Why you shouldn’t get your car dealer to repair your auto glass

When something goes wrong with a newish car, the first question most people have is whether their dealership can carry out the repairs. The short answer is that yes they can. But that doesn’t mean it’s better than going to a specialist dealer.

Most people don’t want to go into detail about their car. They just want to get it fixed in the best and quickest way possible, whoever does it. It’s no different whether you want to get a dent repaired or the windshield replaced.

When it comes to windshield replacement, most car owners have two options: get a car dealership to do it or turn to a specialist. If you don’t know where to turn, we outline the differences between each service below.

 

Using a car dealer

Car dealerships are absolutely able to replace your windshield. Most work exclusively with OEM glass — that’s glass ordered directly from the manufacturer.

 

Using a car glass specialist

Unlike dealerships, auto glass specialists will offer a range of services. They can repair and replace your windshield. They will also give you several different options when it comes to replacing the glass, including OEM and aftermarket alternative. These services can be completed very quickly at their shop and some may even offer a mobile service.

 

Which option is the best to trust?

When it comes to deciding who to trust with your windshield replacement, there are a couple of things that you should bear in mind. Using an auto glass specialist will often be cheaper and sometimes more convenient. You can also guarantee that it will be replaced by an expert.  

It will typically cost less to get your windshield replaced by an auto glass expert. Most dealerships will add a premium to the price because they don’t specialize in that service and therefore don’t have the economies of scale needed to make it cheaper. In some cases, dealerships will even subcontract the job out to a specialist and add their cut on top.

Another reason for the increased price is the type of glass that is used. Dealerships will have to pay more for OEM glass, whereas auto glass specialists can order cheaper aftermarket glass if they like. Even if customers do want OEM glass, auto glass specialists will have the connections to get the best price possible.

If it’s a matter of convenience, it’s almost always better to use an auto glass specialist. Not only are their shops typically more accessible, they should also be able to get the job done quicker than dealerships. Again, this can be a result of dealerships sub-contracting it out, but it’s also a case of auto glass shops having specialists on site all the time, ready to get to work at a moment’s notice.

If you’re looking for an auto glass specialist to repair or replace your windshield, get in touch today.

Why you shouldn’t always choose your insurers preferred auto glass company

When you’ve been involved in an accident that requires your windshield to be replaced, your insurance company will usually cover the cost. What’s more, they’ll even suggest an auto glass company that can do the work.


Pretty handy, right?

Not necessarily. Agree to the recommendation of your insurer without a second thought could be a costly mistake.

 

Your insurance company is a business

Your insurance company is not your friend. It’s a business that wants to make as much money as possible. To this end, many will strike deals with auto glass shops in order to make the repair as cheap as possible. The cheaper the repair, the more money they save. But the old adage rings true, pay cheap and you pay twice. The problem is, the insurance company is no longer on the hook if the repair turns out to be dodgy. You’re on the hook and it will be you paying to repair it.

 

Cheap repairs mean corners are cut

When an insurer strikes a deal with a local auto glass repair company, they do so with the lowest bidder. Some auto glass companies are happy to do this. Even though they take a lower price, they guarantee money coming into the business. Of course, they still have to make a profit. And to do so, they will cut corners with the repairs. One of the ways they do this is to replace the windshield without removing the cowl panel. This saves time, but it can cause a number of problems like increased noise, water leaks, cut wires, and rusted metal. When these problems arise, the only way to fix them is to pay for a complete windshield replacement, and perhaps even more maintenance to fix these problems.

 

Cheap repairs could cost you more than money

Windshields are an incredibly important part of your vehicle. They don’t just protect you from wind and road debris, they form a key structural component of the car’s chassis. There’s a reason they are installed with such great precision. Because they need to be in order to carry out that job. When a windshield is properly installed, it will keep all of the passengers inside the car safe. Even in an accident, it will hold the structure of the car and absorb part of the damage.  But that’s not the case when a windshield is poorly installed. In this circumstance, the windshield won’t be structurally sound meaning that even a minor accident can cause your vehicle to crumble more than it would. It can also cause increased windshield damage. In short, a poorly installed window could cost you your life.

