Windshield is a Misleading Name – More on Mobile Windshield Replacement Done Right – Part 1

Modern windshields do a lot more than block the wind

Early cars, or “horseless carriages” as they were called at the time, didn’t have windshields. Since their top speed was so low, it wasn’t really necessary. However, when the twentieth century rolled around and internal combustion cars started to get faster, more common, and more practical, people realized pretty quickly that they wanted protection from dirt, insects, and debris that the wind blew into their cars. This gave rise to the first windshields. In this series, we’ll discuss windshield history and technology, then we’ll take a look at mobile windshield replacement.

One of the first cars - mobile windshield replacement blog

Early windshields were designed to shield from the wind, but not much beyond that. They were essentially the same as a plate glass window you would find in houses of the time. Most were actually designed to fold in half with the idea being when the windshield got too dirty to see through, you folded it down out of the way and looked over top of it. However, these early windshields had another big problem – safety. Since they were made of plate glass, even a minor accident could cause them to shatter into long, pointed shards that were very dangerous to drivers. Of course, this was also long before airbags or even seatbelts were included in cars, making the plate glass windshields even more dangerous since occupants could be thrown through them in a crash.

The quest for a safer windshield

Windshield technology got a big boost early in the twentieth century due largely to a laboratory accident by French chemist Edouard Benedictus. Benedictus had been doing some experiments with a compound called cellulose nitrate when his assistant accidentally put away some of his lab equipment while it was still dirty. While the beakers sat on their shelf, the cellulose nitrate hardened into a clear, plasticky coating on the inside of the glassware.

Check back soon for Windshield is a Misleading Name – More on Mobile Windshield Replacement Done Right – Part 2. In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 10

This post is the tenth in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-9 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Ask about what certifications they hold and what standards they follow (continued)

At Chapman Auto Glass, we follow the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) set forth by the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC). The AGSC is the non-profit organization responsible for setting standards for auto glass replacement is the US. These standards are covered under ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS 003-2015, which is available to the public on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) website. It’s important to note that while this is a national standard for best practices, it’s voluntary, meaning auto glass replacement companies are under no obligation to follow it, and oftentimes less reputable companies don’t follow it either to save time or money.

At Chapman Auto Glass, every job we do is also covered by our lifetime warranty.

cracked windshield - mobile-windshield replacement

Standards for windshield repair

As the AGRSS covers standards for best practices in windshield replacement, likewise the ROLAGS (repair of laminated auto glass standard) covers situations where the windshield can be repaired rather than replaced. ROLAGS includes rules for what types of damage can be repaired versus when the windshield must be replaced, and also how windshields should be repaired.

High standards keep you safe

If the shop you’re considering for your auto glass repair or replacement doesn’t follow whichever standards are appropriate (AGRSS for replacement and ROLAGS for repair) then your windshield is not going to perform the way it was designed in the event of a crash. Your vehicles safety systems are no place to pinch pennies – make sure the shop you choose uses the right materials, the right techniques, and follows the right standards.

At Chapman Auto Glass, we use top-notch OEM parts, adhesives, and primers, our highly experienced technicians follow all the right standards, and every job we do is guaranteed. You won’t find better peace of mind than that in the mobile auto glass replacement and and auto glass repair industry. Learn more about how we do mobile windshield replacement here.

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 9

This post is the ninth in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-8 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

What is the Safe Drive Away Time (SDAT) or Minimum Drive Away Time (MDAT)? (continued)

MDAT is a term that is gaining ground in the industry, but both MDAT and SDAT mean essentially the same thing. If the company tells you that you can drive your vehicle immediately after the technician is finished, call another company. There’s no such thing as a windshield replacement that doesn’t have a SDAT, and anyone that says there is isn’t doing it right.

cracked windshield - mobile-windshield replacement

Ask about materials they use

The goal in a windshield replacement is to replicate original factory conditions as closely as possible. With this goal in mind, it’s important to use the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) replacement windshields, adhesives, and primers. Aftermarket alternatives are often cheaper, but they aren’t subjected to the rigorous engineering and testing standards that OEM parts are. This is true of replacement parts everywhere in your car, but it’s particularly important for windshields since they are so critical to crash safety. Chapman Auto Glass uses Essex Betaseal Advance Cure Auto Glass Adhesive. This adhesive costs 2-3 times as much as standard urethane, but does a much better job of replicating the factory windshield attachment. Other companies may use a cheaper adhesive to cut costs and give you a lower priced quote, but it will not stand up to the same standards.

Ask about what certifications they hold and what standards they follow

There is no cohesive licensing body for auto class replacers, so it’s up to the individual business to make sure their work meets the right standards and is up to snuff.

Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 10! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 8

This post is the eighth in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-7 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Using the right techniques in mobile windshield replacement (continued)

One example of the dire consequences of a sub-par windshield replacement is the unfortunate case of one Wisconsin woman, who was killed after her improperly replaced windshield gave way and she was ejected from the vehicle. In the investigation that ensued after the accident, one industry expert, Debra Levy of the auto glass safety council, said that, “…as many as 85 percent of so-called replacement windows are installed wrong.” (1) While it’s difficult to find exact numbers on how common sloppy or improper practices are in the auto glass replacement industry, it seems safe to say that there are millions of vehicles in the US that will not perform up to factory standards in a crash due to improper windshield replacements.

mobile windshield replacement

Vetting an auto glass shop

So, with all the sub par mobile windshield repair companies out there, how can you be sure the company you choose is doing it right? Well, there are a few questions you can ask that will give you a good idea.

What is the Safe Drive Away Time (SDAT) or Minimum Drive Away Time (MDAT)?

Curing time is important. Under ideal conditions, like a dry, hot, New Mexico day, and given the right adhesives, SDAT can be as little as an hour. However, if it’s cold and humid out, SDAT can be significantly longer – as much as several hours in certain situations and cases.

Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 9! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

Source cited:

1 – https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/11/13/cbs-2-investigation-an-improper-windshield-installation-can-be-deadly/

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 7

This post is the seventh in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-6 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Using top quality materials in mobile windshield replacement (continued)

Another important material choice is in the adhesives used to attach the windshield to the car. At Chapman Auto Glass, we use Dow chemical adhesives – the same brand as is used by around 80% of modern vehicle manufacturers.

mobile windshield replacement and repair

Using the right techniques in mobile windshield replacement

Once you’ve got the right materials lined up, the next step is to use the proper techniques in installation. Perhaps the most important caveat here is proper drying time. Each specific adhesive has a rated drying time that depends on humidity, elevation, weather, and other factors. If the installer moves the car or allows you to take the car before the adhesive has properly set, it will never set properly, the structural integrity of the windshield will be compromised, and it could pop out in a crash.

Drying time is crucial, but there are plenty of other places where a cut-rate shop can botch a windshield replacement. Barbara Walters and 20/20 did an investigation of improper windshield replacement that has been passed around on the internet quite a bit in the years since. In addition to improper drying times, they observed technicians installing windshields without gloves, which allows human skin oils to contaminate the adhesive that holds the windshield in and compromises its structural integrity. They also observed windshield being installed without primer, and windshields being installed without being cleaned. While these oversights and improper procedures are often done with the intention of saving a few minutes or a few dollars, the results can be tragic.

Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 8! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 6

This post is the sixth in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-5 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

What makes a good windshield repair or mobile windshield replacement? (continued)

The right way to do windshield replacement

Your vehicle’s windshield is critical to your safety in an accident. It keeps you inside the vehicle, and keeps debris from getting into the passenger compartment. According to a study by the National Institute for Health, crash victims who are ejected from their vehicles are 1.5-8 times more likely to be killed. (1) When vehicle windshields are installed in the factory, manufacturers use a specific and extensively tested methodology to ensure they have the strength to stay in place. Unfortunately, either by carelessness or intentional cost cutting, many mobile windshield replacement companies do not follow this same rigorous process.

windshield installation robot - mobile windshield repair

Car windshields are installed by robots in factories using automated processes. The goal of a windshield replacement is to replicate these processes as closely as possible.

 

What makes a good windshield replacement?

At its most basic level, there are two things you need for a good windshield replacement – top quality materials and top quality techniques and practices.

Top quality materials

Whenever possible, factory equivalent replacement parts are the way to go for a windshield replacement. At Chapman Auto Glass, we use products from top quality auto glass manufacturers like PPG, Pilkington, Carlite, Mopar, Safeguard, Guardian, Sekurit and others – the same top brand manufacturers use. In cases of very new or exotic cars, sometimes the only place that will stock OEM auto glass is the dealership, but for the vast majority of cars out there, factory-equivalent auto glass can be sourced.

Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 7! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

Source cited:

1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2619855

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 5

This post is the fifth in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-4 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Types of windshield damage (continued)

Crack ships

Now that we’ve covered several types of chips and cracks, you might think the so-called “crack chip” is confusingly named, and for good reason. While a crack chip is a crack (no material is missing from the windshield in this type of damage) it’s a small crack – one that can be covered by a quarter. Chip cracks can typically be repaired rather than replacing the windshield, as long as they don’t touch the edge and there aren’t too many of them in the windshield.

mobile windshield replacement in albuquerque and rio rancho

Long cracks vs. short cracks

Generally speaking, short cracks are those less than 6 inches long and long cracks are longer than 6 inches. In the past, repairing long cracks was impossible – a long crack meant it was time to replace the windshield. However, with improvements in windshield repair technology, there are now some cases where long cracks can be repaired. However, if road debris gets stuck in the crack, if the crack includes chip damage, or if the crack reaches the edge of the windshield, the windshield will need to be replaced.

