5 Quick Tips for Keeping your Car Clean this Summer

  • Have access to a compressed air machine? Start with that when you’re cleaning your carpet. Many modern cars have thick and curly carpets. Use a compressed air machine to blow out the dirt and crumbs baked into the carpeting. If you don’t have a compressed air machine, take a stiff brush to the carpet and use some elbow grease to clean out the junk.
  • Clean your tires with a non-acid solution to prevent accidentally taking off any paint or coating.
  • Give the body of the car a hand wash; allow yourself the time to get detailed with the cleaning and get all the nooks and crannies of the vehicle. Nice long and broad strokes will leave the car with no noticeable streaks, leaving only a fully washed and shining body.
  • Polish and wax the outside of the car to both smooth out and protect the paint. Polishing will make sure the paint is smooth, and a follow up wax will help protect it against the elements going forward.
  • Brush the interior of your car with a vacuum on hand, that way you will suck away the dust before it floats off into the rest of the car. A small brush is helpful for lifting dust off of the small knobs and vents in your car.

How Does Heat Affect Auto Glass

Have you noticed any cracks or minor chips in your windshield? If left untreated, a minor crack in your windshield can lead to major windshield problems in the future. Most people believe that the integrity of their vehicle’s windshield can be compromised due to flying debris on the road or improper windshield installation, but in fact, the biggest threat to their windshield is temperature change.

Warm Weather Equals Stress

As we transition from the cold winter months to the warmer months of spring, any damage to your windshield that seemed minor can increase in severity due to the change of temperature within the cabin of your vehicle. As the temperature within the cabin increases, so does the stress that is put on your windshield.

How does it work?

Essentially, your windshield is made of two pieces of glass with a layer of vinyl in between both layers. Most cracks or minor chips will only affect the first layer of glass and does not reach to the second layer, but if stress is added to the windshield due to an increased temperature the small cracks in the glass can spread and grow in size. The same effect can be applied to the use of your vehicle’s air conditioning unit. The cold air from the air conditioner will lower the temperature inside the cabin of the car but can put stress on the windshield due to the heat coming from outside of the car.

Solutions

If you notice any cracks in the windshield, we recommend that you have the windshield professionally replaced immediately. Replacing your windshield early on in the spring will help you avoid any serious damage that can occur due to the change in temperature. If however, you are not able to replace your windshield for whatever reason here are some simple solutions that you can apply that can save your windshield from any added stress.

  • Do not immediately turn on your air conditioning unit when entering your vehicle.
  • When parking your vehicle, find a shaded parking space to park your vehicle.
  • Avoid slamming your car door when entering and exiting your vehicle.
  • Gradually increase and decrease the temperature from within the car.

 

Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop in the greater Rochester and Buffalo, NY. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

Common Driving Safety Misconceptions

We have all heard this question before; Do you consider yourself a good driver? The answer to that question 90% of the time is yes. However, their are many common misconceptions about safe driving habits. To figure out what we believe to be true is a myth or not, here is a list of the most common misconceptions about driving.


  • The Left Lane is the Fast Lane
    – Many drivers believe the left lane is the fast lane because it is always moving and more people use it to go fast. This is false however, because the left lane is recommended as the passing lane. Vehicles should only use the left lanes to pass other cars in the middle lane(s). In addition, with the high volume of cars travelling in the left lane, the lane will start to slow down and become a stop and go.
  • Fog Lights Help At All Times – Many drivers drive at night with their fog lights on even though it may not be foggy outside. Fog lights are designed for when it is so foggy out, that headlights reflect off the fog. Using them when it is clear out is hazardous, as it blinds other drivers on the road.
  • The Posted Speed Limit is the Safest – The speed limit posted on roads are speeds that are calculated when the conditions on the road are perfect. They do not account for wet roads, snowy weather, rain, etc. This is why when the weather conditions are bad, it is safer to drive slower than the posted speed limit.
  • Hands Free Is The Exception – Many drivers know that using a phone while driving is bad, but it still happens. The misconception is that using a hands-free device is the loophole to using a phone while driving. Your hands may not be occupied, but talking on the phone in general makes you a distracted driver. The best bet is to not use your device at all.

  • Within The Limit? You’re Good To Go
    – All drivers know it is illegal to drink and drive, yet there is a misconception that if your BAC is within the limit, it is OK to drive. Drinking has a lot of side effects including delayed reaction and judgment impairment. These side effects can start from your first drink. If you plan on drinking, it is safe to have a designated driver with you or find a different way of transportation so you are not behind the wheel of a car.
  • Bigger Means Safer – Some believe that the bigger the car you have, the safer you will be in regards to accidents. It is true if a crash between a smaller car and a bigger car was to happen, the bigger car will fare better. However, bigger vehicles have a larger mass which causes the ability to change direction and slow down to be less efficient. This may increase the chance of a single-vehicle collision into trees or guardrails.