 

Don’t trust the first company that your insurer suggests. You are not legally required to do so and you should absolutely exercise your right to get quotes from several auto glass repair shops.

What To Do When Your Car’s Windshield Smashes

A smashed windshield doesn’t make for a pretty sight. More than an unpleasant appearance, it’s both illegal and unsafe to drive in. Many US states have laws against driving in a vehicle with a cracked windshield, especially if they’re extensive enough to impair the driver’s view.

So what do you do after your windshield gets smashed? Well, it depends. Below are five important questions to ask yourself if you have a broken windshield – and what you can do about them.

 

5 Things You Need To Do (If You Have A Smashed Windshield)

Q: Which state and city do you live in?

The moment you notice a visible crack on a car’s windshield, your first step is to look into your state and city laws. Laws around a smashed windshield can vary depending on where you live.

For example, there will be states like Wisconsin which allow you to drive a vehicle with a cracked windshield. As long as the cracks are located outside the “critical” area (a.k.a. anywhere near windshield wipers), then you can continue to drive in the car. Some cities like Florida have statutes against driving in vehicles that endanger the driver and the public. These include cracked windshields which prevents a clear vision of the road ahead.

 

Q: What is your car insurance coverage?

Ideally, you should have car insurance. Otherwise, you will have to pay out of pocket for the repair or replacement of your broken windshield. But assuming that you do, your next step is to check how much coverage you’re actually getting.

Your coverage will vary depending on your provider and policy. More often than not, only drivers with comprehensive coverage are allowed to file claims for damaged windshields and car windows.

 

Q: Do you have any deductibles?

While checking for car insurance, you should also review your policy and see whether or not you have deductibles. Most companies offer zero deductibles. It means they will cover the full cost of windshield repairs or replacement, and you wouldn’t have to pay a single dime.

However, deductibles are optional. Many policyholders opt out for them, or they go for higher deductibles to save on premiums. Either way, you should find out if you have deductibles and for what amount so you can prepare for costs you may need to shoulder.

 

Q: Which car repair shop provides windshield services in your area?

Next, investigate your local area for car repair companies. Not all of them will offer windshield repair and replacement. Make sure they are reputable and have adequate licensing and certification to provide these services. Choose from auto repair shops that use high-quality OEM safety glass.

 

Q: What are your options?

Now that you have a list of auto glass repair shops, get in touch with them. Ask about payment options because some might be willing to waive your deductibles, thus reducing the total cost. Others offer extended payment plans, which can be useful if you have high deductibles or have to pay out of pocket. If you need mobile services (i.e. carpool, rental vehicle), it also pays to know your options ahead of time.

What Is Pitting And How Can You Fix It?

Pitting is a windshield problem that can happen to anyone. It’s more common for drivers who travel frequently along highways and high-traffic areas. Dry and arid places that are dusty, sandy, and rocky are also more likely to cause windshield pitting. But what is pitting anyway? And is there a way to fix it?

What is windshield pitting?

Pitting basically refers to those tiny, shallow cracks that occur on the windshield. They are caused by high-speed impact from rocks, which explains why they are small and have a pitted appearance. Dust and dirt are also known to cause windshield pitting especially if they get stuck on the wipers.

 

How to identify windshield pits

Windshield pits are often difficult to spot. You’ll need a good eye and closely inspect your windshield glass to notice them.

The easiest way to see them is at night. First, you need to park under a bright light and look at the windshield from inside your vehicle. The light should pass through the pits and create an obvious contrast against tinted windows.

 

Is windshield pitting problematic?

Yes, it can definitely cause a number of problems. First of all, the pits might interfere with your wipers’ movement. Or it could be the other way around and the wipers will cause further chipping. If any of that chipped glass gets caught underneath the wipers, they can leave deep scratches on your windshield.

