Living in Los Angeles (or any large city) presents plenty of hazards for a vehicle owner. Whether it’s rocks or other road debris, or some fool breaking into your car, sooner or later, you may be in the position of needing to replace your windshield or auto glass. The Windshield Squad has twenty years of experience with auto glass, and we wanted to provide you with some tips, as you decide how to replace your windshield.
- Decide whether you need a repair or a replacement
Just because you have a crack, a chip or a ding, doesn’t mean you need to replace your windshield. Your insurance company prefers to repair it (since it saves them money), so they typically will waive your deductible and there’s no cost to you. Another nice thing to consider, a repair extends the useful life of the glass, so it’s an environmentally friendly option.
How do you know if your windshield damage is repairable? If the crack in your window is shorter than a dollar bill, it’s usually repairable. If a chip or ding fits under a credit card, it’s likely repairable. If you’re not sure, send the Windshield Squad a picture of the damage and we’ll let you know the best way to proceed.
- Decide how to pay for your replacement or repair
If your auto insurance includes comprehensive coverage, your auto glass damage is likely covered. If you are covered, you may be required to pay a deductible. Get in touch with the Windshield Squad and we can work with your insurance company to determine your deductible, and in some cases, we can reduce or waive it, so you have no out of pocket costs!
- Allot time for repairs
If you require a complete windshield replacement, your car may need to sit while the glass adhesive dries. Typically, you’ll be able to drive just one hour after installation – your glass tech will let you know for sure. But be aware, it can take up to 24 hours before the adhesive is fully cured, so that the full structure integrity of the car has returned. As you may know, the glass techs at the Windshield Squad will come to you, no matter where you are in Los Angeles. If you’re going to be at the office or away from home, plan your time accordingly, allowing 30 – 60 minutes for the repair and at least an hour for the adhesive to dry. That way, your vehicle will be ready for your commute home.
- Decide on OEM or Aftermarket parts
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are certified by the US Department of Transportation to maintain 100 percent “windshield retention” in a crash. There are other high quality generic parts that are available, for those who’d like to reduce replacements costs. Give the Windshield Squad a call and we can recommend the best solution for your repair, based on your budget.
- Choose an auto glass services provider
Finally, you need to find a auto glass services provider who uses high quality parts and supplies, who has the expertise to the job well, and who can do it on your timeline and budget. Start by calling a few well reviewed local providers. (There are a couple national chains out there. Please shop locally and support the Southern California economy! 🙂 Once you’ve had a few conversations, you should be able to find the right team to help you.
Our clients sometimes wonder about the legality of driving with a rock chip or crack.
Even if you have a small blemish on your windshield, we believe the best course of action is to have it repaired immediately. Even a small crack can get bigger without warning. A small rock chip can block your view and be a hazard.
This bit of common sense aside, we thought you might like to know the laws surrounding having an obstructed view while driving. There are a number of reasons you can get a ticket, so keep these in mind.
The basics are this: is something blocking your view while you’re driving? This might include:
- Any stickers on the window
- Anything hanging, like an air fresher or sweet fuzzy dice 😉
- Objects on the dashboard
- Tinted windshield or side glass
Obstruction of view can of course include chips or cracks in your auto glass.
How to avoid a ticket?
Obstruction of view fines are moving violations, rather than a standing violation, so you can get points against your record. So, it’s not a bad idea to take a little time to do the following:
- Check your car for any possible obstructions
- Have any chips or cracks inspected by an auto glass technician
- Check your local laws, to see how they regulate auto glass tints
We get calls every day from drivers wanting to know how long they can hold off before replacing their chipped windshield. It’s understandable – nobody looks forward to surprise auto expenses. So, I thought I’d post my advice for our customers.
A minor chip may mean there’s no imminent danger. You might be able to drive hundreds of miles without a problem. But keep in mind, even a small chip can begin to grow without warning. If you encounter heavy rain or debris, it can exacerbate the problem, and before you know it, you’ll have a serious problem on your hands. And if you have a chip that obstructs your view from the driver’s seat, it is truly a hazard and you should have it repaired immediately.
The best rule is to take care of a rock chip as soon as it arises, and don’t wait until it’s too late. A rock chip can be repaired very quickly, wherever you are, and it’s relatively inexpensive (usually around $50). Once a chip has grown into a crack, you’ll probably need to replace your entire windshield, and incur 4 or 5 times the cost. If you have damage bigger than a rock chip, perhaps a small crack, it can worsen very quickly and weaken the structural integrality of your windshield before you know it.
