Tips to Prevent Needing Windshield Repair

Let’s face it, there are always going to be accidents and unfortunate scenarios to encounter when operating a motor vehicle. However, there are things within our power as drivers that we can keep at a minimum. Windshield repair is one of those things. There will always be rocks and road debris, but we can help mitigate the damage.

1.) Use Windshield Protectant

Windshield protectant can be rubbed onto your windshield to help strengthen it. This creates a layer over the windshield that will help absorb the impact of any road debris your windshield may come into contact with. However, this only applies to rocks and road debris on the smaller side, as no amount of protectant will help deflect large objects.

2.) Don’t Drive Close to Trucks

As we’ve all likely experienced, trucks like to spit up rocks and other road materials. This is often how a lot of us get our windshields damaged in the first place. Staying back, or avoiding driving behind trucks altogether, can greatly reduce the chance a truck will fling debris at your car.

3.) Never Dump Hot Water on Your Windshield

When you’re running late in the winter and your windshield is encased in ice, this tip can be a tough one to keep from entering your mind. After all, it makes sense, right? However, this is highly unadvised. Dousing your cold and icy windshield with hot water can cause the windshield glass to expand and contract, which will result in a crack. The better option is to use luke warm water to help melt the ice away. It will certainly be a longer process, but your windshield will remain undamaged in doing so.

These three tips do not encompass all things you can do the mitigate windshield repair. However, they are three important tips all drivers should keep in mind. Keeping these points in mind, while also remaining vigilant both on and off the road, will help keep your windshield fully intact for longer periods of time.

How Your Windshield Protects You

Can you imagine driving without a windshield? Driving is already one of the riskiest things we do every day, so it’s mildly stressful to think about what it would be like without protective glass shielding us from the various hazards we encounter on the road way. Not only would we get pelted with rocks and other stray road debris, but the wind whipping at our faces would make it incredibly hard to operate a motor vehicle. While this may not be something you often think about, let’s take a look at a few ways our windshields protect us every day.

1.) They keep the inside of our vehicles safe.

In addition to the windows on our vehicle, our windshields take up a large amount of real estate at the front of our cars. Without them, people and animals would have complete access to the contents of our vehicles. Our cars act as extended storage for things we like to have on the go, and without a windshield there would be nothing keeping those things from being taken or tampered with.

2.) They protect us from wind and debris.

As mentioned above, one of the major benefits of windshields is that they keep us from getting struck by items located on, or next to, the road way. That random shopping bag you just drove by would likely be clinging to your face without a windshield. Not to mention the fact that we would constantly be hit with rocks, dirt, and other unexpected detritus. Needless to say, we would all look a bit worse for wear without windshields protecting us every day.

3.) They protect us from the elements.

Similar to how windshields keep us safe from wind and debris, they also guard us from the elements. They shield us from extreme cold, heat, rain, snow, and hail. Without windshields, the sun would beat down into our vehicles and fade our interior too. They also serve to shield us from the rays of the sun. Without them we would all be doing a lot more squinting, even with sunglasses.

As you can see, windshields are a vital aspect to our daily lives as drivers. They offer protection against various rogue elements, in addition to the weather. It can be easy to take the glass at the front of our cars for granted, but the next time you’re cruising along the highway be sure to consider how different driving would be without your trusty windshield keeping you safe.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Glass Terminology 101: Automobile Edition

At first glance, a windshield might appear to just be a regular piece of glass and not the first line of defense in your car. We have come up with a few glossary terms for you so you know what’s going on it your car.

PVP: Polyvinal butyral is the substance that makes up the middle layer of your windshield. It holds glass together when shattered, creating a spiderweb pattern on the top layer instead of letting the glass split into shards. Polyvinyl butyral does not break easily, making it the ideal substance to use in a windshield.

Safe Drive Away Time: the time after a windshield replacement when your car will be safe to drive. The minimum drive away time is one hour in order to let the adhesive take effect so your vehicle would pass crash tests.

Fritt: the painted border across the top of your windshield. Its purpose is both aesthetic (it will cover any imperfections at the top of the glass) and functional (protecting the adhesion from the sun’s rays over a long period of time).

