Windshield Replacement – Safe Drive Away Time

The term Safe Drive Away Time refers to how long after your windshield is replaced that your car is safe to drive away SAFELY. This will vary depending on the adhesive type used when replacing your windshield. In some cases, it can be as little as an hour or as much as several hours. Type of adhesive, temperature, humidity are all factors when determining the time. Summer weather can have the adhesives cure quicker while winter weather can slow the process down.

Your certified technician will inform you of how much time is needed before driving away. If you take the car to the shop, you may be better leaving it there. If you are using the mobile service, this is probably not an issue.

What happens if you drive the car before the adhesive cures properly?

While it is an unlikely event that you will have an accident a few hours after your windshield is replaced, it can happen. Your windshield (properly installed) supports the vehicle’s roof. If the Safe Drive Away Time is ignored, the windshield may not stay in place in the event of a crash. You and your passengers are not safe at that point as the roof could cave in or be ejected through the opening. Knowing the SDAT could save your life

Minimum Drive Away Time

Recently the term Minimum Drive Away Time has been added to the windshield replacement vocabulary as it is more accurate, as it reflects a minimum amount of time needed before a vehicle could be considered to be operational and safe.

No matter what – Companies should stand behind their drive-away time. If it’s 30 minutes, then that’s the minimum time needed for the adhesive to cure. Some technicians may go further and add more time on top of that minimum, just in case.

Holiday Trips

  • What could be worse than your car breaking down while you are visiting relatives during the holidays, perhaps hundreds of miles from home.Time with relatives and friends is a time for fun, not dealing with the stress of getting your car repaired.

    To that end, please take these steps you can take to protect your vehicle, your trip and your family.

    If you have a mechanic you usually deal with have him check/change the following or if you are DIY, you need to check these things:

    • Change your oil and oil filter.
    • Change air filter.
    • Check car belts and change spark plugs.
    • Make certain your tire iron and jack are in the car.
    • Check spare tire.
    • Check tires condition. Check tires tread and look for signs of strain, bulges or other damage. Check tire pressure. Don’t over inflate.
    • Check windshield wipers and wiper fluid. When the rain falls, you don’t want to discover your wipers are useless. In addition, bug hits can really mess a windshield, so you’ll need a full fluid reservoir.
    • Check Coolant.
    • Flush radiator, if you haven’t done so in a while.
    • Check Fuses and Horn.
    • Check that high and low beam headlights are in working order.
    • Check power steering and brake fluid.

     

  • Some additional advice:
    • Begin your trip with a clean car, both inside and out. It will help for you to be organized.
    • Try not to put luggage over the car. It creates air friction and slows you down – burning more gas. If it is unavoidable, cover with strong sheet and tie them very well.
    • Keep a small garbage bag inside the car.

     

    • Cover headlights and front of the car with a protective sheet to prevent bug clogs or other damage.
    • Pack a fire extinguisher.
    • Get a spare key for the car and keep it in your wallet or elsewhere on your person in case you lock your keys in the car.
    • Fix sun protectors for side windows and front windshield.
    • Stock up on CDs to cover the trip if you don’t have Sirius radio..
    • Bring a plastic funnel to add water or other fluids
    • Bring towels for cleaning dirty windshields, spills, etc.
    • Make sure your owner’s manual is handy.

     

    Once your car passes this checklist, there are some tips for effective driving. After all, you may not be a part of your car, but if you’re not functioning properly, your car’s condition really doesn’t matter.
    Always fill your gas tank when it is half full. Don’t wait too long. Sometimes there can be miles and miles in between rest areas or service areas.

     

    Be reasonable about how many miles you can cover in a day. Don’t push it, especially with young children.

     

    Forget about high speeds. A steady driver can book more miles and enjoy more scenery. You’ll also save on gas over the long haul.

     

    Leave the caffeine at home. If you get tired, pull over and rest. If it’s midway through the day, try a nap of about 30 minutes. If it’s getting dark, get a motel. It’s not worth risking your safety if your body is telling you it needs rest.

     

    Learn to avoid boredom. For times like this, listening to your favorite music or a book on tape can prove invaluable.

     

    Finally, stay away from trucks. Truck drivers dislike having anyone follow them.

     

    With proper preparation before a trip, and a good attitude during a journey, you can make sure you not only survive a long trip – but also enjoy it.

