The auto glass replacement and repair industry in Minden has grown rapidly over the last few years and there seems to be a new auto glass shop on every corner. But how do you choose one, and how do you know they are reputable? Here are some of the basic things you need to know about your car in order to get the correct windshield replacement, and some questions to ask to know if you are dealing with a stable, reputable company who will give great service and be around for years to come.
The Minden Windshield Replacement Survival Guide – Consumer Auto Glass Education
We don't spend much time in our lives thinking about one of the most ubiquitous products surrounding us every day: Glass. Glass is everywhere! Look around and you will see it in your home, office, eyeglasses (unless they're plastic), ceramics like toilets and dishes, bottles, light bulbs, tv screens, and of course in your car.
What is Glass? It's a combination of materials, most commonly silicon dioxide (sand), lime, and potash. There are specialty glasses made of other materials but the kind we see all the time, soda-lime glass, is mostly composed of the three materials mentioned above. For an easy-to-understand detailed explanation of glass, visit Wikipedia and type in the search term glass.
The two common types of glass we interact with daily, annealed and tempered, are basically the same products that have undergone different manufacturing treatments to give them individual characteristics. These characteristics are designed to serve certain functions.
Tempered glass is known as safety glass because it shatters into hundreds of tiny blocks, instead of into long sharp-edged, knife-like shards that can inflict terrible wounds. The small blocks of broken tempered glass are much less likely to cut human flesh. Tempered glass is used in the side windows and back glass on cars, as well as in commercial glass, sliding doors, and windows that reach to the floor.
Annealed glass, like in your kitchen window, is used to make windshields. You might wonder how in the world a kitchen window can be used in front of a driver. That's crazy! Yes, that would be crazy, unless the annealed glass was laminated together with a strong piece of plastic and another piece of glass to make a sandwich called laminated safety glass.
When you look through your windshield, you are looking through all three pieces, two of glass and one of plastic. The glass sticks to the plastic when it breaks. No doubt you've seen a shattered windshield and noticed that it hangs together in one big cracked piece. This is what makes the windshield different from your kitchen window.
Tempered glass is very tough and is difficult to break unless it gets punched with a sharp object. You may have seen a tool advertised on TV that's used to escape from a car by breaking the tempered side window. The tool is like a small hammer with a sharp point. Sadly, criminals have also discovered a use for it and keep it in their criminal toolbox. If you've ever suffered a broken window during a car break-in, it was probably done with one of these tools.
When it's manufactured, tempered glass is just like annealed glass. Then it goes through a heating process to "temper" it, making it tough and resilient. The glass is cooled quickly so the outside contracts and forms a compressed outer layer. It puts the whole piece of glass under tremendous stress and that's why it seems to explode when broken. The stress is released so powerfully that the glass breaks into harmless little chunks.
Why isn't tempered glass used in windshields? Many years ago it was used for windshields in some cars. Laminated safety glass just makes a better, safer product for the front of your car because it stays in place, even when broken, and keeps flying debris out of your face. It also helps to keep occupants inside the car.
The glass that we know is an unusual and interesting substance. Other materials can also be classed as glass. You might say that glass is not a substance but a quality or characteristic. A scientist might refer to glass as a state, much like a gas, liquid, or solid. Water makes a good example. Water can be gaseous (steam), liquid, or solid (ice), however it is not seen in a glassy state like liquid rock (lava) or molten metal.
Nature produces glass constantly. People who live in volcanic areas are familiar with obsidian, a glass used by early Americans to shape arrowheads, spear tips, and knives.
Just remember that when you are replacing your auto glass, the material you are looking through has an interesting history and unique characteristics that few other materials can match. Glass has been around for centuries and will endure into the foreseeable future.
Windshield replacement can be expensive, especially if your insurance company will not pay for it. Replacing your windshield is usually covered if you have comprehensive coverage, which is other than collision, on your policy. It is best to check with your insurance company first before setting up an appointment to have it replaced. If you do have to pay for the cost of windshield replacement there are several factors involved in the final cost, which could cost over two hundred dollars. When you take your car in to have the windshield replaced, the company will first decide if it can be repaired instead of replaced. Not every cracked or chipped windshield will require replacement.
Some of the factors that are considered in the cost of windshield replacement can include:
• Size of the windshield
• Insurance coverage, because most insurance policies have a deductible that the customer has to pay before the insurance will pay, which can range from two hundred fifty dollar and more
• Additional parts that need replaced such as the rubber mounting that goes around the windshield
• The auto glass repair shop, which includes the hourly rate of doing the replacement. If you choose to go to a dealership to have the work done it will be more expansive than a regular auto glass repair ship.
• Towing to the repair shop if the windshield is so damaged it is unsafe to drive the vehicle
One of the most important factors that need to be considered is the type of glass that is used for the windshield replacement. The most expensive glass that can be used in windshield replacement is dealer glass, which is the type of glass that was used for the windshield when it was built. There are other comparable types of windshield glass such as original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This type of glass has to meet or exceed the vehicle manufacturer's standards but is generally not as costly as dealer glass. The only real differences between the two are the maker, the fact that the OEM glass does not have the manufacturer's name stamped on the glass, and the price.
There is another choice for windshield replacement glass that does not meet the same standards as OEM windshield glass but it is cheaper. This glass is called aftermarket glass. Other than the more expensive dealer glass, OEM tends to be most popular choice.
In today's world, you may be able to save the cost of having your car towed to the auto glass repair shop by having a mobile unit come to your home to replace your windshield. The replacement does not take long but it needs a couple of hours to set up before you can drive the vehicle.