HUD: A technology first developed for fighter jets in the 1940s, a Heads Up Display shows important information on the windshield of your car so you never have to take your eyes off the road. Currently, fuel readings and speed are the only information shown, but this technology is looking to grow over the next several years to include points of interest and advertisements.

Anti-Theft: a windshield made of tempered and laminated glass, used to prevent smash-and-grabs.

Wisconsin Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop located in the greater Milwaukee area. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

 

Protecting your Windshield and Auto Glass

While in most cases you can’t avoid a rock flying into your windshield, or acts of vandalism, there are at least a couple ways you can prevent your windshield from taking on unnecessary minor damage. Over time, some pretty small things can add up to your windshield taking avoidable wear. Here are a few things you can keep in mind if you want to protect your auto glass:

  • Don’t slam the door! Something that many of us probably heard our parents yell at us, this is something that will actually cause minor damage to your auto glass if done repeatedly over time.
  • If you do take damage to your windshield, especially in the winter time, get it repaired right away. You may be able to get it fixed, but if you wait too long, the damage will likely spread and you will need to get the glass completely replaced.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for sand or gravel trucks that leave behind a trail of debris. These small rocks will leave little cracks and chips that will spread over time and cause serious damage.

For more information about our auto glass replacement services, contact us online at 800-900-1505.

Where are America’s Best Drivers?

Did you know that the average driver will experience a collision every 10 years? According to the 2016 Best Drivers Report created by Allstate Insurance, this is how often a driver would experience a collision in a city that’s ranked average. Do you think your city falls in the top ten safest cities for drivers? Take a look below and find out where Wisconsin cities rank!

First off what is the Best Drivers Report and why is it important? The report is an annual ranking that figures out which of the 200 largest US cities and their respective metropolitan areas have the safest drivers. This data is crucial in showing drivers how important safe driving practices are.

Folks in the Wisconsin area will be pleased to find out that Madison, WI is ranked #3 for the safest driving cities overall in the country! With only Kansas City and Brownsville, TX ahead, being #3 is nothing to shake a stick at, beating out over 196 other large cities across the US. Allstate also estimated that there were only 9 Drivewise Braking Events per 1,000 miles for the average Madison, WI driver.  Drivewise is the correlation that Allstate found between hard braking and collisions. Nationally on average, drivers experience 19 hard braking events per year, so Madison is in pretty good shape compared to the rest of the country.

When taking population density into account, Madison is actually ranked #1 in the country for safest driving cities in the US. Also, Milwaukee makes an appearance at #5 with congestion taken into account adding another Wisconsin city in the mix. This brings two major cities in Wisconsin making an appearance on Allstate’s annual best driver’s report, which only three other states in the country saw.

To see the full report you can take a look here and see where other cities and states stack up when it comes to safe driving.

Driving safely is important for not only you and your passengers but other Wisconsin drivers and pedestrians. The first step to ensure safe driving is making sure your windshield is in good shape. If you notice any chips, cracks or holes in your windshield it is crucial to make sure they are addressed immediately as they can lead to much bigger issues. For Wisconsin drivers, Wisconsin Windshield Centers makes auto glass replacement fast, convenient and easy to ensure you can get back on the road as fast as possible. If you want to get a quote or schedule your next appointment give us a call at 800 900-1505 and we’ll take care of your auto glass needs.

How to Maintain your Auto Glass

Brakes, tires, oil, transmission. All parts of the vehicle that drivers keep regularly maintained on their own cars. But what can you do to maintain your auto glass? No, there isn’t as much upkeep for your auto glass that there is on the rest of your car, but there are a few tips to follow to prevent windshield damage:

  • Avoid driving behind sand and gravel trucks whenever possible. Small rocks flying into windshield is a leading cause of auto glass damage, unsurprisingly. Switch lanes and drive around these trucks when safe to do so in order to avoid small windshield cracks.
  • Don’t slam the door! This is probably something your dad used to yell at you when you were a kid, but it really isn’t good for your auto glass or your car frame.
  • Park in the shade whenever possible during the summer. The heat and sun is not good for auto glass over long periods of time.
  • Only use microfiber cloths when cleaning your auto glass. Any other cloth can potentially scratch the glass.