     

windshield repair

Car Care with Windshield Wipers

Did you know that your windshield is very necessary for the structural integrity of your car? It’s true. Without the windshield, the roof of your car can easily collapse, since the glass is what holds it up. That’s why it’s essential to take care of your windshield by keeping it clean and sturdy, without any damages. Another way to protect your windshield from damage is by replacing the windshield wipers when they start getting old and worn out. This car care San Diego tip is a must to follow. Continue reading

Car care San Diego

Windshield Repair San Diego

If your windshield gets chipped or cracked, should you repair or replace it? If you drive with a chip or cracked windshield long enough, that chip or crack can become a problem.

Windshields can take a beating. There could be gravel falling from uncovered construction trucks and the occasional chunk of unknown debris kicked up by cars passing by.

In some ways, it’s amazing that windshields survive as long as they do.

Large and Small Repairs

The good news is that smaller chips and cracks can usually be repaired by a professional. A crack or chip can be safely repaired if it can be covered by a dollar bill. However, if the chip is directly in the drivers line of sight, there are more than three cracks or chips on the glass, the damage is at the edge of the windshield, or the windshield is old and covered with tiny divots, it should be replaced rather than repaired.

The repair process works by injecting a special resin into the chipped area. This should be handled by a professional.

If your windshield can be repaired, do it immediately. A small chip can spread across the windshield if you hit a big pothole, drive on a gravel road or make an aggressive turn. If you’re on the road away from home, a repair company can typically come to you.

A reason to repair your windshield before the crack grows and the windshield must be replaced: the windshield serves as a structural part in many vehicles that contributes to the overall strength of the vehicle.

If your windshield is severely pitted from sand, salt or other objects, replacing rather than repairing can be like getting a stronger eyeglass prescription, especially at night — it can improve visibility and make it easier to see while driving. Replacing opaque headlight covers can have a similar effect.

DIY Repair

You may also attempt to repair the chip or crack yourself. There are many do-it-yourself repair kits available at your local auto parts store, and they typically attempt to replicate the resin injection technique of the professionals. The difference, of course, is due to the quality of the tools and materials, and training and expertise of the person administering the repair.

Remember, a key function of the repair is to prevent the crack or chip from expanding or spreading, and also to help restore some of the structural integrity of the glass. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the DIY repair process, consider hiring a professional.

Repair if possible and logical. Replace if you must. And consider using a professional for best results.

 

windshield repair and replacement

Car Glass Repair – what to use and what not to use

Are you doing anything wrong when you wash your car? Are you leaving streaks behind on the windshield, for instance? Are you leaving scratches on the glass? By avoiding these top three unsafe products, you will prevent a car glass repair.

Sponges

Sponges are probably the most commonly reached for product when it comes to washing a car. People associate sponges with cleanliness because they are regularly used to clean dishware. Sponges are meant to scrub, not gently clean. Sponges, when used to wash cars, can scratch at the paint. Worse yet is when they are used to wash car glass. They can end up harming the surface. Though signs of scratches may not appear right away, over months and years, you will notice them. It is important to refrain from using sponges to prevent a car glass repair.

Towels

Why not use a towel to dry a newly-washed vehicle? Chances are, you have done this numerous times. Just like with using a sponge to clean your car glass, using a towel to dry the glass can scratch the surface. While towels seem soft, they are not soft enough to use on a car glass.

Ammonia (glass cleaner)

Many household products contain ammonia in them, and ammonia is very harmful on cars. Though you can use glass cleaner on regular windows and mirrors, you should not use it on your car glass. Not only does ammonia leave streaks on auto glass, which creates glares while you drive, but it also can ruin the glass especially if it is tinted. Over time, ammonia will cause the tint to peel off, leaving you with terrible windows and windshield. It is best to steer clear of ammonia-based products if you do not want to deal with car glass repair.

What Can You Use?

Get a microfiber cloth, or two (one for washing and one for drying). A microfiber cloth is safe to use on a car’s paint and glass. It is soft and smooth and will not scratch. Next, go to an auto shop or a retail store with an auto shop section. There, you should find many products that are safe to use on car glass. Some examples are Armor All Auto Glass Cleaner, Mothers Glass Cleaner, Rain-X Automotive Glass Cleaner, and Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner. These are recommended for washing car glass.

