In the United States, there are over 280 million registered vehicles that are on the road.
With so many cars on the road, there are bound to be accidents. One of the most common accidents or types of damage your vehicle can sustain is to the car windshield. A cracked windshield can develop from a variety of causes.
Whether a rock hit the windshield, or you suffered an accident while de-icing your vehicle, windshields get damaged all the time. Here are some tips for replacing your windshield that every driver should know.
1. Don’t Hesitate
If your windshield cracks, don’t wait around to get it repaired. You are playing with more than the look of your vehicle. A cracked windshield won’t provide the same level of protection that a solid, in shape windshield will and so it is dangerous to drive around with one.
Not only does the crack mean that the structure of the windshield is compromised, but it also means there will be an optical distraction. The crack can hide objects, cause your eye to miss something, or even refract light in uncomfortable and dangerous ways. Don’t risk your health or that of your family.
No matter how the crack happened, you need to take immediate steps. Some shops can apply a resin treatment that will prevent further cracking. This should only be done if you can’t afford a new windshield, as it will buy you enough time to save up some money.
Another reason for not waiting to get the windshield replaced is that it will continue to get worse. Once a crack starts running it will expand until it crosses the entire windshield. Further impacts and even hot or cold snaps can cause the damage to progress quicker.
2. File an Insurance Claim
The value of filing an insurance claim will vary depending on the size of your deductible. Since most windshields don’t cost that much, a high deductible can harm your chances of receiving money. For those without a high deductible, insurance can cover the emergency cost of replacing a broken windshield.
Without insurance money, you will have to come up with the entire sum out of pocket. This is beyond the reach of a lot of car owners. You may have to take steps to minimize the danger while you work on getting the money if your insurance won’t help you cover the cost of a new windshield.
Standard auto insurance covers windshields, so for most car owners, this is a great option. If your windshield damage is due to a commercial vehicle you can also request their insurance pay for it. Make sure to get the tag number and if they have a business number on their vehicle try to record it as well.
3. Beware of Overpriced Repair
You may have heard commercials for some companies and think that they are your best bet. The reality is you will end up paying more in a lot of cases. Don’t just settle for the first auto glass repair shop that comes to mind, make sure to look around and price various alternatives.
Car windshield replacement isn’t complicated, and there are a lot of shops that can do it. Make sure you know how long it will take them and how much it will cost. The cost of the replacement window will vary based on what type of car you have, with domestic vehicles often cheaper than imports.
Replacing your car windshield shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Even if you don’t know how to replace your car windshield you can find a lot of resources to help. If you don’t know of any good shops, try using Autoglasslocator.com.
4. Leave Tape on for 24 Hours
When you get the windshield replaced you may notice that the shop left behind tape on the window. If this happens, don’t remove the tape, it needs to sit for at least 24 hours. This way you can be sure that there is a good seal between the new window and the car.
Once enough time has passed, take your time and remove the tape. Make sure to get all of it off, don’t leave any behind as this can cause visual obstructions. The tape secured the windshield while it was being replaced, so once the windshield has set, there’s no reason to keep it.
The only part of the tape you should remove before this amount of time is if any of it is in your way. That means if it begins to dangle or isn’t secure to the window as this can distract you and lead to an accident. Don’t worry though, if the tape isn’t holding on, it isn’t doing anything positive for your vehicle.
5. Check the Gasket and Window
Once the tape is removed and the window is on your vehicle, make sure to double-check the work that was done. You can do this by inspecting the seam of the window where it connects to the car. There is a piece here known as a gasket that helps seat the window.
If you notice any bulges or bubbles in this gasket, the window was not installed right. You need to take the window back to the shop that did it and ask them to fix the problem. The last thing you want is a window that flies off during the operation of the vehicle on the road or highway.
If you don’t notice any problems, the window repair is good and you can move on with your life.
Replacing Your Car Windshield
If you have the time and equipment you can replace a windshield yourself. Don’t do this if you aren’t sure of what you’re doing, as it could lead to a catastrophic accident. It is far safer to let professionals handle your car windshield.
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