Getting your windshield repair or mobile windshield replacement done the right way

We’ve covered the importance of a strong windshield, and we’ve covered various types of windshield damage. So, when windshield damage happens, what’s the next step? Unfortunately, not all windshield repairs and replacements are created equal. Windshield repair and replacement are complex processes, and there are plenty of areas where an unscrupulous repair shop can cut corners. At Chapman Auto Glass, we use the best materials and techniques currently available in the industry.

Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 6! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 4

This post is the fourth in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1-3 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Chips, bulls-eyes, stars, and half moons (continued)

There are two main considerations in deciding whether or not these chips can be repaired: size and depth. If the chip is too deep, or if the impact was so hard that it broke through the layers of the laminate, then the windshield will likely need to be replaced rather than repaired.

mobile windshield replacement. Technicians replacing a windshield

Likewise, if cracks have spread too far from the area of the chip in what’s known as a combination break (chips and cracks together) then the windshield will need replacing. Finally, if a chip contains road debris or dirt that cannot be removed by cleaning, or if it will obstruct the driver’s view, then the windshield must be replaced rather than repaired.

Floater cracks and edge cracks

A crack is damage without missing glass. If the crack is more than two inches from the edge of the windshield, it is a floater crack, and can be repaired as long as it’s not too large. An edge crack (one within two inches of the edge of the windshield) on the other hand will require windshield replacement since it compromises the structural integrity of the windshield.

Stress cracks

A stress crack occurs without anything actually hitting the windshield. The most common cause of stress cracks is extreme temperature changes, and for this reason they’re not all that common in New Mexico. However, if you were to come out in the morning and see your windshield frozen over, and decided to throw a pot of boiling water on the windshield to melt the ice, you could very easily cause a stress crack. Stress cracks typically start at the edge of the windshield, and generally cannot be repaired. Windshield replacement will be necessary. Of course, Chapman Auto Glass offers mobile windshield replacement so you don’t have to interrupt your busy schedule to get that windshield repaired!

Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 5! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 3

This post is the third in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

How does mobile windshield replacement work?

So, you were stuck driving behind a dump truck, and wouldn’t you know it, a tiny rock came flying your way and put a crack in your windshield. What comes next? Well, it depends. We’ve already discussed the crucial role your windshield plays in vehicle safety, so we know it needs fixing. But windshield repair and mobile windshield replacement gets complicated pretty quickly, and is governed by many laws and regulations. Let’s take a look at some of the basics pertaining to auto glass repair and mobile windshield replacement.

mobile windshield replacement. technician placing windshield

To repair or to replace?

A windshield repair can be a great way to save money over a replacement. However, given the critical importance of windshield strength, there are strict guidelines for when a windshield must be replaced rather than repaired. The general policy for windshield repairs used to be that if the damage can be covered by a dollar bill, then it could be repaired rather than replaced. However, in recent years, windshield repair technology has come a long way. Nowadays, it may be possible to repair a crack as long as fourteen inches, but it depends on a few other factors. The National Windshield Repair Association publishes a set of rules for windshield repair under the Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS) guide. To better understand what kind of windshield damage can be repaired, let’s go over a few different types of windshield damage.

Chips, bulls-eyes, stars, and half moons

When a rock hits your windshield and a piece of glass is missing, you’re dealing with a chip. Bulls eyes, stars, and half moons are all types of chips, named for what the chip looks like.

Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 4! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

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Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog – Mobile Windshield Replacement – Part 2

This post is the second in a series on the basics of auto glass, auto glass repair, and mobile windshield replacement. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.

Types of auto glass (continued)

Non-tempered glass tends to shatter into long, needle-like shards. By breaking into so many small pieces, tempered glass is much safer for the vehicle’s occupants when it breaks. Car manufacturers also use single pane, tempered glass windows for the side and rear windows so that, should the vehicle’s occupants need to get out, for instance if the vehicle becomes submerged, they can break the windows and escape.

mobile windshield repair. Man carrying windshield pictured

Windshields, on the other hand, are made of laminated glass. They typically contain two panes of tempered glass bonded to a central core, like a sandwich. This middle layer is made out of a material called polyvinyl butyrate, or PVB. PVB is extremely shatter resistant. So much so that an impact can shatter both layers of glass and the PVB layer will still keep the windshield in one piece and in the right place. That way, the windshield will stay in place even in a bad accident. This protects the passengers and keeps them in the car.

Windshields and passenger airbags

Windshield strength is also particularly important in vehicles with passenger airbags. This is because passenger airbags work by inflating and pushing against the vehicle’s windshield to create a cushion for the passenger. You might wonder, if laminated glass is so strong and durable, why not use it for all the vehicle’s windows? Well, if the side windows of your vehicle were made of laminated glass, it would make them essentially impossible to break out if you needed to escape through them. Nonetheless, some auto manufacturers have started to use laminated glass for the side windows of their cars. Why? Well, statistically, far more people are killed by being ejected from their cars than being trapped in them. Plus, laminated glass is much harder for a thief to break through.

Check back soon for Welcome to the Chapman Auto Glass Blog, Part 3! In the meantime, check out our page on mobile windshield replacement.

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