Should I Repair My Windshield, or Replace It?

New Car Windshield

Your windshield takes a beating. Things like rocks, gravel, dust, and other types of road debris can get kicked up while driving, causing areas of the windshield to become cracked, chipped, or pitted. It can be difficult to gauge the extent of the damage just by looking at it, but windshield damage shouldn’t be ignored as it can become a safety issue. Cracks can spread, scratches and pits can distort your line of sight – not to mention that damage to the glass can affect the integrity of your windshield and the structure of your vehicle! That brings us to the big question: can the damage be repaired, or do you need a complete windshield replacement?

Repair or Replacement?

One thing that’s important to understand about windshields is that although they look like a large, single piece of glass they’re made up of three layers: an inner layer of glass, a piece of polymer or resin, and an outer layer of glass.

There are several factors that we evaluate before deciding whether to repair or replace a windshield. Fortunately, small cracks and chips can typically be safely repaired if the area is small enough to be covered by a quarter. However, if the damage is within your line of sight or the windshield is old and covered in small pits and divots, it should be replaced. If your windshield can be repaired, the repair process is straightforward.

For chips, a clear, curable resin is injected into the outer layer of glass. This restores the integrity of the windshield and improves its appearance. Once the resin is cured, it’s polished to create a smooth surface that prevents the chip or crack from spreading. If you have damage that’s on the deeper side, the damage may be slightly enlarged or deepened with a drill so that the resin has a chance to penetrate the damage better.

If your windshield can be repaired, it’s best to do it immediately to prevent the damage from getting worse. Although it’s not common, small chips can potentially spread if you hit a large pothole, drive down a bumpy road, or encounter other situations that cause a jolt to your vehicle.

Avoid DIY Kits; Call the Pros

Whether you have a small chip or a large crack, it’s important to have your windshield evaluated by auto glass specialists. Although there are DIY kits out on the market, these can compromise your visibility or the integrity of your windshield. Our trained technicians will assess the damage and find the best solutions for your safety and budget. Contact Lucky Dog Auto Glass today at 253-569-9403 for a free estimate.

Worn Wiper Blades: An Underappreciated Cause of Windshield Damage

Windshield wipers get a lot of use during the rainy season, and with that comes a fair amount of wear. Not just wear on your wiper blades, either! Worn out wiper blades can cause some serious damage to your windshield over time. Here’s a look at how this happens and what you can do to prevent it.

How Does the Damage Occur?

Windshield wiper blades have long, thin rubber arms that cover a thin metal blade. Every time the blade arms move back and forth across your windshield, the rubber slowly deteriorates, which can cause it to eventually wear away entirely. Once this happens, there’s nothing to protect the glass from the metal scraping across it and scratches are very likely to occur. It’s important to replace your wiper blades as soon as they show signs of wear to prevent your windshield from becoming damaged.

Wiper blades typically last about 6-12 months, but this can vary based on factors like the weather and the conditions you typically drive-in. Rainier years will put more wear and tear on your wiper blades, making it necessary to replace them more frequently. For this reason, it’s a good idea to inspect your wiper blades on a regular basis. One easy way to remember is to take a look at them (or ask your mechanic) every time you have your oil changed. Even if your wiper blades are working well, they should be replaced as soon as you notice any streaking or visible metal.

Other Considerations

Windshield wipers may seem like a minor fixture in the grand scheme of your car, but worn blades can significantly affect your safety, as the damage they cause can severely limit your visibility. Even small scratches can obstruct your view and make it more difficult to see potential hazards.

Small imperfections (including cracks and pits) in glass can also lower the integrity of a windshield. This means if you get into an accident the force of the collision is more likely to cause the windshield to shatter, which could result in serious injuries.

Beyond safety issues, there are also legality issues to consider. Washington doesn’t have specific laws regarding damage to windshields, but there are regulations that cover windshield obstruction as well as the condition of windshield wipers. According to WAC 204-10-024, drivers “must have no obstruction forward of the windshield that extends more than two inches upward into the horizontally forward projected vision area of the windshield.” The projected vision area covers the area from the top of the steering wheel to the top of the front of the fenders or hood. If you have multiple cracks in the windshield or one within the vision area, you could be at risk of receiving a citation.

Restoring the Glass

If your wiper blades have damaged your windshield, you’ll generally have one option: replace the windshield.

