cleaning auto glass

Tips for Caring for Your Auto Glass

Buying a car is an investment and you should do whatever you can to take care of that investment, including proper auto glass care. A cracked or broken windshield will make your care unable to be used, and lead to a very hefty repair bill. Follow these simple tips to extend the life of your auto glass and protect that investment!

Avoid Slamming Doors

Slamming car doors is terrible for the windows. It creates pressure within the car that, if it’s strong enough, can create a crack in the glass. Close doors gently and remind all of your passengers to do the same. Accidentally slamming the door one time probably won’t cause a crack, but repeatedly doing it surely will.

Avoid Direct Sun

Direct sunlight can wear down the durability of your windshield over time. When it’s sunny, try to park your car partially or totally in the shade. If you don’t have a garage, a simple carport to provide shade will do the trick. Extended sun exposure will cause the glass to become brittle and cracking or breaking will occur much easier.

Don’t Cause Extreme Temperature Changes

As tempting as it may be to turn your air or heat on high when temperatures outside aren’t ideal, you should avoid it as much as possible. Sudden temperature changes will cause damage to all the windows in your vehicle and make them more prone to breaking.

Change Your Wipers

You should clean your wipers regularly and replace them as needed. To make it easy to remember, get in the habit of wiping your wipers off with a paper towel each time you get gas. Check for small rocks and other foreign objects lodged in the wiper. Each time you get an oil change ask them to check your windshield wipers and change them if needed.

If you do suffer a crack or break in one of your auto windows, get it fixed right away. Small chips and cracks can typically be filled, rather than replacing the entire window. If you let a small chip or crack go unattended, it will grow and spread across the entire piece of glass until it has to be replaced. Don’t forget regular window cleaning as a part of your car maintenance routine. Taking care of your auto glass is much cheaper than replacing it, your care and your wallet will thank you!

What to Expect When You Contact an Auto Glass Service

You might think you can avoid windshield damage, but before you know it a rock will fly out of nowhere and leave a nice crack in your auto glass. It’s easy to write off the damage initially, but after a while, you’re going to need to address the issue. After all, a damaged windshield isn’t exactly safe. This rings especially true if you happen to get into an accident. Thankfully, auto glass repair is quite simple. Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you contact an auto glass repair service.

Scheduling an Appointment

The beautiful thing about auto glass repair and replacement services is that they offer mobile repair! Technicians will come to you if your full-time job gets in the way of typical business hours, or if the situation is dire enough to warrant parking in a parking lot until the problem has been resolved. You can also choose to visit a center and wait while your auto glass is tended to.

Technicians Analyze Damage

Regardless of whether you elect for mobile repair services or visit a center, the technician working on your auto glass will evaluate the damage to said glass. If there are only dings or chips present, then those can be sealed so well that they won’t be all that noticeable afterward. If your windshield has sustained a crack, on the other hand, your situation can vary. If caught early enough, you can avoid having to get a completely new windshield. If caught too late or if the crack is too large, you’re likely looking at a full windshield replacement. Too many chips and dings can also lead to one needing a new windshield.

Technicians Get to Work

Once the technician has deduced what needs to be done with your vehicle’s auto glass, they get to work on solving the problem. Once they start, nothing more is required from you. They will complete the job professionally and will even fill out paperwork for your insurance company if need be.

 

As you can see, choosing auto glass repair is quite simple. When you’re busy and just want to get to your destinations, it can be easy to put off fixing your windshield. But a simple fix can turn into a full replacement if you wait too long. As soon as you encounter an auto glass issue, contact AllStar Windshield Centers!

fuel gauge

How to Get Better Gas Mileage Out of Your Car

Gas prices are continuing to increase and drivers everywhere are trying to drive less and when they are driving, they’re looking for ways to limit gas consumption. If you too are trying to save on gas and get better gas mileage out of your car, start by driving safely, being aware of your surroundings, and following these tips!

