Proper Solutions for Maintaining Auto Glass for Years to Come

Owning an automobile comes with a lot of responsibilities and many needs for occasional maintenance are a given. Between oil changes, tire rotations, mechanical repairs, and fill-ups, the true cost of car ownership is often obscured when considering the nominal purchase price of a new or used vehicle. In many cases, insurance and repair costs can be as much as your monthly automobile payments. Because of this, it is vital that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that each and every piece of your car is properly maintained in order to avoid extra repair costs months or years from now.

One area that can be a strain on the pocketbook – but not one that many people often consider – is auto glass. We often take the protection and convenience that our auto glass provides us for granted and only worry about potential hazards after they have happened. As with any other part of an automobile, it is vital that you maintain and protect this element of your car to ensure proper operation while on the road. Thankfully, most forms of auto glass maintenance are low-cost and require minimal time to perform. In the following article, we’ll discuss some proper solutions to the problem of auto glass maintenance and how you can maximize the lifespan of your windshield repair and windows.

Maintaining Consistent Visibility

While auto glass – windshields, in particular – are designed to reinforce the structural integrity of the vehicle and block harmful wind and debris from entering the cabin, there is a downside to its presence. The biggest obstacle is that the windshield and auto glass has to be cleaned in order to maintain visibility and ensure proper auto safety. Sometimes, we can neglect the proper cleaning of our glass due to difficulties associated with reaching all spots on the interior and exterior. There are, however, plenty of low-cost cleaning tools out there that can help you clean every nook and cranny of your auto glass.

In addition to the hazards that can exist with a dirty or partially obscured windshield, you must also be on the lookout for damage that dust and other environmental factors can cause. A dirty windshield that is cleaned via windshield wipers may actually cause minuscule scratches on the surface, leaving a haze or permanent damage that becomes especially hazardous during nighttime driving. There can also be trouble lurking around the corner if frozen precipitation is allowed to remain on your windshield replacement; as you begin to drive, this can warm up and refreeze, causing the liquid to expand in seemingly tiny cracks across your glass. Ultimately, this process can cause fractures and cracks to form, so be sure to remove any ice or snow from your windshield before driving.

There are also several products that you can purchase to help further increase visibility in inclement conditions. The most popular of these are rain repellents, which will automatically send moisture reeling away from your field of view and ensure better performance in rain, sleet, snow, and other types of precipitation.

Avoiding Temperature Damage

The properties of any type of glass allow it to expand and contract, based on the ambient temperature. This means that your windshield will contract in colder temperatures and expand in warmer temperatures. Unfortunately, we often forget about the damage that can be caused by our vehicles’ climate control systems. Whenever you heat up your cool your air, the air being introduced into the cabin can cause stress fractures and damage to form on the windshield if the air is exposed directly to its surface. Defrosters and vents pointed toward the auto glass should be angled away from it, especially when you are warming up or cooling off your car before heading from point A to point B.

Having Occasional Repairs

Some people will be lucky and will never have to repair or replace any part of their auto glass. Others, however, will suddenly spot a chip or crack on their windshield that needs to be repaired. Even if you follow the advice given prior, you may be the victim of a rogue object on the highway or inclement weather; there is no guaranteed way to avoid damage to your auto glass. If you spot damage to your windshield or windows, then you must have it dealt with as soon as possible in order to avoid costly repairs. Businesses such as Safelite have around the clock repair teams that can come to your location and perform the repairs, so you don’t have to risk driving with a damaged piece of auto glass.

Inspecting for Damage

You do not want to wait until it is too late to have the necessary repairs performed on your auto glass. For this reason, it is always a good idea to give your auto glass a look over at least once per month for any potential chips, fractures or dings. When you are driving, you may not have the ability to examine every square inch of your glass; it is important to inspect your glass when you have the time and concentration to do so thoroughly. If you find a damaged area, then you can quickly make arrangements for an auto glass technician to repair it and avoid more costly replacements.