Preventing a car glass repair is not as complicated as it may seem. By avoiding everyday products you are using to wash your car, you will prevent major damages.

tire pressure

Check Your Tire Pressure

Proper car maintenance of your car can be important for its long life and safe operation. Your tires are one of the most important parts of your car and checking the tire pressure is important. Regular care and maintenance are crucial to the safe and reliable performance of your vehicle.

When to check the tire pressure

Tire pressure should be checked once a month when tires are cold. Tire pressure can vary 1-2 pounds per square inch (psi) for every 10-degree difference in ambient temperature. Also you should consider checking your tire pressure more frequently in the following instances:

  • If you run over a sharp object
  • If you strike a curb
  • If the weather suddenly changes from warm to cold

How to check the amount of pressure in your tires

  • Remove the cap from the air valve of the tire by unscrewing it counterclockwise.
  • Press the tire gauge against the open valve stem. You will hear a hiss of air (perfectly normal).
  • Read the air pressure gauge. The number will appear on the dial or digital screen of the tire gauge.
  • Compare this number with the recommended tire pressure, found on the driver’s side door jamb.
  • Add air or let some out based on the recommendation.
  • Replace the tire’s air valve cap by screwing it back on clockwise.

How to inflate the car tires

Follow these steps to successfully inflate the tires to the correct pressure:

  • When you pull up to the air compressor, be sure the hose can reach all four tires.
  • Remove the stem caps by unscrewing them counterclockwise and set them to the side or put them in your pocket.
  • Check your tire’s psi using your own gauge or the gauge on the hose.
  • Press the hose nozzle down on the valve stem. Air may flow automatically or you may need to press the lever. You should feel the air flowing or hear the tire inflating.
  • Check the tire pressure by removing the hose fitting or releasing the inflation lever. Check the gauge on the hose or with your own gauge.
  • Adjust the pressure in all 4 tires the same way.
  • Once each tire is properly inflated, replace the valve caps by screwing them on clockwise.
foggy windshield

Why Do Windshields Fog Up?

What can you do when your windshields fog up after starting to drive? Why does this happen and what can you do about it? There are a variety of reasons why your windshield would fog including humidity, heat, and condensation.

Humidity

Humidity causes a buildup in water that turns into water vapor. You breathe the humid air. This air comes out from inside your body or off of it. Windshield fogging tends to be more of a problem when there is more than one person in the car since there is more breathing.

Heat

Temperature is actually molecules moving. More moisture is held with warm air than cold. However, this isn’t a chemical reaction. The molecules aren’t holding on to water molecules. More water becomes gas when it’s warmer than it does a liquid. And, there’s more space between each molecule with warm air therefore, the water molecules can fit into this space.

Condensation

Moist, warm air condensing when it hits your car’s colder windshield causes condensation. This usually happens in the early morning. This is also why on humid, warm days when you have your car air conditioner running you’ll see condensation form at the windshield’s base where it meets the cool air.

When there’s 100 percent relative humidity, if the temperature decreases more, the water needs to find its way out someplace. On a morning that’s cool outside when there’s fog or dew on the ground, that’s because the moist, warm air contacts the cold ground.

How to Clear Away the Fog on your Windshield

You can clear fog in many ways. And although there’s no special way of doing it that works best each time, the two that are more likely to work better are as follows.

  • Put your defroster on a high setting.
  • Set the temperature to hot.
  • Turn off the recirculation setting.
  • Turn on the air conditioner.
  • Crack your windows.

Dry the Air Out

Your best option is to run your air conditioner, depending on your comfort level. This method works well when the outside temperatures are above freezing and damp, wet humans getting into the car causes the fog. While cold is best when running your A/C, you can still run the air at a warmer temperature and get rid of the fog.

Evaporate the Water Vapor

For an easy and fast fix, turn the heat on and run it through your defrosters. This causes the condensation to evaporate kind of like the moisture on your clothes evaporating when you turn the clothes dryer on. This method works better when there are colder temperatures and you are catching the fog buildup early.

When your windshield is extremely foggy, you can use a small squeegee or dry cloth to clear up the fog quickly and then turn on the cold A/C. Slowly increase the air’s temperature if you find the A/C is too cold for you until you dry out the air inside your car.

Keep in mind that when you’re drying air that’s inside your vehicle, you need to pull in the outdoors air rather than simply circulating inside air. These days, most defrosters already do this.

