Tag Archives: Glass

Auto Glass is More Complicated Then You Might Think

There are days when everything’s just right and there’s absolutely nothing better than driving down the highway. Tunes cranked, speed… reasonable, the wind whipping your hair as it races up behind you through your broken rear window to fill the cabin of your car with sound and fury signifying that it’s time to look into auto glass replacement; past time really.

Imagine What The Rock That Hit Your Window Could Do To Your Eyes

With all the debris that’s flying around roads surfing the wake of cars, trucks, and bikes, it’s a wonder your auto glass doesn’t break more often. Anyone who’s driven for even a relatively short time has tensed when the distinctive “chink” of a stone getting kicked up by the vehicle ahead of you sounds off your windshield. Drive long enough and you will do a lot more than tense up when physics and gravity get it just right and a hit becomes a chip, and a chip a crack that snakes across your windshield.

While it is so easy and tempting to ignore a little chip in your windshield, you never should. Sooner or later it will become a long crack creeping into and obscuring your vision. Just because auto glass for the front of your car is safety laminated, doesn’t mean several bad things won’t happen once the stress becomes too much and it gives way.

Car Windows Serve Many Purposes

Keeping bugs and road flotsam out of your face and eyes is really only the least of its purposes. Everyone has almost certainly seen something on television showing one of those ancient cars that had to be hand-cranked to start. In those days windshield glass – or window, or any kind of auto glass really – was a luxury, and until the invention of laminated, safety tempered glass, potentially quite dangerous. If you were one of the few to have a car, you drove with goggles, a scarf, your mouth shut and only in good weather.

Part of the reason for that was that there was no way to put a roof on a car or enclose it until the development of window glass that could serve as part of the load bearing structure. This is one reason why, though every window in your car but the windshield can manage for quite a while on duct-tape and plastic sheeting, security isn’t the only reason to find a reputable auto glass repair company and get it fixed.

The structure of your vehicle can eventually be compromised without that support and having a car cave-in is just too embarrassing.

Fixing A Crack Prevents A Bigger Bill

While chips mainly occur in the front, any window that presents with damage should be repaired immediately. Not only is it safer, it’s usually far less expensive. The Mythbusters may have been able to put a car back together with duct tape – more than likely it wasn’t street legal – most states require a functioning windshield.

Auto Glass is Such a Small Thing

When you think about it, the role auto glass plays in the effective functioning of your vehicle is fairly amazing. It’s less than a quarter inch thick, yet it serves to keep out wind and weather, not to mention the noise of the road. Without the glass in your front, rear, and side windows, your heat and air conditioning are virtually useless. These thin panes are far more insulative than we really think about until we find ourselves stuck without them.

Even The Grand Canyon Started Small

The problem with auto glass is that in order to do its job, it has to be rigid and that makes it brittle. The sand of which all glass, not just that for vehicles, is made, flows gently through the fingers, yielding to pressure and drifting gently in the wind. It is very hard to break because the pieces are so small. Packed in bags and stacked, these characteristics make it an excellent flood barrier, but it won’t keep sound or bugs out of your car.

To make the windshield a solid entity, the sand has been heated and treated and turned into glass, which is then annealed and tempered and sometimes laminated. All of this makes the best, strongest, safest barrier between you and the outside world. Unfortunately, the nature of that barrier means that a ding or a nick will inevitably grow and ultimately decrease the windshield’s efficiency.

Only You Can Prevent Damage

It is true that it is quite possible to make windshield glass that is much sturdier than that which is currently used. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to see through and radically decrease your gas mileage. The best balance is what we have at the present.

Therefore, a great deal of responsibility lies with you. Driving attentively and defensively will help to prevent much of the damage incurred through daily driving. However, even the best driver cannot avoid everything and when a chip or nick happens, it is in the best interest of the functioning of your vehicle as a whole to get it to an auto glass specialist as rapidly as possible.

Technology To The Rescue

In the not so distant past, there was some justification for letting chips become cracks and cracks become disasters. That was because any windshield glass repair necessitated a full replacement. At present though, it is completely possible to utilize aspects that mimic the process of making glass in the first place to reform the glass around the spreading crack and make it as good as new.

There are also numerous fillers that the skilled professional can use to stop a break before it ever gets that far and restore unimpeded vision. These processes are also less expensive – even with insurance – than waiting to replace the entire window. Thus, you have no excuse to risk your safety and that of others as you track the progress of a crack across your field of vision.