driver assistance systems

What is Windshield Calibration?

Most new model vehicles have a wide range of features and technology available for car owners to select from when buying a new car. Although most of these modern advances can be useful, especially when you spend as much time in your car as you do, but they can also be extremely frustrating. Learning how to use them and take care of them tends to be a learning curve for most people!

A very common example of this scenario is when a windshield cracks and needs a replacement and a calibration. With advanced driver assistance safety systems (ADAS) still being as new as they are, many car owners don’t understand them fully but when a car windshield is replaced, they also need to be calibrated to ensure the systems work properly. Modern vehicle features rely heavily on these systems to protect both the vehicle and passengers so it’s important to have this step completed.

Types of Windshield Calibration

Depending on the manufacturer, the windshield will either need dynamic recalibration, static recalibration, or both. Below we go into more detail about these to types and how they differ.

Dynamic Recalibration – This type of calibration requires the vehicle to be driven at a set speed on well-marked roads in order to recalibrate the camera system. Depending on the make and model of the car, this can take up to one hour.

Static Recalibration – This type of calibration requires a specific target image to be mounted in front of the vehicle during the recalibration process. Depending on the make and model of the car, this can take an hour or longer.

To schedule your windshield replacement and calibration, contact our team today at (800) 900-1505.

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!

3 Windshield Myths Debunked!

Folks like to believe all sorts of things, even when it comes to windshields. But, if you’re not talking to a certified auto glass technician, I’d take everything you hear with a grain of salt. The technicians at Windshield Centers are certified professionals who have the necessary training, knowledge, and work experience to solve your auto glass problems and provide answers to any questions you may have. It’s not hard to come across incorrect information, so trust Windshield Centers to shine some light on the auto glass truth. Check out some common myths below, read on!

1.) Replacing Your Auto Glass Means Your Insurance Rates Go Up

While your insurance company will increase your rate if you make a claim, that won’t happen with windshield replacement. Plenty of insurance companies will outright cover your windshield repair so that you and your passengers are safe. Here at Windshield Centers, we can help you file your insurance claim for new auto glass.

2.) If Your Windshield is Cracked but You Can Still See, You Don’t Have to Fix It

This is entirely wrong. Driving with a cracked windshield not only makes it hard to fully focus on the road, but it also makes the vehicle much less safe for you and your passengers. It’s okay to leave the damage there for a brief amount of time until you can get your appointment set up, but we don’t advise leaving the damage unattended for long. If you get into an accident with compromised auto glass, the situation can be much more dangerous.

3.) You Can Repair Your Windshield Yourself

While you can perform auto glass repairs yourself, we don’t recommend it. A professional auto glass technician will run through every necessary step and ensure your auto glass replacement or repair is done to industry standards and specifications. If you choose to replace your windshield yourself, you stand the chance of doing it improperly. This is not only potentially puts you in harm’s way once you’re on the road, but it also requires you to take more time out of our day to fix a problem that could have already been solved by a professional.

 

We hope this list helps to dispel any incorrect auto glass advice you’ve received in the past. If you have auto glass that is in need of replacement or repair, please visit Windshield Centers. Our skilled technicians will have you safely back on the road in no time while also answering any inquiries you may have. We look forward to helping you!

Get to Know Your Windshield

If you’re a frequent driver, there is a high chance you look out your car windshield more than the windows of your own home. The only time we tend to consider our windshield is when something happens to it, like a scratch or crack. We often do not even think about how they are made. Since they serve a myriad of purposes, let’s learn a bit more about windshields.

Protection

Without windshields, driving would be far more dicey than it already is. Aside from having to keep an eye on other drivers, we would find ourselves getting pelted with rocks, bugs, and other road debris. Not to mention the wind rushing into our eyes would make operating a motor vehicle extremely problematic. In order to protect passengers as much as possible, windshields are comprised of safety glass. If the worst happens, and the windshield breaks, there is lamination within the glass that keeps the windshield from shattering outright. This lamination is composed of two types of glass, and a small layer of vinyl is placed between the two types to separate them. Due to this, if the wheels of a truck spit a rock at your windshield, only a small piece of the outer layer of glass is impacted.