If you wait to replace the blades, there could be considerable damage, like multiple scratches across the windshield or deep scratches. Unfortunately, once the damage in the glass reaches a certain depth, it’s not repairable. Your only option is to replace the windshield. If the damage is extensive on the driver’s side, even if it’s not very deep, it could still require replacement.

There are DIY repair kits available, however, it’s important to understand that nothing can replace the expert eye of auto glass professionals. Windshield repairs and recommendations are always best left to glass specialists, as there can be damage that’s not visible or other considerations. If you’ve noticed your blades have started to scratch your windshield, the best first step to take is to replace the blades. Then, give Lucky Dog Auto Glass a call! We’re happy to evaluate the damage and let you know whether it’s a candidate for repair or if a replacement would be the safer option. Contact us today at 253-569-9403 for a free estimate!

How to Tell Whether You Need to Replace or Repair Your Windshield

If your windshield becomes damaged, one of the main questions you’ll likely have is whether it can be repaired or if you’ll need a complete replacement. Before you make that decision, there are a couple of important factors you should keep in mind.

What does your insurance policy cover?

The cost of a complete windshield replacement can vary a lot depending on your insurance policy and your type of vehicle. Most newer vehicles have ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistant System) technology located in the windshield, which significantly increases the cost of windshield replacement. Before you make a decision, it’s best to know what will be covered, what won’t, and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

Do you have damage around the edge of your windshield?

Unfortunately, if there are cracks or chips around the edges, the whole structure of your windshield is compromised – which is a serious safety concern. In this case, it’s best to choose a full replacement rather than a repair.

How is your line of sight and visibility?

If your windshield is damaged near your line of sight, it could impact your visibility, even if the glass is repaired. The most dangerous part of the windshield to have damage is at about 12 inches in front of your steering wheel, extending up to the height of your windshield wipers. If you have damage within this area, we recommend replacing it for your safety.

How long is the crack?

If the entire damaged area can be covered with the size of a quarter, it can typically be repaired. For cracks longer than this, you will likely need a full replacement.

How deep is the chip?

Windshields are made from 2 layers of glass, with a layer of plastic in between. If the crack is deep enough that it reaches the inner layer of glass, it can’t be repaired. Any type of damage on the interior layer of glass will need a complete windshield replacement.

Hopefully, this has helped you decide whether you should get your windshield repaired or replaced but if you’re still unsure, contact us! We’re happy to evaluate your windshield and give you a free estimate. Schedule your estimate appointment by calling (253) 569-9403 or fill out our online form.

What’s the Difference Between an OEM Windshield and an Aftermarket Windshield?

If you need a windshield replacement, you’ll have to make an important decision: an OEM windshield, OEE windshield, or aftermarket? This can be a difficult decision, but here’s a quick run-down on the difference between them.

An OEM windshield is essentially identical to the windshield that was installed in your car when it was manufactured. They’re made by the same company that manufactured your original windshield, so it’s a perfect match for the original. The color will be the same, as will the fit, the thickness, and the shape. It will even have the same logos. Even more importantly, all the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) features that connected to your original windshield will work perfectly.

So, why wouldn’t you choose an OEM windshield? The price of the OEM glass can be 40 – 60% higher than a comparable aftermarket windshield. Some insurance companies won’t pay for OEM glass because of the higher costs. Other insurance companies may only pay for OEM glass if the vehicle is a new model – for example, a year or two old.

Other Options

There are also OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent) windshields. These are manufactured by the same companies that make OEM windshields. They’re made to the same standards as an OEM but they don’t come with the manufacturer’s logo – or the price.

Aftermarket windshields are made by companies that have no affiliation with the auto manufacturers. Believe it or not, copyright laws affect even windshield manufacturers, so aftermarket glass companies are prohibited from creating replicas of OEM windshields. They also don’t consult with the original windshield company or automaker.

Aftermarket windshields will have the same shape and fit, but there can be many differences compared to your original windshield. The tint or UV protection may be different, or the windshield may not be as thick. The original windshield ADAS features may not work properly – or at all. While aftermarket windshields are the least expensive option, they often sacrifice the quality you would find in an OEM or OEE windshield.

The type of replacement windshield that you choose will depend on your personal preferences as well as your budget. Our team at Lucky Dog Auto Glass is happy to offer recommendations and help you choose one that works best for you. Contact us at 253-569-9403 for a free estimate or send us a message through our online form.

