4 Reasons Why You Need to Replace Your Windshield Wipers

Performing maintenance to your vehicle ensures that it is running at top performance and lowers the risks of it breaking down while driving. However, the one part of your car or truck that gets neglected is the windshield wiper. Windshield wipers go through daily wear-and-tear to keep the glass clean so drivers can see the road. They should be replaced periodically, at least every six months, to prevent failure that could create a potential safety hazard.

Yet, often, drivers are unaware of the warning signs of when to replace their windshield wipers. They wait until the last minute to replace their wipers while increasiing the chances of getting involved in an accident. Here are 4 reasons why you need to replace your windshield wipers.

Prevent the Glass from Becoming Scratched

Windshield wipers consist of a flexible rubber material across the blade. It glides across the surface of the glass to push rain, snow and ice from the windshield. It also helps to remove dirt, dust and other obstructions that are blown or dropped onto the surface. However, the rubber can deteriorate from both harsh weather and the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. In time, the metal arm of the rubber blade becomes exposed as it can end up scratching the glass when in operation.

Corroded and Broken Wipers

Wiper blades have metal components that hold the rubber blade in place and allow it to move across the windshield. Due to water penetration along joints, the frames can become corroded and bent out of shape. In time, this metal corrosion causes the frames to become broken or detached. The windshield mechanism may also malfunction, become stuck in place, or be lopsided. Without the windshield wiper working properly, it could cause a serious accident.

Curved and Skipping Blades

If you park your car without lowering the blades, the blades will begin to take the shape of the windshield. The frame and rubber blade will begin to develop a curve. If the wipers are left like this repeatedly, the curved frame will cause the rubber blade to skip along the surface of the windshield instead of gliding across the glass. The windshield wipers will also create a chattering noise. This skipping will prevent the wipers from effectively cleaning the glass surface.

Hard and Cracked Rubber Blades

The rubber on the blade can also become hard, cracked, and bumped due to drying out from the sun as well as from car waxes and oils from exhaust. When the rubber starts to lose its flexibility, it doesn’t grip and move across the surface of the windshield effectively to clean it off. This problem causes streaks to form across the glass. The streaks can cause the driver’s view to become obstructed as accidents may occur.

To prevent accidents, damaged windshields and broken mechanisms, replace your windshield wipers when you see visual damage or other issues. If there are already cracks and chips in your windshield due to a malfunctioning windshield wiper, contact Windshield Remedy. We will repair your glass so you can see the road again.

Why Do Cracks in Windshields Grow in the Heat?

Many drivers are tempted to ignore small cracks on their windshield, believing that the crack won’t get any worse. However, even if no further damage comes to your windshield, these cracks can become larger and more serious. One of the most common causes of growing windshield cracks is heat. 

Why Cracks Grow in Heat

The windshield on a modern vehicle is an important part of the vehicle’s structural integrity. In most cases, a windshield crack will grow when the windshield is subjected to force, usually by expansion or flexing. Both heat and cold will have a significant effect on the molecules that make up the glass in your vehicle’s windshield. Temperature changes will force the metal frame around the glass to expand or contract, which may lead to growth in an existing windshield crack. 

Other Factors that Cause Cracks to Grow

In addition to heat, other forces may also cause your windshield cracks to grow. Examples include extreme cold, weight on the windshield and even the vibrations from loud music from the vehicle’s stereo. While some of these factors can be avoided, others may be out of your control. For this reason, it is important to protect your cracked windshield from extreme conditions as much as possible and get the repair completed quickly. 

Getting Your Cracked Windshield Repaired 

If you have a crack in your windshield, you need to schedule a repair as soon as you can. Most small cracks can be successfully repaired without the need for a full windshield replacement. However, if you allow the crack to grow too large, a repair may not be possible. Thus, we strongly recommend a quick repair. 

Windshield Remedy offers mobile repair services to clients throughout Houston and the surrounding area. We can repair even some of the most complex cracks, including cracks over 30 inches in length. 

How Are Windshields Built?