Windshield Damage

The way a windshield cracks ultimately depends on what the windshield was struck with. Most cracks your windshield sustains will be from driving, but weather can also play a huge part in the condition of your windshield. Most of the time, cracks will continue to spread in the same direction they began. To prevent weather related damage, try to park your vehicle in a garage or protected environment. It is also important to note that a windshield becomes increasingly more fragile when it is exposed to heat or cold for extended periods of time.

How Windshields are Made

In regards to how windshields are actually built, they are made using a process called the “Float Method”. Just like the name suggests, the “Float Method” is when glass floats inside of a chamber. After glass is constructed through the floating process, the sheet is molded into the exact shape desired. The molded sheet is then quickly cooled with blasts of cold air. Two sheets of tempered glass are then placed on either side of a vinyl layer, heated, and pressed between two rollers. The last step of the process is to bond the newly constructed windshield into a metal frame to fit the vehicle it was made for.

It can be easy to dismiss your windshield as just a piece of glass, but in reality it is so much more than that. It protects you from the elements as you drive, and is meant to withstand a decent amount of punishment before becoming damaged. However, you are also a factor in how resilient your windshield is. The next time you find yourself behind the wheel, think about the process that went into constructing the windshield of your vehicle. After all, it is the glass you likely look through the most.

History of Windshields

Windshields in the 1900’s

The early 1900’s were the very start of what we now call the windshield which has dramatically evolved, just as transportation has. In the past, extremely thin horizontally-divided pieces of plate glass were put around the outskirts of the car to protect all passengers from outside elements such as bugs, dust, and rain. The type of glass used was as thin as a single sheet of paper you would find in your home.  The horizontally-divided design was used for the purpose of being able to fold over, so the driver was able to continue driving when the windshield got too dirty to see through. Unfortunately, this would leave the driver and passengers exposed to the elements. They would then have to set aside time to pull over and clean the glass or leave it as is.

Although the idea, as well as the labor, was quite impressive considering the era and the limited supply of materials, the paper thin protective glass was not as protective as the windshield today. With a protectant so thin, treacherous rainstorms, hail, and flying tree branches would tear right through the glass with little to no effort. Windshields as such had to be replaced continually, but as materials were scarce, they did whatever they could to protect their windshield from falling apart.

Windshields Today

As time progressed, so did the development of windshields. Windshields today are made of tempered glass, which is glass, put through a forming process that makes it stronger than your average piece of standard glass. Just when you thought tempered glass would be enough, they added an extra layer of protection called “lamination.” If you remember from school, laminating is covering something in a sheet of plastic – this is done to your windshield but from the inside. The plastic is sandwiched between two or more layers of tempered glass which prevents pieces of glass flying everywhere when directly hit.

The strength of this tempered and laminated glass varies by company but, all meet a safety standard to protect you from the most common elements. Even a baseball bat would need to be swung several strikes before breaking through the class. And even with a few hits, the glass will only shatter within itself but remain a solid piece resisting penetration. In this day and age, we have advanced to a point where windshields can be made strong enough to resist or be completely bulletproof.

Why You Need a Professional for Windshield Repair

If your windshield has cracked or splintered and you need it replaced, replacing it yourself is not nearly as easy as taking it to a body shop, where it is properly removed, cleaned, replaced, and sealed. The process of replacing the windshield has evolved as well and in some cases is a structural component of the vehicle. It is advised that a professional should remove and install the windshield of your car or truck to prevent damage and ensure the proper method of installation.

Methods for De-Fogging Your Windshield

We’ve all been behind the wheel in less than stellar weather conditions when suddenly our windshield begins to fog, heavily, and before you know it, you can’t really see anything. Regardless of whether you’re going 10 miles per hour or 65, this can be particularly troublesome. Instead of contorting in strange ways behind the wheel just to see a slight bit, take a look at a few of our suggestions for what to do when your window fogs up at the wrong time.