 

Windshield Centers provides windshield replacement and repair services in Rochester and Buffalo, NY. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

Watching Movies on your Windshield?

Just a few weeks ago, Ford Motor Company filed a patent for a windshield that plays movies. Ford is currently developing a self-driving car and is exploring features that could one day accompany driver-less cars. Of course, the idea behind this will be that by the time driver-less cars hit the road, people will want to have convenient entertainment available to them while they’re sitting in traffic. So logically, if you’re going to have a movie screen in your car, why not use the windshield?

Ford calls their movie windshield the “Autonomous Vehicle Entertainment System”. According to the automaker, the system would essentially be a windshield that turns into a 50 inch or larger television screen. The current vision held by Ford for the movie screen is that when the car is in autonomous mode (self-driving) the entertainment will play through the windshield. When the car switches to self-autonomous mode (user-driving), the entertainment will switch over to a screen in the back seat.

Ford admits that while they regularly file patents for new ideas and projects, they don’t always put those projects into development. They are, however, actually developing a driver-less car, so the movie windshield might not be far behind.

Windshield Centers is a leading windshield replacement shop in the greater Rochester and Buffalo, NY. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

De-icing Your Windshield

During the winter, drivers all around have trouble with their cars and the snow. One thing we can all agree on is the annoyance of when our windshield is iced over from the night before. Windshield Centers has a few tips to share for how to de-ice your windshield without causing any cracks to the glass.

  • Start your engines!: No we are not racing, but starting your care beforehand can save you a bunch of time. If you do not have the luxury of owning a car starter, you want to manually start your car and make sure the systems “defrost” setting is on for both the front and back windshield. Make sure to have them on midway, as a full blast can cause cracking. While you are getting ready for your day your car will be warming up while the defrosters are taking care of softening the ice.
  • Scrapers: Make sure you have a couple of different scrapers at your disposal. Usually in the trunk or back seat of your car for easy access. One can be specifically for snow,brushes, while the other can be for ice. You want to make sure the scraper designated for ice is made from plastic as this is the best way to get off ice.
  • Solutions: Although we advise to not use hot water, as this cracks the glass, there are a couple of solutions you can make on your own to get rid of ice. One is a saltwater solution, the salt will prevent the water you use to refreeze the windshield while melting the existing ice at the same time. Spray with caution as too much salt can damage glass. The other solution is alcohol based. The chemicals in the rubbing alcohol act the same as salt and melt the ice. With this solution there is no glass damage so you can use it generously.

Always be on the safe side before leaving for your day after a cold night. Make sure that all of the ice has been melted as any remains can obstruct your vision. If you feel like you have removed most of the heavy ice off, use a snow brush or the windshield wipers to whisk away the remaining ice. Remember, safety first!

Driving Safe in the Winter

Winter is the most dangerous season for driving in western New York. Accidents happen more frequently than usual because of icy roads, snow banks limiting driver’s vision, and because of the tough, cold conditions for your car. Follow these tips to keep safe on the road this winter:

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. That way, if you break down you will have a source of heat. You can run your engine at idle for hours while you wait for service.
  • Wear your sunglasses when driving. Yes, we all think of summer when we think of sunglasses, but they are actually very important for driving in the winter because of snow blindness. Snow creates a lot of glare, so sunglasses can help you stay safe on the road.
  • Keep your windshield wiper fluid reservoir full.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slower than normal. It takes longer to come to a complete stop in icy conditions. Slow down significantly before you take turns. Everything takes longer and is more dangerous in the winter.
  • If possible, when approaching stop signs and turns, don’t come to a complete stop . Try to keep your wheels turning when driving in the snow. It takes a lot more to get going in the snow or ice, so if you can keep up your momentum, you will not get stuck or slip out when starting up again.

Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop in Rochester and Buffalo, NY.

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

Five Tips for Staying Safe on the Road this Fall

Every season presents its own unique challenges for driving safely. For fall drivers, some of the challenges faced on the road include slick streets covered with wet leaves, an influx of new drivers as school starts, thick morning fog, sun glare, and increased traffic from woodland animals.

Wet and slippery conditions are one of the most distinct dangers about the fall season. While the spring is also known as the rainy season, the fall is also very wet in general. This is made extra dangerous by the fact that fallen leaves on the road are also very slippery. This can significantly increase the amount of time it takes to come to a stop while driving, and lead to skidding on the road.

