Did you know that your car’s windshield is a safety device ? In addition to its primary role of protecting vehicle occupants from wind, water and debris, a windshield can help reduce injuries in an accident and could even save the life of you or someone else. passenger. How? ‘Or’ What ? In the event of a collision, the windshield prevents most exterior objects from entering the interior of the vehicle. In many cars, the windshield also plays a vital role in the deployment of the front passenger airbag. Finally, the windshield (and rear window) supports the roof of the vehicle in the event of a rollover to prevent it from collapsing.
Damage to the windshield may compromise the driver’s vision in addition to the safety features described above. It is therefore important to regularly check the absence of problems on the windshield and other windows. If your windshield is cracked or damaged in any way, you should contact your insurance company or an auto glass specialist to arrange repair or replacement .
To keep windshields and other glass clean, use ammonia-free cleaners and soft cotton or microfiber towels that will remove dirt and grime without streaking. Ammonia-based cleaners can damage dashboard and upholstery materials, as well as window tint films.
Here are some tips on what to look for in hens performing an automatic window inspection:
- Check the glass, inside and out, for chips and cracks. Small “star” or “bull’s eye” rock chips and small cracks can be repaired. Any significant damage requires replacement of the windshield.
- Tiny micro-pitting accumulates on the windshield over time as airborne particles hit the glass at high speed. These pits reduce vision when illuminated by oncoming headlights or the rising or setting sun. The only practical solution for a poorly pitted windshield is replacement.
- Inspect the edges of the glass to see if there is any damage to the surrounding bodywork. Any problem that affects the seal of the glass to the body can weaken the structural integrity and require repair.
- Make sure the rubber wiper blades are soft, flexible, and clear water from the glass in one stroke. Brittle blades can break and allow a metal wiper arm to
Today, innovative processes and materials allow automotive glass specialists to repair many types of windshield damage. Some car insurance companies will cover glass repairs without a deductible, as they cost less than replacing the windshield. However, other carriers prefer damaged windshields to be replaced rather than repaired.
The size and location of a chip or crack determines whether it is suitable for repair. Chips less than a quarter and cracks less than a few inches long are usually repairable. Some states do not allow window repairs in areas directly in the driver’s field of vision because even small repairs create distortion that can affect visibility and safety. Glass specialists also recommend replacing any windshield that has a crack extending from one edge. These types of cracks tend to spread quickly and easily, likely rendering the repair ineffective.
The process of repairing glass for chips and cracks involves injecting a polymer resin into the damaged area, allowing it to dry, then smoothing the surface to make the imperfection nearly invisible. The result depends on the quality of the tools and resins, and the skill of the technician doing the work. Do-it-yourself window repair kits are available from many sources, but it may be best to leave the job to an expert. Professional auto glass technicians are equipped with more sophisticated tools and advanced resins that help ensure a satisfactory repair.
Windshield repair costs vary by location, auto glass service provider, and type of damage. Typical prices range from $60 to $100 for a single chip and discounts may apply when fitting additional chips to the same windshield. Crack repair prices are similar, although repairing a longer crack can cost $125 or more.
When replacing a windshield, the use of proper materials and techniques is critical to vehicle safety.
Windshield replacement is covered by the full portion of automobile insurance policies less any applicable deductibles. In a few states, insurance companies are required to waive the deductible for windshield replacement. This promotes driving safety by allowing motorists to have damaged glass replaced quickly and free of charge by an automotive glass specialist.
Insurance companies often use third-party companies to handle windshield replacement claims. These companies usually recommend qualified installers to vehicle owners. However, homeowners are not required to accept referrals and have the final say on who actually does the glass repair.
Cost and other consideration
For drivers without insurance coverage, windshield replacement costs vary by location, vehicle make and model, and type of glass used. Auto dealerships use factory replacement glass, but independent window installers typically use aftermarket windshields that are often sourced from the factory supplier. In a study of average repair costs in 16 US cities, a replacement windshield for a Honda Accord cost $250 to $300, while one for a BMW X6 ranged from $350 to $450.
Beware of discount installers with low prices. Some use poor quality glass that may not meet all original equipment standards. For example, some inexpensive windshields have optical distortion that can distract the driver. If the reflection from a piece of graph paper held perpendicular to the glass shows significant “ripple”, a better piece of glass is needed.
If your car is equipped with an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which uses a camera mounted behind the windshield, an original replacement glass may be required and the ADAS system must be calibrated after the installation of new glass. Some auto glass installers can perform this important procedure on some cars, but in many cases the vehicle will need to be taken to a dealership for calibration.
After the windshield installation is complete, inspect the work. Make sure the glass is flush with the body and check for proper centering. When visible, the gap between the glass and the car body should be even at the top and bottom on both sides. If molding is used, it should lay flat and even all the way around the glass with no visible bumps or gaps. When driving, there should be no “hissing” or other indications of air leaks around the glass. If you encounter any problems, contact the installer to have them corrected.
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