Now, that you know what to do when your car windshield fogs, do you know what to do if your windshield has a chip or a crack? Call 7 Star Auto Glass today!

windshield glares San Diego

Cracked Windshield Risk

There are several reasons for not replacing the windshields. Little do they realize the risk they’re putting themselves and their families in by not having cracked windshield repair el cajon.

Excuses vary. Some say their insurance has a deductible that they currently can’t afford.  Some say the crack doesn’t obstruct their view, while others say they just don’t see the necessity if it’s not shattered.  It’s hard not to roll my eyes at all these answers. The purpose of this article is to tell you why it’s so important to have a good windshield on your vehicle and to give you some tips for when you make this very important purchase.

The Purpose of Your Windshield

Believe it or not, front windshields serve a much bigger purpose than just allowing you to see outside of the car when you’re driving. They also protect you from the rain, snow and other elements of weather. More importantly, however, are the safety features provided by your car’s windshield such as the 3 bullet points below.

  • It Acts As A Shield For Air Bags – Cheap, low-quality glass is more likely to crack or pop out, which can cause incorrect deployment or improper inflation of your air bags.
  • It Prevents The Roof From Collapsing – Many people don’t realize that the windshield of the car provides from 30% to 60% of the car’s structural strength.  In a roll-over crash, a cheap windshield can cause your roof to collapse, which can be life-threatening to you and your passengers.
  • It Helps Prevent Ejection of Passengers in a Crash – Your windshield can also keep you from being thrown from your vehicle in the case of a collision. With the exception of seat belts, the windshield provides the most safety from being thrown from your vehicle. These are some of the many reasons why OEM glass is required by car manufacturers.

Safety Comes First

Purchasing auto glass for any part of your vehicle is more than just opening the phone book and choosing the first provider with the cheapest price. Safety should always be the #1 concern when we’re driving.  Here are four safety questions you should ask windshield replacement service providers before you choose which one to use.

  1. How Qualified are the Technicians Replacing Your Windshield? While windshield replacement service providers, also referred to as auto glass technicians, are not required to be licensed, they should be highly trained, experienced and knowledgeable of the whole process. With so many makes and models of vehicles around today all having different types and shapes of auto glass, windshield installation and replacement can be complicated.  Ask your auto glass technician to provide proof they are certified.  Do some research before hiring someone to do the job.  Are they reputable?  Will they take care of insurance paperwork for you?  Check credentials while comparing costs!
  2. What Type of Glass & Adhesive Do They Use?If your auto glass technician states he can get you a windshield cheaper than average, you should definitely question what type of glass is being used.  Is it OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) glass?  OEM glass is safer, sturdier and less prone to cracking.  If you’ve gone so far as to require OEM glass, you will want to ask if they are using OEM adhesives as well.  Low-quality adhesives do not work as well in wet or cold climates and take much longer to dry or cure.  This can be a real problem if the car is used too soon after installation.  In other words, the windshield may leak with the slightest impact if you start driving around before the urethane has time to dry.
  3. How Soon Can You Drive Your Car After Installation? With the busy lives we all lead today, we seldom have the time to sit at a garage waiting for a new windshield to be installed.  Auto glass providers often come to our home or place of business and do the work while we do our work.  This is extremely convenient, but can be dangerous if we’re unknowingly driving the car before it’s ready.  The glass and urethane need time to properly cure to the car in order to prevent future problems.  This is known as “safe drive away time” and is listed on each bottle of urethane.  Question your windshield replacement service provider on this safety issue, as well as if there are any precautions that should be taken a couple days after installation.
  4. What Type of Warranty Do They Provide? If you’re like many others who have waited almost forever to finally replace your windshield, you’re going to want to make sure it last and, if it doesn’t, that they’ll replace it free. If you’re offered anything less than at least a 1-year warranty, question the type of glass that’s being used.  Some companies may offer a lifetime warranty.  If this is offered, you can almost assume they’re using high-quality OEM glass.

Windshield – Replacement or Repair?

As much as you may want to put off spending money on your damaged windshield, it’s very possible you may only need a repair.  A good rule of thumb is that if the crack is at least as long as a dollar bill, it should be replaced.  Even if it’s shorter than a dollar bill, it should be replaced if it extends to the edge of the glass. If the chip or crack is smaller than a dollar bill and it’s not extended to the edge of the glass, it may be able to be safely repaired. Additionally, if the crack is in your line of vision, it needs to be replaced.

