Nowadays, windshields or automotive glass are usually taken for granted when we think about the design of vehicles. But their presence is far more essential than what we consider them to be. Since the beginning of the 20th century, when cars started to incorporate the use of frontal widescreens, the driving experience improved exponentially for everybody that was on board.
They not only work as a passive-active safety strategy but can also allow us to have a clear view while driving. Protecting us from the harshness of the sun rays, or the inconveniences that rain, debris, or insects that are flying around can cause. Considerably reducing the likelihood of suffering a traffic accident. Therefore, keeping our glass’ integrity intact should be one of our foremost priorities when preparing to hit the road.
What are the Main Types of Auto Glass?
Don’t assume that the glass in your car is the same as the ones you have installed in your home windows. There are two types of glass that manufacturers employ when assembling vehicles, these are known as tempered and laminated.
Tempered glass is up to 4x harder than ordinary glass, which makes it withstand intense impacts. This is the main reason why it’s mostly used in the side-windows and headlights of vehicles. It’s crafting process basically takes a regular glass and by a thermic process, is heated up to 1560°F, and then quickly blown by air jets, rapidly cooling all the layers at different rates.
On the other hand, widescreens need an even more resistant type of glass, for if an accident occurs, these are the most susceptible to experience greater damages. This is when the laminated glass comes into action! Its uniqueness comes from the way it’s produced, adding a layer of PVB (a resin that glues everything together and sums flexibility and toughness without compromising the glass transparency) between two sheets of tempered glass. Making it almost impossible to break. And in case it happens, its system of interlaying would keep everything together without letting the glass get scattered all over.
What Other Advantages Do I Get by Having an Auto Glass?
Many of the benefits that auto glass gives to the users are overlooked and disregarded but looking at them a bit closer can give us an insight about their importance when it comes to our comfort and safety.
Firstly, it gives the body of the vehicle more resistance by acting as some kind of arc that adds rigidity, even avoiding the denting of the roof of the car in case of tipping. In essence, having a front widescreen increases the stability of the whole structure by 30%.
But more importantly, it allows the airbag to function correctly. Having a windscreen in good condition helps the airbag to deploy properly in just milliseconds after a car crash takes place. Making a difference between saving the life of the people sitting in the front of the vehicle by letting the resistance inflate the airbag downwards and succeeding at protecting the head of the co-driver.
What Can Damage My Auto Glass?
No matter how sturdy or enduring a glass can be, there are still some elements that can cause significant damage to it. At the end of the day, glass is glass, even the ones that we got in our vehicles, and it can get chipped or cracked without you realizing it.
Stony debris, like rocks, pebbles, and gravel that get shot out into the air from the tires of other cars in front of you or by a nearby blizzard, can directly strike the widescreen glass of the vehicle. This causes it to get minor chips and cracks. So next time you are about to hit the road, watch out for any loose chipping signs alongside the road and keep a safe distance from the other cars.
Even when our glass is produced to withstand thermal strains, another less likely way to get your glass impaired is from the effects of sudden changes in the temperature. Rapidly jeopardizing the glass’s physical integrity by making it get contracted or expanded. Surprisingly enough, this is largely caused by weather conditions or, incidentally, by you – yeah, you. But how? When using hot water to defrost your glass, or by leaving your vehicle for hours out in the sun on a very hot day without protection.
One of the most annoying ways your auto glass gets damaged is by the negligence and lack of professionalism from the technicians that had the responsibility to install or replace it. A loose or badly fitted glass can get affected by the vibrations, and ultimately become hazardous. This can also be commonly connected using low-quality glass that create stress cracks all over the edges.
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What Can You Do When You Get a Cracked Auto Glass?
There are a pair of effective and cheap quick-fixes available in the market that you can try when you’re looking for a temporary way to solve an issue with your auto glass. Whether it is slightly scratched or damaged.
A windshield repair kit is the first thing that comes to our minds when thinking about practical and affordable alternatives to get you out of the jam. It only takes 20-30 minutes and has a decent lasting effect. You would only have to clean the affected area, wipe it out, apply resin, and wait for it to solidify, once dry use the spatula to take off any residual material left on your glass. It also comes with a 4-cup suction bracket that allows you to quickly repair dents on any part of the body of the car.
You can also opt for a convenient and useful plastic restorer, which can be incredibly efficient when it comes to fixes that save you time and energy. Its additive would renew, seal, and preserve the area of the glass where cracks were caused, handling rain, and supplying UV protection at the same time. It comes with an easy-to-use applicator that makes the procedure non-pesky or uncomfortable.
What About Hiring a Professional?
The best and most advisable way to forget about what happens with your auto glass is to leave all the work in the hands of true experts. Technicians that assure you quality with years of experience and that are widely acknowledged and capable about the craft of installing, testing, repairing, and replacing glass. These people would understand how important your car is to you and would make sure you’ll get it back just as new.
How Much Would It Cost?
The cost of having to replace or professionally repair the glass of your vehicle can easily change from expert to expert, varying accordingly to the area of the car where the damage is found, as well as the dimension of the glass itself. In general terms, a car glass replacement for a common model can swing between $100-$400, while for larger or luxury models the price can climb up to $1500. Have in mind that these rates are strongly subjected to the year the vehicle was manufactured, as well as if it has any sort of sensors or wipers and the preferred type of glass to be used.
What You Should Be Asking Your Professional?
Besides asking for the technicians’ certifications and qualifications, hiring an auto glass repair service can be quite a straightforward process. Nonetheless, we’ve compiled a couple of questions that you’d have in mind next time you see yourself in need of such services.
Our cars are an essential part of our daily living, so having our four-wheeled friend in a workshop for days can be quite a burden, therefore be sure to check how long is the wait time and if they can work around your schedule.
But above all, make sure their work comes backed by a warranty, ask them about how long it lasts, and what it covers. Also, inquire a bit more about the type of glass they’re planning to use – Is it a high-end? OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or just an equivalent similar to the original? Feeling satisfied with the answer to all those questions would likely leave you with a smile in your face at the end of the day as a happy customer.
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How To Take Care of Your Auto Glass?
Keeping your windshield safe and sound is pretty simple and will only need you to take a few minutes before getting into your car and having some precautions while driving. Here a couple of care measurements to look forward:
As mentioned, do not pour boiling hot water when trying to take all the ice from your glass. With regular tap water, you and your auto glass would be more than fine. If, on the other hand, you’re living in a hot area where the sun gets scorching pretty easily during the day, make sure to protect your vehicle under a shaded area or using some kind of protector.
Avoiding all the flying debris while driving is a bit harder to manage, but even then, you can take some precautions. Keep a safe distance from the other vehicles and be aware of all the signs showing you about things getting in front of your windshield. And remember, always get your glass inspected so you can be on top of what is happening to them.
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