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.

Saving with Windshield Repair

We came across this article from the Sammamish Reporter that echoes the sentiments of the auto glass community regarding the importance of prompt repair of chips and nicks in you auto glass.  Thousands of windshields are replaced nationwide every year that should never have needed it.  Which means that not only are consumers spending money that they don’t need to spend, but tons of non-recyclable glass is being unnecessarily thrown into landfills.

There used to be a time when the only thing to do was to either ignore them or replace the whole windshield, an expensive undertaking which can set you back $300 to $400.

Dick Walker, owner of Eastside Mobile Auto Glass, said that he had seen quite a few people bring their cars in over the past few weeks to have their windshields repaired, before they needed replacing.

“It makes a lot of sense,” Walker said. “If you get the chip while it is still small, we can repair it before it spreads and cracks. A repair job costs about $40, but if you wait and the windshield needs repairing, then it will cost hundreds.”

Walker, who has been in business for 29 years and in Issaquah for 18, says that this time of year, a lot of the cracks start to grow.

It’s the warmer weather – the glass starts to slowly expand and the cracks that were made in the winter put strain and stress on the windshield.

The good news for motorists is that most insurance companies will pay for a windshield repair.

“A lot of them will even waive the deductible,” said Walker.

And if you are in the Rochester, NY area, repair is FREE with a small donation of pet supplies to help support our community animal shelters.  As little a five pounds of cat or dog food could save you a windshield replacement a few months down the line.

Even for those non-New York-ers the cost, time and materials saved should be a big enough motivator to get you down to your local NGA Certified glass shop for a quick easy and painless repair to your chipped windshield

Removing Tough Stuff From Your Glass

Got stickers on your mirror or windows?  Old bumper stickers on the rear windshield or side windows?  Ten year old tape on the kid’s windows?

When adhesives and tough gunk gets stuck on glass, people can do some serious damage trying to remove it.  We hate to see that red faced customer who tried to remove bugs from the windshield with steel wool or took a sticker off a window with an old razor.  We know that paying for replacement glass can be all the more painful when you have no one to blame but yourself. Continue reading

Replacing Antique and Classic Car Auto Glass

With the sun showing it’s face, many classic car enthusiasts are rushing to get their most precious antique in mint condition before spring arrives.  Often though, owners have damaged glass that is keeping their fine specimen of an automobile from looking it’s best.

Any number of things can go wrong when you are talking about glass that is 40,60 sometimes 80 years old.  Some of these cars have been through a dozen owners and inevitably someone along the line has scratched the glass.  From body work accidents to old belt moldings to someone cleaning it with steel wool, rarely does a car make it five decades without glass damage.  Sometimes age can even cause the glass to delaminate, where the inner and outer layers of glass separate from the polyvinyl laminate layer that holds them together, which is quite unsightly. Continue reading

Winter Application of Aquapel Rain and Ice Repellent

We already know that Aquapel makes it a lot easier to remove ice and snow from your windshield.  But PPG, the makers of Aquapel, specifically requires that this product be applied between the temperatures of 50 and 80F.  Which for most of us northerners means that unless you applied Aquapel in September, you’re out of luck now.  But just leave it to our customers to get creative and find a way to get things done.

We should start out by saying that 50F degrees is a rather conservative number,  as long as the air temp is a safe distance from freezing you shouldn’t have a problem.  But even with a somewhat warm (for New Yorkers) air temperature, you still have to make sure that the glass to which you are applying the product is warm enough.

Usually this can be accomplished by turning on the car and running the defroster for a few minutes.  But our customers have shared some very interesting methods for achieving this result.  We have heard of some folks using the hair dryer to warm the outside of the glass while the defroster runs inside.  One customer even applied Aquapel to his car in sub-freezing temperatures by putting the car in the garage and laying an electric blanket over the windows.

While we can’t say we officially recommend these methods, they are  a great example of creativity in the face of adverse conditions.  So fear not, Aquapel fans!  You don’t have to put that application up until next year,  just be prepared to pounce when conditions are right.

Need Help Clearing That Icy Windshield?

As winter hit us hard this week in Rochester, many drivers were faced with the problem of clearing the snow and ice off their windows. Since we already discussed some of the things that can go wrong with this process in  How to Destroy Your Own Auto Glass, today we will discuss some things that can make clearing ice and snow easier without damaging your windshield.

Aquapel is your best defense if you don’t have a garage or car port to protect your vehicle from the elements.  The same chemical bond that causes the rain to roll up and fly off at high speeds, also helps prevent ice and snow from sticking to the windshield.  The windshield  isn’t going to be cleared and shiny when you come out in the morning, but the ice will certainly be a lot easier to clear, you can often use a squeegee instead of a scraper.

It’s important to make sure when applying Aquapel that you lift the wipers and make sure to treat the entire windshield, even under the wipers.   This is essential for winter application because you NEVER want to turn on windshield wipers that are frozen to the glass.  This could bend or break the wipers or wiper arms, or worse, blow out the windshield wiper motor – which would be a big punch in the pocket, especially during the holidays.

We also found  this article on Freep.com that discusses some other ways to help deal with ice on your auto glass.  In the article, author Matt Helms mentions windshield covers, sold at many auto parts stores which cover the entire windshield and are held tight with straps that close in the doors.  And while not nearly as nice looking, we have found that a basic waterproof tarp can work well too.

But however you manage it, remember that it is absolutely imperative that your windshield, as well as side and rear glass, be completely cleared for safe winter driving.

Free Windshield Chip Repair in Rochester, NY

Ray Sands Glass is excited to announce that we will once again be providing FREE windshield chip repair to anyone bringing in items to be donated to the Open Door Mission, a non-profit organization that helps people in need.  We had such great success with last year’s charitable promotion, which sent 15  truckloads of donations to Open Door from November to February, we have decided to do it again.  But this year we will continue the drive throughout the year, sending our donations to other charities after February.

We accept donations of pretty much anything: food, clothing for adults or children (especially business attire, since they help people find work), coats, blankets, shoes, boots, gloves, hats and toiletries.  You can check out their website for a more detailed list of their needs.

We do the free chip repairs in exchange for donations whether or not you have glass coverage.  So if you do have glass coverage, you save yourself an insurance claim, if you don’t have coverage you save 50 dollars.

With the economy falling on hard times, charities often suffer, so we can only hope that this drive will see the same success it did last year.  We were truly amazed at the way the Rochester supported the needy in their own community.  We were overwhelmed with donations from people who didn’t even need a chip repair, so we applied Aquapel Rain Repellent Treatment to their windshields.

So thank you, beforehand, for all support and donations that we know we will receive for the Open Door Mission with this drive.  And thanks again to the agencies who’s employees went through their own closets and cupboards and called us to pick up boxes upon boxes of donations last year.