While all the glass on your car is important, the front windshield is most important in terms of having it fixed when it’s damaged.  Something to consider, insurance companies often will pay to have a windshield repaired because it may prevent a larger expense if it shatters completely.  Also, some insurance companies require a deductible be paid for replacements, while others may waive the deductible.   Contacting your insurance company could save you money!  That being said, the main concern here is safety and hiring a certified technician will ensure the job is done correctly whether you’re saving money through your insurance or not.

 

auto glass repair

Family Vacation Tips

Many will use these last few weeks of summer for a family vacation before school starts. Safety is always our #1 concern.

Before you go:

  • Cracked Windshield. Even if you have the smallest chip, have it repaired. It can become larger as you travel even going over the smallest bump.
  • Tires and windshield wipers – Bald tires can be a road hazard for you and those cars traveling around you. Cracked windshield wipers will not remove rain as they were meant to so you have a clear view of the road. Thunderstorms come up unexpectedly.
  • Filler up with gas. When going on a road trip to an area unfamiliar to you, there may be as many gas stations as you are used to. Being out of gas is not the way to spend the first hours of vacation.

On the road:

  • Don’t text.Texts can be answered when you arrive at your destination. It only takes a moment of inattention to create road rage or cause accidents.
  • Don’t be in a rush.Be sure to take breaks along the way and stay overnight when you get tired. Night driving can be especially challenging if you are not used to it. Dozing off at the wheel can be deadly to your family or others.
  • Get help from other family member. Choose a navigator to guide you through turns so you can concentrate on the road. GPS is great. Even then, it’s better to have someone else letting you know of upcoming turns or traffic. If you miss your turn, don’t panic. There’s always a safe solution at the next light or exit.
  • Buckle up your seatbelt. It’s against the law to drive without a seatbelt. Law Enforcements Officials can stop you and ticket you for not wearing your seatbelt. They don’t have to have another reason.
  • Don’t drink and drive – This may go without saying but as a reminder – drunk drivers account for about 1/3 of all traffic-related deaths.

You can be the best driver in the world but you never know what the next driver is going to do. Be safe! Have fun on your vacation!

Reposted from August 2017

mobile windshield repair

Protecting your Windshield in Summer

Did you know that your car can really take a beating during the summer? Summer temperatures can wreak havoc on your windshield, which is why you should always take steps to protect summer windshield damage.

At 7 Stars Auto Glass, we know that when you’re driving, you’re only as safe as your car’s weakest link. If that happens to be your windshield, you should have it repaired promptly to protect the integrity of your vehicle. And if your windshield is in great shape already, then we have a few tips to help you keep it that way.

Park In the Shade

Whenever possible, park in shaded areas to prevent your windshield from excessive heat. When you leave your vehicle parked in the sun for prolonged periods, high temperatures can render your windshield unstable. If this occurs, even a tiny chip or crack can quickly grow into a much larger problem. A parking garage or some type of covered parking is your best bet as it prevents your entire vehicle from sun exposure. If you do find a small nick or crack in your windshield, take it to your local auto glass repair shop to prevent it from spreading.

Use Caution When Washing

If you do notice chip or crack while washing your windshield, the heat of the day can cause the damage to spread. Spraying cold water on hot, cracked glass creates a sudden temperature difference that causes the glass to react suddenly. As the glass expands and contracts under changing temperatures, even the tiniest chips can become large cracks. If you must wash your vehicle before you have your windshield repaired, wait until evening when the temperature drops. Similarly, avoid automatic car washes where machinery may place pressure your windshield.

Adjust the Air Conditioning Gradually

Drastic temperature differences can wreak havoc on your windshield, so try to avoid them at all costs. Even though it may be sweltering outside, use caution when adjusting your air conditioning. When you start your vehicle, your windshield may be well over a hundred degrees. Immediately turning the AC on high will create a temperature difference between the interior and exterior of the vehicle, compromising the strength of the glass. Just imagine dropping a few ice cubes in a room temperature drink. Can you recall the noises those ice cubes make? That’s how your windshield responds when you immediately crank up the AC.

Your Auto Glass Repair Experts 

When you notice chips and cracks in your windshield, we are here to serve you. We specialize in auto glass repair and replacement, and all of our technicians are certified. If you can’t come to us, our mobile repair team will come to you. To schedule a service appointment or an estimate, just give us a call.