The windshield is a very important part of your car. It enables you to clearly see the road and possible problems, keeps weather and flying insects away from you and your passengers, and even offers protection during a crash. What started as a simple pane of regular glass placed in front of the driver and front seat passenger has since evolved into a technical wonder. There are some differences in windshields for commercial vehicles, but let’s look at how windshields are built for cars.

What Goes Into Windshields?

Similar to regular glass, windshields are made of such components as fine silica sand, soda ash, dolomite, limestone and cullet. In some cases, small amounts of aluminum oxide and potassium oxide are added. It might be funny to think that some elements sound more like rocks but, when blended with water, and heated to a very high temperature, the mixture fuses into the glass used for windshields. It is then cooled, shaped and further processed to form the final windshield shape.

How is Windshield Glass Different?

Windshield glass is different from window glass because it serves so many other purposes. It must be clear enough to see through, help support the roof of your car, resist breakage in minor collisions, and prevent glass from flying everywhere during a major crash.

This is all achieved by using laminated glass. You might be surprised to learn that your car’s windshield is actually made of three layers, and not just one. The two outside layers are composed of clear, tempered glass and the inner layer is made of poly-vinyl butyral. Tempered glass has been put through special processes to increase its strength. 

The lamination process allows the windshield to bend slightly upon impact, which is much safer for you and your vehicle’s occupants. A small rock may only cause a dent without breaking the entire pane of glass. In a larger collision, the windshield may shatter, but usually without breaking apart completely. Any pieces which do come loose should be small beads of glass, and not large shards which could cause injury. 

What are the Laws Regarding Windshields?

Because laminated glass is considered to be so safe, it is now required by law to be used in car windshields. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards require that windshields must be able to withstand a certain amount of force or damage during an accident. There are also regulations which cover when a damaged windshield can be repaired and when it must be replaced. 

What Types of Damage Occur to Windshields?

A windshield might have a crack, a chip, or a dent. If the damage is extensive, the entire windshield might need to be replaced. But, if the damage is minor, it is better to have the windshield repaired quickly before it fills up with dirt or spreads. Different states have various laws regarding cracked windshields. Although Texas traffic laws actually do allow you to continue driving with a damaged windshield under certain circumstances, you should always be away of vision and safety concerns.

If you have a damaged windshield, Windshield Remedy provides free mobile service throughout the greater Houston, TX area and offers a lifetime guarantee. Visit our website or call 281-541-4102 for windshield repair service that makes damaged glass a thing of the past.

Windshield Repair is Green

Windshield Remedy along with a growing number of companies worldwide recognize the fact that we need to be responsible with our resources. We also recognize the need to contribute to the growing effort to help slow the effects of global climate­ changes. We believe individuals as well as small and large businesses have the biggest effect on these changes. Government intervention takes too long and is not the best answer. Therefore we constantly promote the benefits of repairing windshields versus replacing and discarding them unnecessarily when they could possibly be repaired. Below are some interesting facts. 

Restoration Businesses Making a Difference

Automotive restoration businesses like Windshield Remedy and others have a unique opportunity to restore materials while also conserving valuable resources and energy. Educating our customers and making them aware of these benefits is part of our company’s effort to make a difference. Besides, the simple fact is repairing a windshield is the sensible thing to do.

Repair vs. Replacement: True Costs?

Millions of tons of glass and windshields are dumped in landfills each year. Approximately 11-12 million windshields are replaced in the US alone yearly. Many of those windshields could have been repaired. It is estimated that as much as 39% of all windshields have stone damage, but only a fraction are being repaired. Repairing a windshield uses almost no energy, especially when compared to the amount of energy it takes to manufacturer and install a new windshield. It takes about 250,000 btu’s to manufacture a 30 pound windshield. We feel like the true cost of these unnecessary replacements carries much more weight than the high cost of replacing a windshield.

International Industrialization

Various regions internationally, such as Latin America and Asia, are experiencing rapid industrialization. This has already resulted in a sharp rise in global energy consumption. Throughout history there has never been a better time for everyone to be environmentally educated in their consumer decision making. By engaging in and encouraging these sound and eco-friendly business we can all make a significant impact on resource usage on a global scale one windshield repair at a time. 