In spite of their size, pitting is also thought to be a safety hazard. When there are too many pits, they can make your windshield appear foggy. This can reduce road visibility and make it dangerous for the driver. Windshield pits also refract light and prevent drivers from having a clear view of the road.

Moreover, pitting compromises the integrity of the windshield’s laminate which is supposed to prevent glass from fragmenting. It makes windshield prone to crack and shatter during impact collision and other accidents. With the laminate compromised, the glass will break into fine pieces and injure the driver and passengers.

 

How to fix windshield pitting

A pitted windshield needs to be repaired or replaced. Either way, it’s important to entrust your car to a professional. Do not attempt a DIY solution as it can further damage your windshield. What could have been repaired for a cheap price may suddenly need replacement and cost you more.

Find a licensed auto repair shop that provides windshield services. Depending on the extent of damage to your windshield, a shop may recommend repairs or a complete replacement.

 

Repairing a pitted windshield

Minor windshield pitting can still be repaired. Usually, the repair crew will fill the holes with an industry-grade compound and smoothen it out with a polishing tool for an even finish. It is worth noting this is only a temporary solution. It’s meant to prevent further damage to the windshield until you are ready to replace it.

Replacing a pitted windshield

If there are too many pits, or if cracks have already set in, an auto repair shop will recommend a windshield replacement. At this point, safety is already a concern and any quick fix solutions won’t help.

How to make your own windshield wiper fluid

Keeping your windshield clean is important for its health and your own safety. There’s nothing more dangerous than driving when you can’t see where you are going. That means keeping your wiper fluid regularly topped up. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy windshield wiper fluid. Believe it or not, you can make your own.

Why make your own fluid?

There are a couple of reasons drivers may want to make their own wiper fluid rather than buy a pre-made solution. The first is that it can save you bucket loads of cash. It costs a fraction of the price to make your own compared to buying brand-name fluids. It’s also really easy to find these products, no matter where you live. What’s more, making your own solution is safer and more environmentally friendly than buying a pre-made alternative. These commercial wiper fluids contain methanol, which can be poisonous.

Here are the seven steps to making your own solution.

 

7 steps to make your own wiper fluid

There are dozens of different recipes on the internet for making your own wiper fluid. Most of them are excellent, but this one is our favorite. This one is made so that the fluid won’t freeze even when the temperature drops. We also add food coloring so you can tell it apart when storing the fluid in your garage.

You don’t need much to make this solution. The only ingredients are:

  • Distilled water
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Food coloring

And it’s really easy to make it, too:

  1. Find a large container to mix your windshield solution in. You don’t have to buy a new bucket, but make sure you clean it thoroughly before and after.
  2. Pour three liters of distilled water into the bucket
  3. Add 1 and a half cups of rubbing alcohol
  4. Add a quarter cup of dish soap
  5. Add a few drops of food coloring. You can add more later if the color isn’t bright
  6. Mix the solution with a paint stick or another instrument. Don’t use a spoon that you use in the kitchen.
  7. Fill up your car and then store the remaining liquid in a marked container secured tightly with a lid. If you have children keep it well out of reach.

When it comes to refilling your wiper fluid, there’s no difference between using your own solution or a store-bought alternative. You fill it up exactly the same way. The only difference is that you save loads of cash and the environment when using your own homemade solution.

How to Identify Faulty Windshield Installation

Your car is fresh straight out of an auto repair shop with a new windshield. It should be good to go, right? After all, you left it in the care of professionals. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Not all repair centers are fully equipped, let alone certified, to perform windshield installation. Some shops even allow “hacks” to do the job or use low quality glass.

Why Proper Windshield Installation Is Important

A poorly installed windshield poses serious safety risks. So it makes sense that you shouldn’t take it lightly. Windshield installation is a specialized service that requires a trained and experienced crew. The auto repair shop offering it must meet the following criteria:

  • License to operate
  • The right tools and equipment
  • Necessary certificates to perform windshield installation

As the car owner, it is your responsibility to check the windshield immediately after installation. It’s the only way you can ensure your safety as well as that of your passengers.