Dry It Out with Cold

One of the best ways to de-fog your windshield is by running the air conditioner, especially when temperatures outdoors are above freezing. While putting on the air conditioner in cold temperatures may not sound entirely ideal, you can elect to tick the air a bit towards the warmer side if you want to be more comfortable while the fog abates.

Heat Works Too

Another option for clearing pesky windshield fog is by running the heat through your defrosters. This approach works especially well when catching the fog right as it begins to develop. You’ll want to put the defroster on the “high” and set the temperature relatively hot. Be sure to turn off your car’s recirculation setting and crack your windows slightly. This should see you driving down the road with a very clear windshield.

 

Next time your windshield fogs up, don’t panic! Utilize the methods listed above and you should see that fog scattering to the edges of your windshield in no time flat. If you require any other auto glass help, always trust Wisconsin Windshield Centers.

When Auto Glass is Beyond Repair, What Happens to It?

With so many auto glass repairs year after year, it sometimes might strike you to ask just what happens to all of that damaged auto glass. The answer is, it could end up in a few places! It really depends on a few factors, such as the composition of the windshield itself. Let’s take a look at what happens after your auto glass meets its end…

It’s Recycled

Not too long ago, windshield recycling was incredibly uncommon. What makes windshields hard to recycle is the fact they are made from laminated glass. The resin in the glass keeps it from shattering which enhances the difficulty of the recycling process. However, large manufacturers have come up with innovative ways to recycle auto glass for reuse. This practice isn’t widespread, but it is gaining traction.

It Winds Up in a Landfill

What’s sad is that damaged auto glass finds its way into a landfill more often than not. This doesn’t only happen in the United States, however. This act has repeated the world over, which has an incredible impact on many surrounding communities and environments. There have been strategies put in place to reduce the amount of glass in landfills in order to prevent environmental toxins.

It Can Be Salvaged!

If your auto glass isn’t too damaged, it stands the chance of being repaired. It’ll likely have additional laminate inserted into the glass to restore structural integrity. If performed properly, this technique will put your glass back in action. Used auto glass can usually be purchased at a discounted price and is often an ideal choice for classic cars.

 

This is what happens to auto glass when it is severely damaged. For all of your auto glass repair and replacement needs, please come down to your nearest Wisconsin Windshield Center. To book an appointment online, fill out our online contact form!

Always Trust the Experts to Reset Your Door Glass

While you essentially can do your own, or at least try to do your own, windshield repair or replacement, you really should leave it to the professionals. Besides, you run the risk of not correctly setting the glass and creating a huge risk for both you and your passengers. So, if your window glass is off track, trust the technicians at Wisconsin Windshield Centers to remedy your problem fast. Let’s go over a few details on why this type of job is most suited for the pros.

They Know How Power Windows Work

It’s rare these days to see a hand crank for getting one’s window up or down. All modern vehicles come with power windows you can use with the push of a button. These windows rely on regulators, which are small motors that manufacturers install within the door to create a push and pull motion to regulate the speed and direction of the window. When everything is running smoothly, you shouldn’t experience any errors. However, if the motor, regulator, window, or door becomes damaged, opening and closing the window can become rather difficult. When you take your car in to the professionals, they’ll know their way around like the back of their hand.

The Benefits of Going to the Professionals

The allure of repairing things yourself is certainly there, seeing as you can sometimes avoid the cost of replacement parts and professional service. However, people often do more harm than good when they try to do things themselves and the repairs they perform often act more like a band aid than a real, permanent solution. Below are some situations best left to the pros…

  • General Repairs

 

When doing repairs on your own, the problem could be a broken regulator or something else entirely. Aside from wasting a bunch of time trying to figure out the source of the issue, professionals can provide a more straight forward solution. After all, it would be something as small as a broken fuse or a window off track.

 

  • They Can Get Your Parts Fast

 

There are many aspects to the power window system, such as door panel pieces, regulators, and window components. Professionals will know how to take these doors apart and put them back together no problem, which will also keep you from losing key components of your door.