Choose Wisely

It is ultimately your choice as to how you choose to take care of your windshield damage.  In these times, it is more important than ever to make sensible decisions. Repairing your windshield continues to be the best choice financially, economically, and structurally for your vehicle. If your decision is Windshield Remedy we look forward to seeing you very soon!

Your Windshield IQ

What You Don’t Know Could Be Dangerous

Most drivers and their passengers motor happily down the road totally oblivious to the thin layer of glass which stands between them and the perils of the open road. “If pressed,” says Leo Cyr, Vice President of the National Glass Association’s Auto Glass Division, “most of us would conclude that our windshield was a very useful piece of equipment. It keeps cold and heat; wind and rain; and untold numbers of bugs and other airborne road debris out of our faces.”

“The problem,” continues Cyr, “is that consumers have different and more limited expectations from the windshield than does the automotive engineer. So, it is not surprising that these same consumers will be less concerned than a structural engineer would be when a windshield is damaged. In other words, we worry about water leaks or ugly “dings” and cracks affecting our car’s value while the engineer understands how such damage can affect the vehicle’s structural integrity and passenger safety.”

The fact is that the modern automobile and truck, windshield is part of the vehicle’s safety restraint system (SRS) that also includes air bags and seat belts. If any of these safety components are damaged or are inoperable for any reason, the effectiveness of the entire SRS could be compromised.

The SRS is designed to keep vehicle occupants within the relative safety of the passenger compartment during accidents, head-on collisions and roll-overs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports over 40,000 Americans are killed and over 5 million injured every year in highway crashes. Over 30% of the fatalities occur when vehicle occupants are either ejected from the vehicle, or, injured during rollovers.

Windshields are intended to keep occupants inside the vehicle. The windshield also supports the roof thereby preserving the structural integrity of the passenger compartment and keeping it from collapsing and crushing driver and passengers. Seen from this perspective of personal safety, consumers have a vested interest in making sure any damaged windshield they replace is replaced properly and safely.

For these reasons every vehicle owner should be aware of the five most important safety functions performed by their windshield. Take a moment to think and then read on….

The most obvious windshield function is, of course, visibility. Unlike drivers of old, we do not wear goggles that keep bugs out of our eyes or highway debris from hitting our face. Even so, the modern windshield can become pitted and scratched from minute dirt and sand particles. Pebbles and stones can fracture the glass causing dings that, if left unattended, can affect vision.

The second windshield function is not as obvious. In many cars and trucks, the windshield supports the passenger side airbag during deployment. If a windshield is replaced improperly, the windshield could become detached from the vehicle in an accident. If this happens, the passenger side airbag will not deploy properly.

Thirdly, windshields cushion the blow if a vehicle occupant is thrown forward in a crash. Windshields are made of two layers of glass sandwiched around a layer of polyvinyl material. The glass may break but the polyvinyl layer is flexible and cushions the impact. This feature explains why windshields are made of glass not plastic. Plastic is rigid and unforgiving to a person’s head and neck.

The fourth windshield safety attribute is closely related to the third. When the windshield cushions the occupant’s impact, it also keeps the occupants within the relative safety of the passenger compartment. If the windshield becomes separated from the vehicle, the occupants could be ejected through the windshield opening and onto the roadway. Outside the vehicle, the danger of being crushed by the vehicle is greatly enhanced.

Finally, there is the integrity of the passenger compartment. Years ago, most vehicles had steel A-pillars to support the roof. Today, it is the windshield that provides much of the support that prevents the roof’s collapse during vehicle rollovers.

“There is one common thread which connects all five windshield safety functions,” says Cyr, “the windshield must remain securely in place on the vehicle. If the windshield dislodges for any reason, it will not perform as designed.”

According to Cyr, there are a few common sense tips people can follow to ensure their windshield performs as intended. The ideal scenario calls for saving the original windshield installed by the factory. “The conditions inside the factory for installing a windshield are perfect”, says Cyr, “so the confidence level in the factory seal between windshield and vehicle is highest.”