 

5 Signs of a Poorly Installed Windshield

Here are five signs to look out for when checking for improper windshield installation. We’ve also included tips on what to expect from a well-installed windshield.

Sign #1 – Uneven frame mold

Inspect the molding around your windshield’s glass frame. If there is any unevenness to it (i.e. appears bumpy or deviates from the frame), then you just got yourself a hack job.

What to expect: A well-installed windshield has clean, evenly applied molding that aligns to the frame.

 

Sign #2 – Adhesives are still intact

Before installing the new windshield, a true professional would remove the adhesive from your old window seal. So if you see it still intact even after the new windshield has been installed, this could only mean that it hasn’t been sealed in properly.

What to expect: No adhesives should be left behind the moment you take your car out from the repair service.

 

Sign #3 – Windshield isn’t flush

Flush is used in reference to a windshield that fits the car frame. Thus, a windshield that isn’t flush is a very bad sign. It suggests that the repair shop used windshield glass with a completely different size.

What you should see: Your new windshield should be an exact match to the frame and not need any additional adjustments.

 

Sign #4 – Leaking on the edges

Before leaving the repair shop, ask the crew to spray water around the edges of your windshield. If water leaks into your vehicle or if the glass fogs from the inside, it’s a sign that they didn’t use enough sealant on the frame.

What to expect: During the water test, the interior of your windshield should keep dry and show no signs of fogging.

 

Sign #5 – You didn’t let a professional do it

The worst possible thing you could do is have a friend or relative install the windshield, or do it by yourself. Not only will it compromise your personal safety – it can potentially void your car’s manufacturer warranty and insurance policy.

What to expect: DIY windshield installation is a disaster waiting to happen. So you can’t expect anything good to come out of it.

If you see any of these warning signs, it’s best to take your car to a true professional who can properly install your windshield.

How To Get Your Deductible Waived For Windshield Replacement

It’s possible to have the deductible for your windshield replacement waived off completely. When this happens, you won’t have to pay for anything out of pocket.

But how can you replace the windshield without paying a single dime?

There are in fact three situations where a car repair shop would gladly waive your deductible:

  • If you have collision insurance
  • If you have comprehensive car insurance
  • If you live in a zero deductible state

Before we teach you how it’s done, let us first understand what a deductible is.

 

Car Insurance Deductibles: How Do They Work?

Your car insurance company determines your deductible. As far as windshield replacement is concerned, it refers to the amount you have to pay for the service.

To illustrate, let’s say your car has to undergo $3,000 worth of repairs and replacement services. Based on your policy, you have a $500 deductible and a $3,000 coverage. Waiving the $500 deductible means that your car insurance provider will completely shoulder the $3,000 bill.

Depending on your policy, car insurance deductibles can range from $100 to $2,000. Usually, higher premiums translate to lower deductibles. Lower premiums would mean higher deductibles.

 

3 Clever Ways to Get Your Deductible Waived for Windshield Replacement

 

1. Car Collision Insurance

If you get into a collision accident and you happen to live in a no-fault state, it means that drivers are expected to pay for their respective damages no matter who is at fault. In which case, the deductible will be covered by your insurance.

Alternatively, if you live in a choice no-fault state and decide to opt out of the traditional no-fault car insurance, what you basically have is tort-based coverage. In which case, the deductible and all other costs (including repairs) will be paid for by the driver at fault.

 

2. Comprehensive Car Insurance

Drivers who have comprehensive insurance policies usually enjoy full coverage for car glass repairs and replacement. These include windshield damage caused by the following named perils:

  • Hail storm
  • Natural disasters
  • Fallen objects
  • Break-ins and vandalism
  • Animals

Covered perils can vary extensively depending on your state and provider, and may include more or less. As long as damages are not a direct result of a collision or other accidents, then your insurance will likely pay to have the windshield repaired or replaced.

Take note that some insurance companies have deductibles and others don’t. It’s best to talk with your provider to find out. If you don’t have deductibles, then you wouldn’t have to pay for damages.

