Winter Auto Care Mistakes

Of all the things that can go wrong with our cars and trucks, on which we are so heavily dependent, the worst of them are the problems that could have been avoided with a little forethought and a little knowledge about how your automobile works.  Unfortunately, the average driver doesn’t consider the finer points of auto care until they have made a costly mistake.  So today we will address some of the common avoidable errors of wintertime that we see here at the shop.

The first tip we have to offer is never leave your windshield wipers on when you turn your car off.  This time of year we see a lot of drivers who have burned out their windshield wiper motor when the motor tried to turn wipers that were thoroughly frozen to the windshield.  In other cases the wipers remained stuck, but the wiper arms moved accordingly,  resulting in some pretty severe damage to the windshield, which required replacement.  No matter the conditions, we recommend making it a habit to turn them off when you get out.

And for the same reason you should always remove ice and snow from the windshield and the wipers before turning them on.  When there is six inches of snow on your car, please don’t turn your wipers on for a moment and then drive off.   The same goes for the side windows, where trying to move a frozen window can strip the cheap plastic parts that operate    Not only is it unsafe for you and other drivers, it could end up costing you a lot more in repairs than you ever thought a windshield wiper problem could.

And of course, have windshield chips and cracks addressed immediately to avoid further damage.  This is exceptionally important in the winter, since thermal expansion can cause the heated inner layer and the cold outer layer to push and pull against one another.  This type of pressure can turn a small repairable chip into a full windshield crack in the blink of an eye (or a bump of the road).

And remember, when the sever weather comes we are all just trying to stay on the road and get where we need to go.  Show some kindness for your fellow man and drive as safely as possible – You may just spare a life!

Aquapel FAQ – Answers to Your Glass Treatment Questions

The incessant rains this time of year may ruin your picnic plans, but don’t let it inhibit your visibility while driving.  Get home safe and sound – no matter the conditions outside.  Aquapel rain repellent glass treatment can help you see clearly and drive safely in inclement weather.   Since so many people are unfamiliar with what Aquapel does and how it is different from other rain repellent automotive products – we wanted to share the answers to some of our most Frequently Asked Questions.

How does Aquapel work?

Unlike Rain-X and other silicone based “surface products”, which create a film layer over the glass  – Aquapel Glass Treatment creates a chemical bond with the glass, producing a more water repellent glass surface. Not only does this make the product much longer lasting, it means the product won’t wear off of the windshield and stick to your paint and wipers.
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Spring has Sprung – Time to Give Your Ride a Check-Up

Spring is one of the most popular times of year for people to perform many of their annual auto maintenance tasks.  While you are out in the garage checking air filters and tire pressure, or taking it to the shop to change out belts or fluids – don’t forget about the glass!  After all, there is no other part of your car that you spend as much time looking at (or through)!

Applying Aquapel is one of he simplest of those semi-annual tasks and also one of the best ways to protect your visibility during the severe spring storms that seem to pop up at the most inconvenient times.  Especially during those heavy rains where it doesn’t seem the wipers can go fast enough!  While Aquapel can’t protect you from high water or flash floods – at least you’ll be able to see what’s ahead before you’re waist deep in it!
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Aquapel. High-Tech Anti-Fog Windshield Treatment?

This time of year many people find themselves rushing out the door in the morning, only to see that their vehicle currently resembles an igloo with rear view mirrors.   Then one must choose which is the lesser of two evils: wasting gas and warming up the car, or standing in the cold and scraping away at all the windows – and usually do both.

Fortunately, there is another option!   Aquapel can help prevent ice and fog on your windshield from ever forming.  Since Aquapel chemically bonds to the glass, it lasts much longer than the typical silicone layer treatments like Rain X – so you aren’t stuck out in the cold trying to apply a product every few weeks.  If you apply your Aquapel now, it will last through the snowy months without streaking up from wipers and snow brushes.

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Don’t Let Your Vehicle Leave You Out In The Cold

I hate to say it, but winter is right around the corner.  Just as we prepare ourselves by switching our clothes in the closets, cutting wood for the fireplace, and making sure our furnace is in working order, we need to get our vehicle ready for the winter months too.   

Follow these simple steps to ensure your vehicle doesn’t leave you out in the cold this winter:

  1. Get an oil change and top off all fluids, brake fluid, antifreeze, washer fluid, etc.  Get a tune up. 
  2. Check your lights: head lights, tail lights, turn signals, etc. check them all!
  3. Most wiper blades last one year.  If you haven’t changed yours recently, now is the time. 
  4. Check your tires to be sure the air pressure is where it needs to be for your tires and get them rotated if it’s been awhile.  If you have snow tires, it’s time to start thinking about putting them on.
  5. Consider having an Aquapel treatment applied to your windshield as it makes it easier to clear ice and snow from your windshield. Also consider waxing your car as it will protect your vehicle’s paint/clear coat finish and makes it easier to wash off dirt and salt during the winter months.
  6. Check your battery making sure the posts and connectors are free of corrosion. 
  7. Put an emergency kit in your truck.  Make sure it includes, at the very minimum, a  blanket, flashlight with working batteries, pocket warmers, and flares.  We also suggest you keep an extra set of boots and warm clothes, high energy bars, hard candy, and a small shovel, just in case.  
  8. Remember to keep your gas tank at least half full.  You never now when you may get stuck in traffic. 

I realize that these steps may sound like a hassle; however, they can be a lifesaver in the winter months.  A little preparation now, can save you big headaches down the road.  

Stay safe!

Rochester and the Great Toyota Crisis

Ray Sands Glass wants to acknowledge a few of our Rochester area independent Toyota dealers, who have gone above and beyond their obligations, addressing the  recent recall in a quick and efficient manner to ensure the security of their customers.

With Toyota executives receiving nothing but bad press lately, it can be hard for consumers to separate the behavior of the corporate management from the local independent dealers and the product they promote.  Toyota has a longstanding reputation as an excellent and reliable automobile and we would hate to see this automaker fall the way of so many others recently. Continue reading

Saving Big by Spending Smart

It is a sentiment echoed across the auto repair industry that proper care and maintenance of each part of the vehicle can extend the life of the parts and save money in the long run.  By taking care of necessary small repairs and maintenance promptly you can save on replacement of a more extensively damaged part.

This certainly applies to windshield repair, since small chips can turn into huge cracks quickly they need to be taken care of immediately.  The difference in cost between repair and replacement is considerable, especially to those in the Rochester, NY area who can come in for our free windshield repair.  For a donation of pet supplies, as little as five pounds of cat or dog food, Ray Sands Glass will repair damage to your windshield before you need a costly replacement.

Some people try to save on bargain gasoline or oil changes which is sometimes a good idea but car owners have to be smart about their choices.   Gasoline at outlet prices can be a big savings to those who commute a lot, but we would advise that every third tank should be high quality gas to “treat the car”.   When it comes to oil changes it would be wise to save by doing it yourself with high quality oil, rather than going to a shop for standard oil.  Unless you are working with a vehicle with very high mileage, it is best to use higher quality fluids to extend the life of the car.

When considering frequently replaced parts, like windshield wipers, you have to consider the life of the part.  One pair of more expensive “banana style” wipers per year is probably cheaper than three pair of the bargain brand which wear out much faster.  If you don’t have money at the moment, using less costly products won’t hurt – but it may cost more in the long run.