Conclusion

A little bit of maintenance can go a long way. Your windshield and auto glass are designed to protect you, but you must look out for its safety in order for it to do the same. You can maximize the lifespan of your glass by making sure to inspect for damage at periodic intervals, having occasional repairs performed when needed, avoiding rapid variations in temperature from your climate control, and maintaining consistent visibility by cleaning and weatherproofing your windshield. These simple tips will ensure a much longer lifespan for your auto glass and keep you safe while behind the wheel.

Help! Someone Broke Into My Car!

Despite our best efforts to keep items out of view and protect our vehicles, plenty of car break-ins and forms of vandalism occur every single year. Whenever the economy is in rough shape, this art of thieves becomes even more common as people attempt to make ends meet in one of the worst ways. Even though your car being stolen is a rare likelihood, you may find yourself becoming the victim of a thief who busted into the car in search of a wallet, electronics or cash. Even if you do a good job of hiding your valuables when away from the vehicle, it sometimes is not enough to deter them.
Usually, a car window or side piece of auto glass is the most common entry point for a thief. This can leave your auto glass damaged or destroyed, but many auto glass shops can quickly repair any damages associated with vandalism. Whether this is something that just happened or you simply want to be prepared in the event that it does, you’ll find the following advice to be helpful in a situation where your car has been broken into.

Call the Police
It is always imperative that the first step you take upon discovering vandalism to your car is to call the authorities. Law enforcement may ask that you file a police report before they can proceed any further, and an officer will come to the scene to take your statement. Unfortunately, there is often very little that local law enforcement can do in this regard – burglars leave very little behind that can be used against them in most cases. Still, this is necessary so as to have a record of the incident in case the insurance company tries to fight your claim. They have been known to do this in cases of vandalism, but a police report will help minimize the likelihood of having to go through such an event.

Call a Shop
In your area, there are probably plenty of different auto glass repair shops available, but it can be stressful to compare each one during a time like this. The police officer that responds to your call may have the name of an auto glass technician that they recommend, but you should always do a bit of comparison shopping before you commit. A quick search from your mobile phone will give you the names, numbers, and details of each shop. After you have found the shop that you believe is best equipped to handle your repairs, then and only then should you initiate contact.

Call Your Insurer
With the two biggest elements of repair and reporting out of the way, it is now time to alert your insurance company. Your insurance company will be able to provide you with information about any out of pocket costs and also assist you with filing claims that cover any items that were stolen from the vehicle. By calling the company before you file a claim, you will ensure that there is a record of contact and that will again help your chances in the event there is a dispute. It’s also a good way to help keep records on your own end for future reference.

Deal with the Damage
In each case, the vandalism may leave different problems. You’ll need to call your financial institutions in the event that any credit cards or debit cards have been stolen. With any keys or identification that were taken, it’s a good idea to change your locks. If your ID is missing, then you’ll have to obtain a new one. Also, any theft of mobile devices or items under contract should be reported missing as well, which will allow service contracts to be canceled and the devices are frozen.

Repairing Wait Times
If your window is only damaged and not completely busted, then an auto glass technician may be able to repair the damage in around a half-hour. If the entire window has to be replaced, however, then you may need to allow up to two hours for the repairs. Even once the glass is installed (if it is your windshield), you’ll need to give it time to cure so that a proper fit is achieved. All in all, auto glass technicians will work hard to finish the job in as little time as possible and get you out of this terrible situation.

Conclusion
If your car has suffered a break-in and your auto glass is damaged, then acting as soon as possible is necessary to have the repairs performed quickly and guarantee that your claim will be covered. Make sure to call the police first and foremost, and then call an auto glass repair shop to have the repairs made. Once these two calls have been handled, you’ll then want to call your bank, auto insurance company and any other entities that are affected by stolen items from your vehicle. By keeping valuables out of sight and parking near well-lit or traveled spaces, you’ll be able to minimize the likelihood of such an event in the future.