Contact us today at 253-569-9403 to schedule your appointment.

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6 Tips on How to Care for Your Replacement Windshield

You’ve just had your windshield replaced; now what? It might be tempting to get back to your normal routine, but there are some important considerations. Taking proper care of your windshield immediately after it’s been replaced will ensure that it stays in great condition and lasts for many years. Here are some easy tips you should follow:

Wait To Drive

When replacing a windshield, we use an adhesive that holds the glass in place and creates a durable waterproof seal. Like many types of adhesives, this needs to have adequate time to set and dry. We recommend not driving for at least an hour after your windshield has been installed.

When you get into your car, be sure to look for any shards of glass that may have been left behind. Although we do our best to get it all cleaned up, there could be some shards that were missed. The last thing we want is for you to get injured in any way.
For the next 24 to 48 hours, there are some additional precautions to take.

Keep the area around the windshield clear

ADAS Windshield Calibration

While the seal dries, it’s important to keep the area around the windshield clear – inside and out. You don’t want anything to adhere to the seal or push against it. For the first day following installation, avoid placing any kind of cover over your vehicle or using a sunshade in the interior. You’ll also want to make sure the dashboard is free of any clutter.

Leave one of your windows cracked open

Air pressure can add additional stress to the seal as it dries. To prevent this, leave one of your windows rolled down at least an inch. This is best to do the first day after installation.

Don’t remove the retention tape

We often use a retention tape to hold the windshield and / or moldings in place. It’s not very attractive, but we recommend leaving the tape in place until the specifies safe drive-away time.

Avoid car washes and power washers

To allow the new moldings to set completely and protect them from damage or shifting, you should avoid using high-pressure car washes, automatic car washes, and power washers. If you’d like to wash your car within 48 hours of the windshield installation, we recommend a gentle hand wash.

Go easy on it

Finally, try not to put any type of unnecessary stress on the adhesive as it sets. Gently close your doors and avoid roads with poor conditions like potholes.

Your windshield replacement experts

By following these tips, it’s easy to maintain your windshield and protect your investment. For expert auto glass replacement, you can always rely on Lucky Dog Auto Glass. We’re committed to providing you with quality repairs, replacements, and exceptional customer service. We remain open and available to assist you during the COVID-19 outbreak and are taking every precaution to keep our clients and employees safe. If you would like a free estimate or you’d like to schedule auto glass replacement, contact us at 253-569-9403 or send us a message through our online form.

Top 3 Reasons to Trust A Repair Shop for Your Windshield Replacement

Trust A Repair Shop for Your Windshield ReplacementIf you have a crack in your windshield and it needs replacement, you may be tempted to call a service that will come to you. Mobile services are convenient, however there is a downside to that convenience. By coming to a fully equipped auto glass facility, you can ensure your vehicle receives the best windshield replacement.

Here are our top 3 reasons to trust a repair shop as opposed to a mobile service:

  1. A professional auto glass facility is a controlled environment. Even in good weather, contaminants can get into glue and other elements of the installation. Landscapers completing work, wind, passing vehicles, and other disruptions can stir up contaminants that will adversely affect windshield installation.
  2. Not all parts work perfectly in every installation. It’s possible to receive defective glass that isn’t a perfect fit. This leaves the installer with a tough choice: either install the less than perfect auto glass or leave your windshield out overnight. Unlike a mobile service, we can take the time to find the absolute best fit for you when your car is parked inside our shop. Our repair shop sends back defective parts on an almost daily basis. Many vehicles often have as many 10 or 12 different windshield options available! Bringing your car to Lucky Dog avoids an additional trip charge if the windshield is incorrect. If you are in the shop, we can reorder the windshield and usually complete the installation the same day. The important difference is we take the time to make sure you receive a perfectly-fitting windshield.
  3. A mobile service doesn’t necessarily have all the right tools. A mobile service is restricted by space; they can’t carry every part, tool, and piece of equipment. However, our repair shop specializes in auto glass repair and replacement. We take workmanship seriously; we only use the best materials and we have all the tools that we need in our shop to handle any issue that may arise during your windshield installation.

Lucky Dog Auto Glass is proud to offer quality windshield replacements in our auto glass facility. In our controlled environment, using the proper materials and procedures, we make sure a perfect seal is achieved every time. Get the best windshield replacement for your vehicle by visiting our facility. Call today to schedule your appointment!

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