  • When coming to a stop, reduce your speed gradually instead of slamming on the breaks
  • Utilize cruise control on your car when driving on the highway or open road to stay at a consistent speed (braking and accelerating utilize additional fuel)
  • Try to stay under 45 MPH when you’re not on the highway to help reduce fuel consumption
  • Always maintain a safe distance behind the car in front of you to avoid collisions and help reduce excessive braking and accelerating
  • Replace your mass airflow sensor, oxygen sensor, and your spark plugs
  • Remove your roof rack and bike rack when they’re not in use as they limit the aerodynamics of your vehicle

Safe Driving Misconceptions

There are so many misconceptions about safe driving and how the features in your car can help you drive safer. While this is true, it’s important not to rely on these safe driving features and make sure you are always abiding by the speed limit, looking where you’re going, and avoiding distractions. If you’re looking for new ways to improve your safe driving, protect those are you by avoiding these issues.

Driving  the Speed Limit is Safe

While most people might think that driving the speed limit at all times is safe, but sometimes it’s safer to be driving slower. The speed limits that are enforced in areas are placed under ideal conditions but when conditions become less than ideal, think rain, snow and sleet, driving the speed limit can actually be extremely dangerous. When it’s snowing, when the roads are slippery, and if there’s a storm, drive slow and take your time getting to your destination.

Driving Slower is Safer

Driving slower is safer when the road conditions are less than ideal but when the conditions are ideal, say a sunny day, driving slow (especially on the highway) can be dangerous. Cars will be entering and exiting at the correct speed limit and coming up on a car that is driving very slow can cause them to break harder than they were expecting, which can lead to car accidents.

Using a Hands-Free Device While Driving is Safe

While using a hands-free device while driving is safer than holding your device in your hand, the conversation you are having can be as distracting as it would be to be texting and driving. If you can, pull over to talk on the phone or wait until you get to your destination to catch your parents up on your day at work so you can focus on the road and those around you.

Tailgating a Car in Front of You Will Make them Drive Faster

In reality, tailgating the car in front of you will most likely cause them to drive slower. Being close to the car in front of you can also cause more damage if they were to stop short. Keep as much space between you and the car in front of you to avoid any issues.

The Left Lane is for Driving Fast

The left lane shouldn’t be driven in unless you are passing someone. You still need to abide by the speed limit in this lane.

Next time you get in your car, make sure to avoid these misconceptions and keep yourself and those around you safe.

advanced drivers assistance systems

The Importance of Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems (ADAS)

An increasing number of newer model vehicles are starting to include Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems (ADAS) that are intended to increase car safety thanks to a human-machine interface, keeping you and those around you safe. Although drivers are still responsible for safe driving, ADAS are helping avoid road accidents that occur due to human error. The technologies offer features and alert the driver to potential hazards, problems, and help avoid collisions.

How Do Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems Affect the Windshield?

Many Advanced Drivers Assistance Systems require several cameras and sensors in order to alert the driver of potential hazards. Many of which are installed on the upper, inner surface of the windshield or attached on the headliner, which means that they will need to be recalibrated following a windshield replacement. If these systems are calibrated properly, they will not work properly and give inaccurate information to the driver.

What is ADAS Recalibration?

Once a windshield is repaired or replaced, the ADAS cameras and sensors will be reinstalled and recalibrated.

Static Recalibration – Static recalibration requires a target to be mounted in front of the vehicle to assist with the recalibration process and takes roughly 45-minutes.

Dynamic Recalibration – The vehicle is driven for roughly 30-minutes to one hour at a specific speed to reclibrate the systems.

Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, both types of recalibration might be necessary.

7 Safe Driving Tips

Whether you’re driving alone or with passengers, safe driving should always be your number one concern. With more distractions than ever, practicing safe driving every time you’re on the road will keep everyone safe. Safe driving will also save you money, so what are you waiting for?

Be Mindful of Blind Spots

They’re called that for a reason! Visibility is the key to safe driving and unfortunately, all cars have blind spots, especially large vehicles. To help avoid collisions due to blind spots, minimize lane changing, check your side mirrors, and familiarize yourself with the blind spots of your vehicle.