For more information about our auto glass replacement services, contact us online at 800-900-1505.

7 Helpful tips for keeping your car looking brand new year round

  1. Regular car washes can help keep your car’s paint job looking fresh. While it is common to use a dish washing soap, this is not the best practice because the soap can strip the paint of its natural oils. This can shorten the lifespan of the paint. It is recommended that you use a car washing soap and soft mitt for the wash, and wash your car in a shaded area. Use two buckets for the wash, one bucket of soap and one of warm water to rinse the mitt off in between scrubs. Having a second bucket full of warm water helps to remove dirt and grit from the mitt that can scratch your car’s paint. Scrub in long strokes, and have plenty of water handy. Dry your car right away with a Chamois cloth, to prevent water spots.
  2. With regard to interior detailing, you should have a few tools on hand that you can find anywhere in your household; paint brush and toothbrush. You can use these to clean dust out of tight corners. While you are brushing vents or thresholds, keep your vacuum handy to suck up the dirt and dust you are stirring up.
  3. For the inevitable dirt on mats and carpets, you can use a tougher brush and vacuum. Hold the vacuum right behind the brush, to suck up any dirt that comes up. Be careful with the brush, and try not to put too much force into scrubbing as many mats can fray or damage easily. Take an ice pack to any stains such as gum or wax. Freezing the gum will cause it to come off of your mats very easily instead of scraping.
  4. The dirtiest spots of your car’s interior are wherever you touch the most. Spots such as the steering wheel, shifter, seat belts and cup holders will tend to hold onto the most bacteria. After finding these spots, spend a few extra minutes cleaning them.
  5. To wash a seatbelt, you can use a diluted mild laundry soap to get the dirt off but also to avoid damaging the fabric of the belt.
  6. Windows can be cleaned inside and out with a glass cleaner. After you have washed each window, buff from the inside with a cotton towel. This will help prevent streaks or scratches.
  7. Your dashboard can be cleaned with hot water and a cloth. If there are any stains on the dashboard, you can use a diluted cleaner to get the stains out and keep your car smelling fresh.

Remember to use all mild cleaners when cleaning the interior and exterior of your car. Harsh cleaners can be harmful to certain finishes in your car. Now that your car is clean from interior to exterior, it is time to enjoy your time driving it!

 

Members of the Auto Glass Safety Council

Wisconsin Windshield Centers is a proud member of the Auto Glass Safety Council. The AGSC is a non-profit organization that promotes safe auto glass repair and replacement practices.

We have been a member of the AGSC for many years, and both our Brookfield and West Bend locations are members.

The AGSC developed the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard, or AGRSS. This is the only set of standards developed in North America for auto glass replacement procedures. The AGSC provides multiple valuable training programs and certifications that brings all technicians up to the industry standards of safety and quality.

We support the AGSC’s mission to make auto glass replacements safer and more effective.

For more information about our auto glass replacement services, contact us online at 800-900-1505.

Deer Collisions More Common in Fall

Fall is the season where it is most common for deer collisions to occur. According to State Farm, the likelihood of a deer or elk collision doubles in fall. The mating season is one of the main reasons why deer are on the move and end up being on the road. Additionally, newly built roads near deer populations will cause more common collisions.

Here are a few tips for avoiding deer collisions:

  • Deer are most active at dawn and dusk. If you are driving at these times, be aware that this is a common time to encounter deer and elk.
  • Keep a note of road crossing signs that you see on frequent commutes. If there is a deer crossing sign on your morning commute, then you should keep a mental note of it so that you are ready for a potential crossing. The morning commute is a common time for collisions because deer travel at dawn.
  • Drive cautiously if other cars are making sudden moves or driving erratically. They can probably see a deer or elk crossing ahead of them that you cannot see.
  • Don’t swerve when approaching a deer. Most of the severe car accidents associated with deer are because the driver swerved into another car or a tree. Stay the course when approaching a deer.
  • Deer move in groups. If you see one pass by, you can expect that more will follow.

Wisconsin Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop, with locations in West Bend and the greater Milwaukee area. For more information about our services, or to book an appointment, contact us online or give us a call at (800) 900-1505.