The Rule of Thumb
If you have a chip or a crack that’s less than six inches long, you may be able to get away with a repair, rather than a full windshield replacement. Windshield Squad’s expert glass techs can give you the right advice for any type of damage. The odds are, you can get away with a repair, if:
- The chip or crack does not block your line of site
- You have three or less chips
- The damage to the glass fits under a dollar bill
- The chip or crack is toward the center, and not on the edge of the windshield
Mobile repair services are available, usually for same day service. They can come to you, so it doesn’t have to eat up your whole day to deal with the problem. If you have comprehensive auto insurance, you’ll likely only be responsible for a small deductible. In return you’ll get a brand new windshield, and a lot of peace of mind!
If the world’s most famous spy were to give us a call, we’d be happy to help him out. (Of course, his Austin Martin DB5 does have a bullet proof shield to protect the rear glass…but there are often bullets whizzing around the rest of the windows.)
This weekend, we did get a chance to check out one of the cars used in the production of “Goldfinger” (1964), at the Peterson Automotive Museum, which just reopened after a $100 Million renovation. It’s really a beautiful place, and the cars are amazing. We don’t know if they ever have any auto glass needs, but our auto glass technicians would be happy to replace any auto glass we can help with! Just have Moneypenny give us a ring.
If you need auto glass specialists that can execute your next critical mission (whether or not it’s top secret), give us a call at (310)774-3627.
There are many companies in the Los Angeles auto glass industry. How do you know which one to choose? It’s a tricky decision, because it’s an unregulated industry and it can be hard to know who does good work.
One reason the Windshield Squad has thrived over the past two decades, is because we treat our customers’ cars like their our own. We know that the work we do is crucial to the safety of our customers, and we take that responsibility seriously.
While our industry is not heavily regulated, the Windshield Squad is licensed by the state of California, and requires that all of our technicians are highly experienced and certified by the Auto Glass Safety Council, one of the most respected bodies in the industry. (http://agsc.org/technician-certification/) as well as by Sika, a manufacturer of premium glass adhesive, which offers certifications for auto glass professionals.
Attention to Detail
Replacing a windshield means cutting out the old glass with a very sharp blade, removing the old gasket and adhesive that surrounds the existing glass, before putting the new piece in. To get a perfect seal on the new windshield that will keep out water and air for years to come, the new seal and adhesive must be installed perfectly. Our technicians want to do it right the first time, and leave our customers happy they hired us. So, they make sure it’s done right.
High Quality Parts
There are many manufacturers of auto glass and replacement windshields. It’s no surprise that the quality of the parts and the manufacturing process can vary from company to company. It’s important to replace your auto glass with Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) or Original Equipment Equivilant (OEE) parts, which have been manufactured either by the manufacturer who created your original part, or at least to meet the standards and specifications of the original part. Knowing which suppliers carry the best parts is one way a auto glass company brings value to your repair. Windshield Squad knows which manufactures make the highest quality parts, and which suppliers carry those parts for the lowest prices.
No Short Cuts
After decades of experience, we at the Windshield Squad have seen all kinds of dangerous and unbelievalbe repairs done by poorly trained technicians. Using incorrect or poor quality parts, or incorrect installation methods not only looks bad, but it can be very dangerous. Our technicians care about our customers and aren’t going to rush a job, or do shoddy work because they’re in a hurry.
Have any questions? Give us a call at (310)774-3627. We’ll be happy to help.
Meteorologists are saying we are going to get some rain this winter, with the arrival of El Nino. This means more of you will be visiting the mountains to enjoy some snow! The mountains in California are beautiful, but we give our customers a few safety tips for those trips to the timber line.
Tips for winter driving
Before you go:
- When snow is in the forecast, bring tire chains. If chains become necessary or required, be sure to find an appropriate turn out so you are safely out of the flow of traffic. Be sure your chains are installed on the “drive” tires that move your car. Some cars are front wheel drive, while others use the rear wheels.
- Make sure your tires have good tread and are properly inflated.
- Be sure your headlights are working and only use low beams in a snow storm. High beams will make it harder to see through falling snow.
- Make sure the glass in your car is in good repair. Cracks can cause windows to fog more easily and make it harder to see the road. If you’re not sure you have a problem, call an auto glass repair specialist for advice.
- Be sure to pack emergency supplies, in case you get stuck in the snow. Food, water, warm clothing and a snow phone will come in handy.
- Visit the website of the California Department of Transportation to research the driving tips you might expect to encounter and plan accordingly.
On the road:
- Even when the roads are in the sun and seem dry, keep an eye out for ice that remains where shadows cover the road. These slick patches can easily catch you off guard.
- Drive defensively. Watch the drivers around you to make sure they remain in control. Always keep a distance of three car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
- Do NOT break heavily when driving on snow and ice. Pump your brakes lightly, giving yourself plenty of time to slow down. Use your gears to keep your speeds at a safe speed. Avoid quick changes in speed or direction.
