if you’re in a hurry.


Factors That Affect The Time Of Windshield Replacement

Most, if not, all auto shops these days are equipped to repair and replace windshields. It shouldn’t be that difficult to find a place that can accommodate you. That being said, choosing a reputable shop with excellent customer reviews and a quick turnover should still be a priority. You can gauge the time it will take to get your windshield replaced based on the following factors.


1. Number of customers

If you picked a shop with a long roster of customers waiting, chances are you’ll have to wait a couple of days before they could start working on your windshield. In these cases, it may be a good idea to book early to ensure they can attend to your vehicle at their soonest available time.


2. Availability of parts

Delays are sometimes caused by the unavailability of parts and tools that are necessary for fixing or replacing a windshield. While most repair shops offer in-house windshield glass, the ideal option will still be OEM or original equipment manufacturer glass. OEM windshield is often available in limited quantities. If you want one, you’d have to pre-order it. This will extend the time it takes for a shop to replace your broken windshield since they have to wait for stocks to arrive.


3. Staff 

Installing a brand new windshield is no easy task, so you can’t expect a one-man army to be able to handle it. If a shop is understaffed, a job that normally takes less than an hour to finish will be extended to a day or two. On the contrary, a well-staffed auto shop can replace your windshield in as little as 30 minutes, especially when there’s no one else waiting in line.

All things considered, it is always a good idea to book services in advance. If you’re keen on getting fast service, you’ll have to take in your vehicle during a slow day and make sure that the shop is properly staffed and equipped for a rush job.

Remember that even though it only takes 30 minutes or less to install a new windshield, it can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours for the adhesive to bond. So if you want to drive your car the very same day, wait for the adhesive to dry before you head on out the road.

Everything You Need To Know About How Auto Glass Is Made

Your windshield is durable for a reason. It acts as a shelter that protects passengers and the car’s interiors from debris and weather conditions. It prevents your vehicle’s roof from caving in during rollover accidents and high-impact collisions. When it breaks, it doesn’t shatter into sharp jagged pieces the way normal glass would, thus minimizing the risk for injury.

But have you ever stopped and asked yourself why this is? After all, windshields are still made of glass. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how windshields are made, so you would understand why they’re not your average glass.


What is auto glass made of?

Car glass is comprised of a combination of oxides. When heated, it creates a reaction which causes them to fuse and form glass.

Below are the three main components found in auto glass:

  • Silicone dioxide is a type of sand consisting of tiny quartz particles. It makes up 60 to 70 percent of a windshield and has a high melting point of over 2000° C.
  • Sodium carbonate lowers the melting point of silica to 1000° C so the glass is easier to mold.
  • Calcium oxide or lime counters the water-solubility of sodium carbonate and produces glass that is harder and more durable.

Potassium oxide, magnesium oxide, aluminum oxide, and cullet (or waste glass) are also added to facilitate the glass-making process.


Step 1: Manufacturing Auto Glass

The ingredients used to make glass are measured and then melted. The molten materials form into glass as they float inside a specially designed chamber, above a bed of molten metal.

Once the “float glass” is formed, it moves through a conveyor belt. Initially, the glass will be exposed to temperatures of 1000° C to rid it of impurities. Then it is exposed to cooler temperatures of 600° C so the glass would harden enough for the next phase.

By the time it leaves the float chamber, a solar coating is applied. Afterward, the glass passes through a furnace where it is slowly cooled to 200° C. During the final phase, the auto glass is cooled at room temperature.

Note: Solar coating prevents too much heat from getting into the vehicle during summers. By winter, it keeps the car’s interiors warm and toasty.


Step 2: Tempering Auto Glass

Now that the glass is cool, it can be cut and fit to size. A diamond scribe is used to create cut lines so that any excess glass can be broken off. The auto glass is then placed inside a mold and heated to achieve the desired shape. Finally, the glass is tempered by quickly heating it and then rapidly cooling it off with cold air.

Note: Tempering is the process which strengthens the windshield and prevents it from breaking into pieces with sharp edges. This way, it is less likely to cause cuts and wounds.


Step 3: Laminating Auto Glass

During lamination, two pieces of auto glass are bonded with a layer of tear-resistant plastic between them. The process occurs in an autoclave, where the materials are heated and placed under pressure to create the windshield that you know today.

Note: The laminate is a safety feature that prevents injury in two ways. First, it keeps broken glass from scattering since they will likely stick to the laminate. Second, when an object hits the windshield and breaks it, the damage will be limited to the outside layer of glass.

Does Windshield Replacement Affect Your Insurance?

Getting auto insurance is most likely a legal requirement which you have to comply with, as with most states in the United States. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy insurance for your vehicle. There are hundreds of companies offering these policies, and considering their different iterations, you’ll never be out of options. You can freely compare providers and choose a company whose policies are suited to your needs and budget restrictions.