 

  • Damaged Regulator

 

If you get so far as to discover the regulator has been damaged, and you decide to buy a new regulator, you may run into problems upon installation. Without any professional training, you risk the chance of damaging the replacement regulator which costs you both time and money. Leave the technicalities to the pros and leave the shop with peace of mind.

 

Avoid DIY catastrophe and come into your nearest Wisconsin Windshield Centers location for impeccable service. We’ll have you in quick and back on the road fast. Contact us to book an appointment!

What is Windshield Pitting?

Have you ever been driving down the road when suddenly the light from the sun, or another vehicle, is right in your eye and utterly blinding? Now, obviously lights are bright, but these intense bursts of light can actually be caused by windshield pitting. When there are pits in your windshield, they can cause light to shine intensely in your eyes for a couple of seconds. Not only are these bright lights distracting, but they are also dangerous. Being blinded for even a brief time on the road can lead to some serious problems. Let’s go over the causes of windshield pitting and how it impacts your auto glass.

What Causes It?

Windshield pitting is caused by things such as sand, dust, pebbles, and other road debris hitting your windshield and wearing it down over time. These small things won’t be enough to cause significant damage, but they can create pits in your auto glass over extended periods of time. If you look closely at your windshield, you might discover there to be tiny dents or specks. Those are windshield pits.

How Does It Impact Me?

It doesn’t take a lot of pits for them to rear their ugly heads and let bright light right into your eye. When a beam of lights hits the pit(s) just right, the beam is either distorted, magnified, or refracted. The light typically only lasts for a brief moment, but it’s enough to make driving a problem for the person behind the wheel. Any type of damaged auto glass is hazardous for drivers.

Weakened Auto Glass

Having a couple of pits in your windshield isn’t the end of the world and won’t immediately weaken it. However, over time, several pits om your windshield can lead it to become unstable and unable to withstand even minor impacts. Weakened auto glass is a major safety issue and we suggest coming down to our nearest center so that we can remedy the problem for you.

Are you currently dealing with a pitted windshield? If so, head on over to your nearest Wisconsin Windshield Center. We can fix your problem quickly and have you back on the road with non compromised auto glass in no time! We look forward to helping you.

What to Look For in an Auto Glass Repair Service

Hopefully you don’t often find yourself in an auto glass repair center, in which case you might need some pointers on what to look for when searching for one. After an accident, freak weather, or a vehicular break-in, you’re going to require speedy auto glass services. Windshield Centers is the only place for you, if we’re in your area. If you’re outside of our service areas, we want to help you find a reputable company who is knowledgeable in the industry. The following are a few of the things you should want in an auto glass repair company.

1.) They Work with Insurance Companies

This is an important aspect of any auto glass servicer, considering many repairs and installations are covered by your auto insurance policy. Since plenty of auto glass repairs and installations are covered by car insurance, you can opt to file a claim as opposed to paying out of pocket. This helps keep both you and your bank account happy!

2.) They Offer Mobile Repair Services

When you work 9-5 from Monday through Friday, it can sometimes seem impossible to get anything done. This is why it’s important to find an auto glass repair shop that sends technicians to you. Mobile repair services are super convenient since all you have to do is book an appointment, provide the shop with the location of where your call will be, and have your windshield fixed! With all the stresses the world throws at us, it’s nice when windshield and auto glass repair are a breeze.

3.) Auto Glass Associations

Another thing to keep an eye out for is whether your auto glass servicer is registered with, or certified by, any auto glass associations. When the company you choose is certified by an auto glass association, you can breathe easy knowing they follow all standard safety procedures while utilizing the best technology to tend to your auto glass.

You might think that all auto glass servicers are relatively similar, but there are certain aspects you really should be on the lookout for. The difference between a quality service job and a shoddy one is like night and day, so do your research before pulling up to any random auto glass center. For all of your auto glass repair and replacement needs, trust Wisconsin Windshield Centers. Call us at 262-832-1160, or fill out an online contact form!