The fall also means back to school time for many parents and teenagers. Not only will there be more buses and parents driving their kids to school in the morning, but there will also be many more teenage drivers on the road. This surge in morning traffic can cause frustration for many drivers, as their morning routine is suddenly disrupted. Be sure to give yourself more time in the morning before hitting the road.

Another reason to drive extra careful in the morning is fog. Cold fall mornings can be one of the worst times for fog. Use your fog lights; don’t use high beams because it will create glare, which makes it even more difficult to see.

Fall is one of the most common seasons for animal travel because of the mating season. Deer crossings are common in the fall. Heed the warnings of crossing signs. If you see one deer cross, wait for other to cross because they usually travel together.

 

Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop located in the greater Buffalo & Rochester, NY areas. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

 

Auto Glass Terminology

Getting your auto glass repaired and you want to be able to speak the lingo when you go in for service? Read our handy glossary of terms to figure out what your auto glass technician is talking about.

Acoustic Interlayer – A special layer of glass that helps make your car noise insulated.

FMVSS –  The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. These include numerous standards of safety for auto glass quality, windshield installation, and windshield weights.

HUD – Heads up display. A relatively new feature in automobiles that displays important information, traditionally found on the dashboard, onto the windshield. HUD is safer because it is easier to view quickly while driving.

O.E.M. – Original Equipment Manufacturer glass is glass built to the same specifications that your original auto glass was made. It is often built by the same manufacture that made your original glass, but is sometimes made by a new manufacturer building to the original specifications. This is the safest and highest quality glass because it was made specifically for your vehicle.

PVB – Polyvinyl Butyral. This is what makes front windshields able to absorb damage without completely shattering. The PVB provides strength and keeps broken windshields together.

Windshield Repair Resin – Windshield repair resin is used to fill in cracks or chips in windshields. Windshield Centers uses Clarity® Windshield Repair Resin for all of our windshield repairs for maximum strength and clarity of vision after repair.

Five Ways to Avoid a Deer Collision

As of 2012, car and deer collisions have caused an average of 200 deaths and cost an estimated $4 billion every year in the US – and the chances of hitting one can increase depending on what state you live in. To make sure you aren’t another statistic, there are a few important ways to avoid hitting a deer that you should be familiar with, as these tips could save your life.

  • Check for signs
    This is one of the most obvious ways to prevent a collision with deer. Towns or highway departments will usually post these signs for a reason: that the area has high deer activity and perhaps car-deer collisions have occurred multiple times at those spots. These signs will usually appear in parks, forests, or waterway areas. Make sure to slow down and be alert.
  • Use high beams
    Another quick fix to avoiding a car-deer accident is to simply turn your headlights on whenever you are the only car on the road. High beams will afford a larger field of vision so you can prepare ahead of time to stop if there is a deer in or on the side of the road. Also pay attention to oncoming traffic headlights; a quick couple flicks of the high beams from an oncoming vehicle means to watch out ahead for deer.
  • Beware of the time
    Deer are shy creatures who, like humans, are often quite predictable when it comes to forming a routine or schedule. These animals love the hours around sunrise and sunset to graze – and it is these hours when it is hardest for us to adjust our eyes to the light. Always be on the lookout or plan your trip for a different time of day.
  • Know when to use the horn
    Although deer, moose, and other large forest animals are generally timid and will bolt at the slightest sign of people, they may become terrified when they see your approaching vehicle and stay firmly planted in the middle of the road. Stop the car (do not swerve into the opposite lane if you can help it) and wait a few seconds to see if they will move. Flick your lights on and off. As a last resort, use the horn in short bursts. Using a horn could cause a deer to become aggressive depending on the season.
  • When there’s one, there’s more
    Perhaps not so much the case for moose, this is almost always the case when you see a deer. One deer may be in the middle of the road, but the others could be hiding out along the shoulder waiting to follow their leader. After the first one has crossed, check both sides of the road with your high beams on to make sure there aren’t any more.

In the event that you do hit a deer, remembering to be a defensive driver, go the speed limit, and wearing your seat belt could end up preventing serious injury to both your car and you or your passengers. Safe travels!

Windshield Centers a Member of the Auto Glass Safety Council

Windshield Centers and its partner brands are a proud member of the Auto Glass Safety Council. The AGSC is a non-profit organization committed to facilitating and promoting the safe replacement of auto glass and windshields. The AGSC develops the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS), the only auto glass replacement standards in North America.

The Auto Glass Safety Council™ (formerly the AGRSS Council) also offers training programs and accreditation to members of the auto glass industry. We are proud members of the AGSC and support its mission to promote awareness of proper auto glass replacement standards.

 

Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop located in the greater Buffalo & Rochester, NY areas. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.