- In the case you should go into a skid, there are some important things to remember. If your car is a front wheel drive, as you begin to slide, do not break. Slowly remove your foot from the gas until your wheels regain traction. When your tires regain traction, turn the steering wheel slowly in the direction you want to go. If your car is a rear wheel drive, remove your foot from the gas when your wheels starts to spin, and slowly turn the wheel in the direction you want to go. If you continue to skid, steer the opposite direction until the car points in the correct direction. No matter what, do not apply heavy pressure to the breaks.
We hope this helps. Enjoy your winter and keep safe!
And if you catch any gravel on those mountain roads, be sure to call Windshield Squad as soon as you get home. We can repair those rock chips in just a few minutes.
Mobile auto glass installation and repair is not always the easiest job. It involves moving heavy glass, dealing with damaged vehicles and broken glass, and working outside in the elements. Thankfully for us, we’re in beautiful Southern California. This time of year gives us some of the best weather and amazing sunshiny days. And depending on where we are, the scenery isn’t bad, either.
The experts are saying that Southern California may be in for a very wet fall and winter. It looks like El Nino is on the way, and it could prove to be the wettest season in decades.
As auto glass repair specialists, we see all kinds of damage to windshields and autos in general. We like to do our best to help keep our customers safe. In that spirit, we want to give a few tips on driving in wet weather, and how to deal with auto glass damage that arises from accidents or debris.
Tips to consider before you hit the road:
- Check your headlights, brake lights, tail lights and turn signals, to make sure their operating well. The best west to stay safe is to stay visible. Use your headlights and running lights when driving in wet weather.
- Install new windshield wiper blades, to reduce streaking and provides you the best vision while driving in wet conditions
- Make sure your tires have good treads and check the tire pressure. If you’re not sure how, got to your local tire vendor for help.
Tips when behind the wheel:
- Decrease your driving speeds to avoid hydroplaning
- Allow more room between you and the car in front of you, to give you a better chance of avoiding a rear end accidents
- Avoid slamming on your breaks, even when responding to a skid
Things to consider about your auto glass:
As we mentioned, it’s important to have new windshield wipers to keep your field of vision clear while driving. If you should experience any windshield damage, especially during the rainy season, it’s important to have it repaired as quickly as possible. This will not only assure minimal leakage, but it will allow your wiper blades to have sufficient contact with your glass.
If you notice water in your vehicle during the rainy season, but don’t see any damage to your glass, it may be a leaky gasket. A gasket is the rubber seal that surrounds the glass in your car and secures it to the auto body. Damage to the gasket, or aging of the rubber can cause leaks. A gasket can be replaced to take care of the problem.
While adverse weather can make windshield replacement and repair a little more work, we have the equipment and experience to do the job right, while keeping your car protected. Don’t hesitate to get in touch as soon as you notice any glass damage.
Thanks for reading and be safe out there!
Our auto glass technicians travel across Los Angeles and Orange County every day, and they come across a lot of cool things. We like to share them with you when we can.
This came from Juan who came across a mural, while on his way to downtown Los Angeles for a windshield repair. For all of you Michael Jackson fans out there – hope you enjoy.
Getting new auto glass installed can be fairly painless if you find the right team to do it. But there are a few things to keep in mind, once the repair or replacement is done, to make sure the repair stands the test of time.
- Always ask your auto glass technician how long you’ll need to wait before driving your car. If you’ve had your windshield replaced, the epoxy will require at least one hour to dry, before you get behind the wheel. Some epoxies require up to 24 hours.
- It’s always recommended to generally limit your driving as much as possible for the first 24 hours after repairs, and stay off the freeways and limit fast driving for at least four hours.
- If all the windows are closed, do not slam your car door. The air pressure created could push out the windshield if the epoxy has not had time to cure. A good rule, is to leave all the windows rolled down about 1/2 inch for the first 24 hours after the new glass is installed. This will allow air to escape the cabin without allowing pressure to build on the windshield.
- This may seem like a no brainer – do not wash your car (hand wash or machine) for 48 hours after the repair. The water and soap could weaken the epoxy or glue.
- Do not use any cleaners that are abrasive, or that contain ammonia or alcohol, for 48hrs after the repair is completed.
- If you’ve had your windshield replaced, special tape will be affixed to your car, to help make sure the adhesive dries well, and that your glass stays in position. Leave the tape on 24 hours, to assist in an effective drying of the adhesive.
- Worn wipers should be replaced, as they can wear down your windshield repair (in the case of chip and crack repairs). Ask your tech about the condition of your wiper blades.
Hope this helps! Reach out to the Windshield Squad with questions.