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.

Mom-Friendly Vehicle Features

Mom’s (and even dads!) are working hard every day to bring the kids to school, participating in carpool, and everything in between. To make mom’s job easier, newer model vehicles are starting to incorporate more mom-friendly features into them.

If you’re in the market for a new family-friendly vehicle, keep an eye out for these mom-friendly features.

Entertainment System

Avoid meltdowns and grumpy kids in the car by occupying them with an in-care entertainment system. Whether it’s one screen, or individual ones that are in each headrest, allowing the kids to pick something to watch while in the car will keep them occupied and quiet, no matter where the road takes you.

Hands-Free Lift Gate

One of our favorite vehicle features, the hands-free lift gate allows you to open the truck when you’re juggling kids, groceries, and toys and also allows the kids to easily put their things in the car without the worry of fingers getting squished from the trunk falling on them. Many newer model cars have a sensor under the bumper that allow you to just move your foot in order for the truck to open and others just have a button on the car clicker.

In-Floor Storage

Carriages, sports equipment, and snacks take up a lot of space in your car and with the help of in-floor storage you can store some of these more space-occupying items away leaving more space for other important items.

Built-In Cooler

Along with in-floor storage, many newer model vehicles also have built-in coolers in the floor, side doors, and middle consoles. Take advantage of them! Keeping water cold on a hot day will keep you and your family hydrated and will allow you to pack cold cut sandwiches for post-game snacks.

In-Car Vacuum

Make cleaning your car more convenient with the addition of an in-car vacuum. In-car vacuums will also save you time and money and will help you avoid the local car wash as much as possible while keeping your car neat and clean.

fuel gauge

How to Get Better Gas Mileage Out of Your Vehicle

As gas prices continue to increase, drivers are trying to drive as little as possible and when they do have to drive, they’re looking for ways to limit gas consumption. By driving safely and being aware of your surroundings, you won’t only stay safe but will also get better gas mileage and save a few bucks, too!

Give these tips a try.

  • Replace your mass air flow sensor, oxygen sensor, and your spark plugs
  • Avoid driving over 45 MPH when you’re not on the highway and stay in the zone of 40-45 MPH to reduce fuel consumption
  • Use your cruise control when driving on the highway to stay at a consistent speed (braking and accelerating too often will use more fuel)
  • Reduce your speed gradually when coming to a stop
  • Giving liberal following distance when driving behind other vehicles so you do not have to break and accelerate as frequently
  • Remove your roof rack when you’re not using it; it limits the aerodynamics of a vehicle

How to Check & Replace Your Windshield Wiper Blades

An often over-looked part of your vehicle’s routine maintenance, your windshield wipers are an extremely important part of driving safely. When it comes to rain and snow, without properly functioning windshield wipers, it can be difficult to see. Not to mention the damage they can do to your windshield if they’re faulty.

To ensure your windshield wiper blades are in good condition, follow these tips.

Inspect Your Wipers Regularly

On average, you should be inspecting and replacing (if necessary) your windshield wipers every six months. If they are cracked, torn, or heavily worn, they won’t grip to the windshield properly and won’t remove any debris from your windshield when you need it most.

Replacing Your Windshield Wiper Blades

Replacing your windshield wiper blades is a simple task and should only take you a few minutes.

  1. Determine the blade size by visiting your local automotive shop and getting the blades specific to your vehicle make and model. If you’re having difficulties determining this, ask an employee for help!
  2. Remove the old wiper by lifting the arm away from the windshield and press the small tab on the underside of the wiper. Pull the old blade off by pulling it down.
  3. Attach the new wiper blade onto the arm until you hear a click sound, signaling it’s properly in place. Lower the arm slowly back down to the windshield. Repeat the process with the second arm.
  4. Test the the wipers to ensure they are working properly.

Safe Driving Misconceptions

No matter how many features your car has or how you drive, driving safely and utilizing the features of your vehicle properly will ensure you’re protecting yourself, those in your vehicle, and other people on the road. Not adhering by these misconceptions can put yourself and others at risk.

1. Driving the Speed Limit is Safe

The speed limits that are placed are speed limits for ideal driving conditions. When the roads are covered in black ice or when there are torrential downpours, driving the speed limit can be extremely dangerous. Instead, keep a slow speed and brake earlier than normal to ensure you have enough time and space to come to a complete stop at lights and stop signs.

2. Driving Slower is Safer

While this is true when the driving conditions is less than ideal, it’s actually unsafe to drive slower than the speed limit during ideal road conditions can put others on the road at risk as your car becomes a hazard. When people are entering and exiting an interstate, a car that is going well below the speed limit obstructs traffic flow and can cause similar consequences as if you were to leave a parked car in the middle of the road.