Understand the Safe Braking Distance

Depending on the size of your vehicle and how fast you’re driving, the safe braking distance will vary. As a rule of thumb, the following equation will help you figure out your safe braking distance:

Thinking Distance + Braking Distance = Stopping Distance

Here are some averages:

  • 20 MPH: 40 feet
  • 30 MPH: 75 feet
  • 40 MPH: 118 feet
  • 50 MPH: 174 feet
  • 60 MPH: 240 feet
  • 70 MPH: 315 feet

Avoid Distracted Driving

The leading cause of road collisions is distracted driving. Avoid texting, smoking, using your mobile phone, and be well aware of the area around your vehicle at all times.

Stay Away from Tailgaters

Staying away from aggressive drivers is one of the main ways you can ensure safe driving. If you’re experiencing someone tailgating you (driving too close to your bumper), let them overtake you instead of accelerating to make them happy. If possible move over to a different lane or pull to the side of the road and let them pass. When you’re moving out of the way, don’t forget to use your blinker!

Follow the Road Signs

Road signs are there for a reason so it’s important to follow them. Whether it’s a speed limit, no passing zone, or a stop sign, these rules were put in place to keep you and the other drivers around you safe.

How to Prevent your Side Mirror from Getting Damaged

Breaking your side mirrors is a silly and rare mistake that drivers might make once or twice in their lifetimes. There are a few basic ways that side mirror damage can happen. Follow these tips to avoid it happening to you:

  • Tuck in your mirrors when going through a car wash. Some older car washes require you to fold in your side windows. If you don’t, they can get damaged.
  • Pulling into a very tight space is a no brainer. Don’t force your way into a parking space if you want to protect your side windows.
  • Parking on a busy street in a city or heavily populated suburban area without closing your side mirrors is a good way to get winged by reckless drivers.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners that use ammonia or alcohol when you clean the glass of your windows. Use a microfiber towel that will not scratch the glass.
  • Don’t overuse your power windows. Letting your kids play with the power windows can cause unnecessary wear and tear to the sensitive electronics controlling the power windows.

Breaking your side mirrors is a mistake that can easily be avoided with careful driving.

 

Contact Windshield Centers online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

7 Items to Always Keep in Your Car

Car-related issues and every day emergencies come in when you’re least expecting them to and being prepared will make the biggest difference when they come up. To help diagnose any issues, get back on the road faster, and to help those small cuts and bruises heal faster, here are seven items you should always keep in your car.

Jumper Cables – Batteries die and sometimes, you aren’t close to anywhere to purchase a new one and don’t have time to wait for roadside assistance. Thanks to the jumper cables you keep in your trunk, it’s easy to get to where you need to go so you can get a new battery installed.

Spare Tire – Flats happen and not all cars have run flats! Always make sure you have a spare tire in your trunk and make sure to replace it (or put the spare back in the trunk) after you repair your flat.

First Aid Kit – Whether you have a really bad blister or your child has fallen and hit their head at the playground, having a well-stocked first aid kit at your finger tips will help clean up small injuries.

Tire Pressure Gauge – Usually very small in size, throw a tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment. When your tires look low, measure them quick and you’ll know just how much air to put back in them to avoid any issues.

Blanket – Blankets always come in hand. Whether your battery dies on a cold night and you need to stay warm while waiting for roadside assistance, you have a spur-of-the-moment picnic, or just need to prevent messes in your backseat when traveling with kids, you’ll never regret throwing an extra blanket in the trunk.

Jack and Lug Wrench – What’s the point of having a spare tire in your car if you don’t have the tools to replace a flat tire? A jack and lug wrench take up a very small amount of space and will make changing a flat tire much easier!

A Durable Multi-Tool – A durable multi-tool will have all of the tools you need in case of an emergency, or even if your child just wants to open their new toy before getting home!

Protecting Cracked & Broken Glass Before a Windshield Repair

Windshield damage is an often-unavoidable fact of life. It can be sustained from weather changes, rocks being kicked up by the car in front of you, or acorns falling from trees, among other causes. How you go about handling glass damage can affect the type of repair you need.