 

3. Zero Deductible States

If you live in one of three U.S. states with zero deductibles, consider yourself lucky. Granted that you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, your deductibles for windshield replacement will be automatically waived off!

The zero deductible states include Florida, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. The law was implemented to promote vehicle safety, especially since people have little reason to be driving around with damaged windshields.

In all three scenarios stated above, you can legally waive off the deductible of your windshield replacement. If you work with a trusted car repair service, there’s no need to worry about getting involved in shady practices.

How To Fix A Squeaky Car Windshield

Is your windshield making squeaky noises when you turn the wipers on? Or maybe the wipers keep getting stuck? Sounds like you have a squeaky car windshield. Lucky for you, there is a fast and affordable way to fix it. All it takes is one product and a 5-step DIY solution that’s super easy to follow!

What You Need To Fix A Squeaky Car Windshield

The only way to get this right is to have the right product. (And did we mention it’s dirt cheap?) That’s why we recommend getting spray silicone grease to act as a lubricant. You can buy it from the nearest hardware store or car shop in your area. One can cost around $5 and should last several uses.

 

Why use silicone grease on a squeaking windshield?

Silicone grease, also known as dielectric grease, is a type of dry moly lubricant.

  • It is waterproof so it stays on after drying.
  • Since it’s waterproof, it adds a protective layer over the rubber inserts so your wipers last long before needing replacement.
  • It’s translucent so it won’t leave stains on your wipers or windshield.
  • It is specifically designed to lubricate rubber parts like the inserts of your wipers.
  • It doesn’t cause the rubber to swell or soften, which tends to be a problem with hydrocarbon lubricants.

Do not use petroleum-based lubricants, hydrocarbon grease, or other types of oils. They will cause your wipers to collect dirt and dust, which will only make the squeaking worse. They are also known to dry and damage rubber materials, which will only cost you more in the long run.

 

The 5-Step DIY Fix for a Squeaky Car Windshield

Step 1: Clean the car wipers

Lift the wiper blades away from the windshield. Wipe them with a towel that is slightly soaked in warm water. Keep doing this until you’ve removed all dirt from the rubber refill, then allow the wipers to dry.

 

Step 2: Apply lubricant on the windshield wipers

While the wiper blades are up, spray a generous amount of lubricant on their inner side. Some of the oil will drip on your windshield, and this is perfectly fine. Make sure that the silicone grease is evenly spread across the rubber refill, from top to bottom. Wait for a few minutes.

 

Step 3: Remove excess oil from the wipers and windshield

Using a dry towel, wipe off the excess oil from your car wipers and windshield. Put the wipers down to return them to their normal position.

 

Step 4: Test the windshield wipers for squeaking

Turn on your windshield wipers and watch out for these signs:

  • If you don’t hear any more squeaking, proceed to step 5.
  • If the windshield squeaking is reduced but not completely absent, repeat steps 1 to 4 until the squeaking stops.
  • If there is no improvement, something else may be causing the squeaking. Try looking into a dirty windshield, misaligned wiper blades, and tight fasteners. You may also need to replace the rubber inserts.

Step 5: Allow the lubricant to dry completely

Silicone grease takes time to settle in. Give it a few hours of resting period before using your car wipers.

How Broken Glass Could Be Stopping Your Windows From Opening

Car windows are supposed to roll up smoothly all the way up. The same could be said when rolling them down. It doesn’t matter if you have an automated or crank-type system – they should never jam.

If you suddenly find windows not going completely to the top or bottom frames. Or if they somehow get stuck while in use, one possible reason is broken glass.

 

Why Broken Glass Is Jamming Your Car Windows

Car windows sometimes crack on the edges, leaving behind tiny shards which get stuck within the panel of window frames. As a result, they prevent car windows from functioning properly.

In any case, don’t try to force the windows up or down. If you have automated windows, this could wear down the motor. Manual, crank-type windows can be “forced” to budge given enough force. But if there is broken glass lodged between the panel, forcing the window will break it or damage the frame.