3. Using a Hands-Free Device Will Driving is Safe

While being hands-free in the car does allow you to keep both hands safely on the wheel, having a phone conversation while you are driving can distract your brain from driving. To keep yourself and others safe, try to avoid talking on the phone while you’re driving and wait until you reach your destination to return and phone calls or text messages.

4. Tailgating the Car in Front of You Will Make Them Go Faster

WRONG! Tailgating the car in front of you not only will cause them to drive slower out of frustration but also leaves a very small space between the two vehicles and if the front vehicle starts short, there’s a large chance you will rear end them.

5. The Left Lane is the Fastest Lane

Oftentimes, drivers will stay in the left lane as it typically moves faster and will get you to wherever you’re going in a quicker amount of time. In truth, the cars in the left lane still need to abide by the speed limit and the left lane should only be driven in when passing a vehicle in the right lane.

Next time you get in your car, make sure to drive as safe as possible!

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!

Six Spring Driving Tips

Every season brings their own unique challenges for the driver. In the spring season, rains and the thawing winter make driving slippery and dangerous. Follow these tips to be ready for spring driving:

  • Potholes can be found everywhere in March and April after winter starts to let up. In early spring, this is especially a danger when municipalities have not fixed many of the potholes yet. Keep an eye out for potholes and watch for cars ahead of you driving outside of their lane; they could be avoiding a pothole you can’t see yet.
  • Spring rains combined with melting snow causes serious flooding and slippery roads. Reduced handling and slower brake time causes many accidents in slippery conditions.
  • Misty and foggy conditions are also common during the spring. Drive slower in these conditions because visibility is reduced.
  • Be wary of animal crossings in woodsy areas. Animal life usually begins stirring awake in the spring, and many wild animals are on the move in this season. If you see any deer crossing signs, heed the warning and keep your eyes peeled.
  • Windshield wipers often get damaged in the winter. Check their conditions and replace them if they have taken a bruising over the winter. With upcoming rains, you will want to have them in good condition.
  • If you live in a city or busy suburban area, be aware that nice weather is going to bring out bicycles, skateboards, motorcycles, and other recreational vehicles. While melting snow opens up the roads, you are going to have to share them!

As we enjoy the warming temperatures and begin to roll our windows down, don’t forget that slippery conditions and winter wear gives the spring time its own unique driving challenges.

What Other Vehicles Can Wisconsin Windshield Centers Work On?

Wisconsin Windshield Centers provides windshield repair and replacements for more than just automobiles. We also work on larger specialty vehicles including mobile homes, tractor trailers, and buses.

Mobile Homes

Mobile homes have many sections of auto glass, all of which have the potential to break. They are also commonly used on very long trips, which increases the chances of breaking auto glass. Our auto glass repair technicians can service any area of a mobile home’s auto glass.

Tractor Trailers

We also service windshield and auto glass repairs for tractor trailers. Like mobile homes, tractor trailers spend a lot of time on the road. Taking long trips on the highway leads to a high chance of auto glass damage. Our certified windshield repair technicians have the necessary training in order to repair these vehicles.

Buses

Another type of vehicle we do work on are buses. With dozens of windows and large windshields, buses have a good chance of suffering auto glass damage. Buses are also vulnerable to damage caused by vandalism. Our auto glass technicians can repair bus auto glass damage.

To find out of if we service your vehicle, contact Wisconsin Windshield Centers today.

Traveling Tips for Driving with your Dog

Road trips are extra fun when you bring your best friend along for the trip! More and more Americans are taking dog-friendly vacations, and that often requires a lot of travel time with your dog. All dogs are different; some of them love the car where others can’t stand taking a ride. Either way, if you are taking multi-hour road trip, it is most likely the longest trip your dog has taken. While this might seem like a nightmare for some dog owners, there are a few simple tips you can follow that will help dogs have the best experience on their ride.

Dog Safety

First off, you are going to want to use a crate for your dog on the trip. Crates are the easiest and safest way to travel with a dog. They keep the dog separated from the driver and helps the dog feel safe. If your dog is not used to being inside a crate, we recommend that you get your dog used to the crate for a couple weeks in advance. Your dog will be much more comfortable if they are used to the crate. Before letting your dog into the crate before the ride, take them for a walk to burn off some energy. This will help them relax once they are in the crate.

Take Breaks

While traveling with your dog, do not feed them too much or too often as they may get motion sickness. Stop every couple hours to let your dog stretch their legs, drink water, and have a small snack.

And of course, never leave your dog in an unattended car. Even with the windows cracked, your car quickly becomes an oven that will cause your dog to become dehydrated.