First Steps

The first thing you should do when examining a windshield crack is make sure that it does not block your view of the road. Many cracks start out small, but pressure from varying weather conditions and other objects hitting the glass could lead to the crack expanding. While small cracks and dings can generally be repaired, cracks longer than six inches require window replacement and increase the cost and urgency of the service. Measure the crack as soon as possible after it happens, and keep an eye on it to make sure it does not expand. You should also take a picture of the damage for your insurance company, who will want a full description of the damage and, if possible, how it was sustained. If the damage begins at the edge of the window, it will need to be replaced quickly because glass will be more prone to shatter and the vehicle will not be safe to drive.

Protecting Against the Elements

After filing a claim with your insurance company, there are several measures you can take to prevent the crack from growing before the repair. If the crack does not block your view of the road, you can put a piece of clear masking tape over the damage to keep the area clean and sealed, much like a band aid. Avoid parking directly in the sun, as heat can further warp the damage and make it more difficult to repair. Park in the shade or in a garage when possible. During warmer months, refrain from blasting your air conditioner as soon as you get in the car. Temperature change is the most likely thing to contribute to windshield damage. Open your windows and doors to cool your car before driving, or run your air conditioner on the lower settings. To avoid jostling the glass further, avoid potholes, drive carefully over speed-bumps, and close your doors gently.

If the damage to your windshield is more extensive, you will need to get a replacement. If the glass has shattered, use a vacuum to remove small shards of glass and your gloved hands to pick up larger pieces. Wipe down the edge of the window frame with a damp cloth to catch anything that could get caught in the crack. Use the clear masking tape in strips to cover the window in a grid, both in and out of the car. Please note that this is not recommended for driving as the tape will be in your line of vision if you are fixing your windshield.

While some of these measures can help you put off a repair or replacement for a bit, the crack is ultimately in glass and will need to be worked on. Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop in the greater Rochester and Buffalo, NY areas. You can come to our repair shop or we will bring the repair to you at home, work or school. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

Improve the Security of Your Car Windows

It’s often considered sage advice to keep all valuables out of your vehicle, or at least hidden from view. If you keep these items on display it is very likely you’re making your vehicle a prime target for theft. You might feel safe when you hear the “beep” of your car lock, but most thieves aren’t going to pick the lock to your door. What they will do, however, is smash your window. That’s why we’re here to tell you about a few ways you can improve the security of your car.

1.) Install a Window Security Film

The way window films are installed is similar to how window tinting is done. However, a security window film reinforces and protects the window. These security films are specifically designed to thwart thieves when they attempt to smash your windows. Even with security film installed, your window can still break but it won’t shatter. The film keeps the broken window in place, which forces the thief to flee due to the fact they already attempted a break in and failed.

2.) Tint Your Windows

Drivers typically install window tint because it looks nice and also protects the interior of their vehicle, but it also provides a level of privacy. With tinted windows, it can be difficult to peer into a car and see what’s in there. Most car thefts occur because thieves can see right into a vehicle and know what valuables are stored there. Anything from a stereo system to a purse is fair game, which is why adding window tint is beneficial because it makes it much more difficult for potential thieves to glance inside of your car.

3.) Roll Up Your Windows, Always

When the weather is hot it can be awfully tempting to leave your window opened just a crack, but know that this also makes it easier for crooks to break your window. Car windows are typically quite resilient, since they have to be able to withstand daily driving and potential collisions. If your window is opened just a bit, it gives thieves the right amount of leverage they need to smash through it. Also, if you leave your window cracked open it provides ample opportunity for crooks to open the door by jimmying the lock inside the car. As you walk away from your car, be sure to check and make sure all of your windows are completely closed.

There is only so much you can do prevent thieves from stealing your valuables, but these tips can help save the valuables in your car from unwanted hands. For all of your auto glass needs, come on down to Wisconsin Windshield Centers. Call us at (262) 832-1160, or fill out our online contact form!