Can This Windshield Crack Be Repaired?

When it comes to cracks in a windshield the answer can be a bit trickier than when dealing with just a chip.   There are many widely differing opinions on the limits of windshield crack can be repair, but remember that safety should be the number one concern when considering the answers for yourself.  Anyone who has cut glass knows that the most common method for doing so is to etch the glass and then apply pressure – but how big of a crack would be safe in your windshield when under pressure?

While we generally would give the same size related answer – that if you can cover it with a quarter it can be repaired.   But even determining the size of a crack can be difficult, since we often find that the crack is much longer than it appears to the untrained eye. Continue reading

Windshield Chip and Scratch Repair is Serious Business

Windshield repair can be an incredible improvement to the aesthetics and structural integrity of your automobile.   When you incur a chip, crack or scratch out on the road it is reassuring to have the option of repair  instead of replacement, which can be a money saver and a “green” alternative.   These are the factors that motivate Ray Sands Glass to provide FREE windshield repair to customers in our Rochester community.

But not all windshield damage can be repaired, and we want customers to understand our intentions when we have to tell them that their glass must be replaced.    We can’t repeat this enough: the windshield is essential to your automobile’s frame strength. Those pieces of laminated glass are what keep your body inside in the event of a collision and prevent the roof from collapsing in the event of a rollover.  It makes us shudder to hear companies claim they can repair a crack up to a foot in length,  this is considered an unsafe practice by most auto makers and Ray Sands Glass agrees.

There isn’t a responsible insurance company or body shop out there that would tell it’s safe to repair a foot long crack in the auto body’s frame.  So why should the windshield be any different?  The truth is it shouldn’t.  The point of windshield repair is to fix the damage before it get large enough to jeopardize the roof support structure.  When an dubious repairman slathers some compound on a large crack, it has the general effectiveness of a piece of scotch tape – it looks better but doesn’t hold up under pressure, when you need it most.

So please reconsider if you are thinking about trying to save a few dollars by avoiding replacement with a treacherous repair.  It could be your life (or your passengers’) on the line!

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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Windshield Chip, Scratch and Crack Repair

Ray Sands Glass loves windshield repair.  Not just because it’s our job, or that it makes damaged glass beautiful again.  It’s because it helps our friends in the Rochester community save money, and it is, by nature, the green alternative.  We believe that being green is an essential part of what makes a business an asset to its community, and this belief has motivated us to make a lot of changes around the shop and provide free repair to our customers – so they don’t wait until the damage becomes too extensive.

But we want customers to understand that not all damage can be repaired, and the limitations are dictated mostly by safety.  As a general rule, damage that cannot be covered by a quarter cannot be repaired, but there are some exceptions to this guideline.   Some smaller damage can be too extensive, or even too slight for repair.

A scratch on your auto glass can be an eyesore as well as an obstruction in your line of vision when driving.  And while light scratches can be fixed, the rule of thumb states that if you can feel it with you fingernail, it cannot be repaired.   The opposite idea applies to small nicks in the glass, often caused by flying highway debris, which can be too slight to affect the structure of the windshield or to fix aesthetically.

But even if you have doubts about whether or not your windshield damage could be beyond repair  we encourage all our friends in Rochester to come on in to the shop on June 12th.  We can take a look at it and if it is fixable we will do the repairs FREE on the spot.   If not we can schedule a replacement, either down at our shop, or at your home or office!   And remember this event is for charity so clean out those closets and storage spaces and come on in!

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

Do You Really Need a Windshield Replacement?

Really there a lot of different ways to tell if can have your windshield repaired or if you really need a replacement.  To start you don’t want to repair anything in the driver’s line of vision.  So you can sit in the car and look straight ahead and mark that point with your finger, if the crack or chip is within six inches of that point then it shouldn’t be repaired.  Repair does not make the chip or crack disappear – just prevents it from spreading and restores structural integrity as well as appearance.

Some repair shops will tell you they can fix a crack up to twelve inches long.  I just don’t believe there is any way it can be done safely, maintaining the structural integrity of the car.  The windshield plays a big role in supporting the roof of the car, I wouldn’t be comfortable repairing anything larger than a quarter.  If the damage to the windshield can be completely covered with a quarter it can most likely be repaired safely, without compromising any roof support. Continue reading