Since you’re not sure if broken glass really is the culprit, let’s find out together.

 

3 Hidden Signs of Broken Car Windows

Spotting a broken car window isn’t easy. Cracks may hide behind the framework, so there’s no way to see them in plain sight. However, it’s not impossible to find out. There are three signs you can watch out for.

 

Sign #1 – Car window produces a scraping sound

A car window that makes scraping sounds while moving up or down is a sure sign of broken glass. There may be tiny shards sliding up and down the frame each time you use the car window. The good news? These shards are still loose but once they get stuck, it can be difficult to remove them.

Before this happens, take your vehicle to an auto glass repair service and have the window inspected.

 

Sign #2 – Car window moves slowly or jams while in use

If you see these signs, there are two possible causes. Either the car window is out of place or there’s broken glass between the frame. An auto glass repair shop can realign car windows that may have gone askew, granted that the frame has no dents and is in good condition. They can also remove pieces of glass stuck between the frame.

 

Sign #3 – Car window tilts when moving

If your car window tilts to the front or back each time you try rolling it up or down, you’re in a worst case scenario. It’s not just shards that are the problem. It’s more likely that the entire bottom of your car window is broken, and you will have to replace the whole glass.

 

Should You Replace A Broken Car Window?

A car window that’s completely broken at the bottom definitely needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Windows that are broken around the edges can still be used without needing a replacement for a while. Although it’s more practical to do so.

Your car insurance policy may already cover side window replacement. So try to check with your provider to see if you’re covered. A broken car window is also a safety hazard during life-threatening conditions. You can best reduce these risks by having the car window replaced.

How A Chipped Windshield Can Affect Your Car’s Value

Selling a used vehicle certainly has its challenges. Most people sell to car dealers because it’s the easiest and fastest route. You do have to settle for a price offer that is lower than expected. Others will try selling to direct buyers for a higher offer. However, this can be time-consuming. And it’s difficult to find someone who’s willing to buy a used car. But what if you have a chipped windshield? Will that affect the sale value of your car?

The answer: It depends on who you’re selling to.

 

Selling A Car With Chipped Windshield To Direct Buyers

Opting for a private buyer may or may not affect a vehicle’s sale value based on two factors:

  • The person buying
  • The extent of damage to your windshield

Majority of direct buyers are prepared to buy used cars with minor issues. As such, they’re usually willing to shoulder any repair costs. You might be able to sell your vehicle for a fair price to these buyers if the windshield chipping is minimal.

Some private buyers may try to lowball you. They will haggle for a much lower price, even though the chips are barely noticeable. In these cases, you might want to look for other buyers, especially when their price offer no longer seems fair.

If your windshield has too many visible cracks and widespread chipping, then you will need to have it replaced. Otherwise, you won’t get a decent offer.

 

Selling A Car With Chipped Windshield To Car Dealers

Selling your vehicle to an auto dealer will reduce its sale value, no matter the extent of damage to the windshield. The good news is that even if there is severe chipping, their price offer will be no different than if there were minor chips.

Alternatively, you can trade in your vehicle at a car dealership. Again, this will lower the trade value of your vehicle. If you trade it in with a higher-priced car, you’re going to have to pay for the excess out of pocket.

 

Tips For Selling A Car With Chipped Windshield

When selling a car that has a chipped windshield, it’s generally advised to have a new one installed. But you do need to consider a few things before opting for windshield replacement:

  • An old vehicle is unlikely to sell high. Replacing the chipped windshield may not be worth it.
  • A fairly new vehicle can be sold off for a decent rate. If you want to preserve its sale value, replace the chipped windshield.
  • If your vehicle has other issues besides windshield chipping, calculate the cost of repairs and compare it with the estimated sale value. It will give you an idea of whether or not you should have it replaced.
  • You can reduce costs by having your windshield replaced with used glass. As long as it’s in pristine condition and made specifically for your car model, there won’t be any problem.

Keep in mind that windshield replacement should only be done by a professional and certified auto glass repair shop – or you may end up spending more than you bargained for.