How Your Car Insurance Works

In spite of it being an additional monthly expense that could cost you hundreds of dollars, car insurance will actually save you money. Should you find yourself in an unfortunate car accident, it can help cover the financial burden that comes with repairing a damaged vehicle, replacing broken parts, paying for hospitalization and medical bills, and seeking legal action.

Who pays for what will depend on the state laws. Places with tort insurance laws will hold the driver at-fault (and his insurance company) accountable for the damages. But in places with no-fault insurance laws, your insurance provider will pay for your expenses regardless of who caused the accident.

Occasionally, your vehicle may need repairs from normal wear and tear. Some examples of car damage resulting from regular use include blown out tires and a warped window tint. Under these circumstances, your car insurance can also cover the expense of having them replaced or repaired.

Even though you might have to shoulder deductibles out of your pocket, ultimately, you’ll be spending less if you have car insurance. Whether you get involved in a collision or some other accident on the road, or simply need repairs from time to time, getting your car insured costs significantly less.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Car Insurance

Car owners pay an average of about $1,400 each year in premiums. However, prices could vary depending on your allowable budget and preferred coverage. Different factors can affect the price of your car insurance policy. For instance, if you opted for a more expansive coverage and are willing to pay for a higher premium, you can benefit from better protection and lower deductibles. Or if you decide to bundle your car insurance with homeowners insurance from the same provider, you’d be able to avail discounts.

The cost of auto insurance is not fixed. It can still go higher or lower depending on your company. One factor that can influence its price is a damaged windshield.

The Impact of a Damaged Windshield on Car Insurance

Most cases of cracked or broken windshields are caused by natural means such as heat or getting hit by a stone. Insurance companies consider these types of windshield damage as comprehensive claims. Comprehensive claims won’t really affect your premium as long as you don’t make them too often.

A windshield that is damaged from accident falls under a collision claim. Collision claims can increase your premium, especially if you’re at fault.

However, if you live in a state that requires companies to provide full glass coverage for zero deductibles, you can have your windshield and other car windows replaced at no extra cost, and without having to worry about paying for higher premiums in your next cycle.


Can Your Scratched Auto Glass Be Saved?

A scratched windshield is something you could ignore. But in rare cases, it can be dangerous. Auto repair companies often suggest that if there are deep scratches, dings, or even microabrasions on its surface, you should consider getting it replaced. With enough damage, these imperfections can hamper your road visibility and increase your risk for accidents.

However, not everyone has the luxury to replace a damaged windshield right away, nor is it necessary. There are times when a simple fix might be able to do the trick. So if you’ve ever had your it scratched from improper cleaning methods, tools, or perhaps an accident, you might be wondering if it can still be saved.

The answer is yes, it is possible to fix a windshield and avoid unnecessary bills. But before anything else, it should be understood that not all types of windshield damage are salvageable. Whether or not it can still be repaired will depend on the extent of the damage. If the scratches are minor, or if there are small areas exhibiting hairline cracks or small fissures, then it can be repaired. Deep scratches or cracks affecting large areas are beyond fixing.

Moreover, fixing scratches doesn’t guarantee flawless results. The structural integrity of your windshield even after repairs is still compromised, and you will have to replace it eventually for safety reasons.


Quick Fixes for Windshield Scratches

Now that we’ve covered the technicalities, here are three ways that you can remedy a scratched windshield.

1. Acrylic scratch removers

These are available at any auto shop and almost all leading home depot shops and hardware stores. What this does is it acts like a filler that builds up the scratch, which can then be buffed by the time it dries.

Acrylic dries clear, so it can be safely used on a windshield without affecting its clarity. However, it does have the tendency to distort light that passes through the repaired area and cause glare under certain conditions. On the plus side, it does a great job at covering up scratches and preventing them from getting worse.

Tip: If you don’t have an acrylic scratch remover on hand, another quick fix is to use superglue which is made from essentially the same compound.


2. Cerium oxide

Commonly used by jewelers to buff gemstones and precious metals, cerium oxide is the go-to solution for deeper scratches or pitting on windshields. Heavy duty scratch repair kits will have a paste which contains the compound.

Cerium oxide is applied using a woolen buffer wheel. It is then slowly rubbed across the affected area until the compound bonds with the glass. Afterwards, you can polish the surface to even it out, resulting in a better and far more durable finish than acrylic scratch removers. However, its application can be time consuming.


3. Whitening toothpaste and baking soda

It isn’t exactly a proper solution but it can solve minor issues in a pinch. If you have barely noticeable scratches on your windshield and would want to get rid of them, combine white toothpaste with baking soda, and add some water. Rub the mixture on the problem area to buff it out. Take note that this solution is only for minimal scratches.

Regardless of these easy solutions, it is always best to have an expert take a look at your windshield and conduct any necessary repairs. Keep in mind that a damaged windshield is a ticking time bomb, and it is best to opt for a replacement whenever you are able.