“If the original windshield is damaged,” explains Cyr, “there are two choices. Either repair the original windshield or replace it. The advantage of repair is the factory’s safety seal is not broken. The windshield is not removed from the car. That saves both the very expensive windshield and the safety seal.”

“Many people are unsure if their windshield can or cannot be repaired,” says Cyr, “so it is extremely important to consult a competent auto glass service provider for advice. If the damage is beyond repair”, concluded Cyr,” then windshield replacement is the only other alternative. If replacement is indicated, I recommend asking if the auto glass shop endorses the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) and trains their technicians to that standard.”

The Dangers of Windshield Damage

Way back in 1919, when they were first installed in automobiles, windshields were recognized as essential to the safety of the vehicles’ passengers.  Back then, the passengers of the new “horseless carriages” needed protection from any airborne articles and the wind generated by 5-8 mile per hour speeds.  The windshields in today’s vehicles have evolved with the cars and they have become a fundamental part of the vehicle’s ability to protect occupants in normal driving and crash situations.  The windshield is as much a part of the vehicle’s SRS, or Safety Restraint System, as the airbags and seatbelts.  The SRS is designed to keep passengers within the relative safety of the passenger compartment during an accident. When any one of these components is damaged or inoperable for any reason, the effectiveness of the entire system is compromised.

How does a windshield protect the vehicle’s occupants and what happens when a windshield’s strength is compromised by damage?

Every Day…

In every-day driving conditions, drivers can expect to be bombarded by various kinds of road debris that can cause extensive damage to the windshield.  For this reason, windshields are made of two layers of glass that sandwich a piece of laminate called PVB, or polyvinyl butyral laminate. The laminate inner layer acts as the safety layer of the windshield holding it together under extreme impact.  This allows rocks, gravel, and who knows what else to bounce off your windshield, rather than coming straight through or shattering the entire piece of glass. All OEM windshields are carefully engineered to have a certain amount of tensile strength.  Tensile strength is the maximum stretching force or twisting that a material can withstand before breaking.  If windshields already have cracks or chips in them, they can lose up to 70% of their tensile strength.  If another rock hits the windshield, the windshield may not have the strength required by the manufacturer to keep vehicle passengers safe.

During A Crash…

That’s only the beginning of the windshield’s role as a safety component, however.  As cars have become much more streamlined in design and the use of complete metal has been abandoned, in most cases, the windshield has become critical in the vehicle’s overall stability and ability to protect its passengers in crashes.  First of all, it is a federal safety standard that windshields keep passengers inside the car in the event of a crash.  The driver and all passengers should always have seatbelts on, but if they don’t it becomes the windshield’s job to help keep them inside the vehicle.

During crash circumstances, windshields also play a vital role in the structural integrity of the vehicle.  In front-end crashes the windshield provides stiffness and rigidity, which helps keep the car from crushing on impact, and protects the bodies of the passengers.  In rollover crashes the windshield is responsible for reinforcing the roof structure and keeping the roof from caving in on the passengers.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports over 40,000 Americans are killed and over 5 million injured every year in highway crashes. Over 30% of the fatalities occur when vehicle occupants are either ejected from the vehicle, or, injured during rollovers.

If a windshield’s strength is in a weakened state because of chips or cracks, it does not have the ability to keep passengers inside, or to withstand the crushing forces an automobile experiences during a crash. Industry experts estimate that between 18 and 22% of a vehicle’s structural integrity is provided by the windshield and in roll-over accidents, the windshield makes up as much as 70% of the total structural integrity of the vehicle.   Do you want to compromise that much of your vehicle’s strength because of a windshield crack or chip?

When The Airbags Deploy…

In-dash airbags are designed to explode against the windshield and use it as a “backstop” as they deploy. The airbags impact the windshield at speeds of 150-200 miles per hour, so needless to say, it is critical that the windshield’s strength has not been compromised for the airbag to work properly.

When the airbag deploys, weakened spots in the windshield make it hard to withstand the blow of the airbag.  If the windshield has the slightest damage, or is not sealed properly, the airbag can actually break through the glass or cause the windshield to pop out of the car completely.  When this happens, the airbag becomes useless, and the passenger is still in danger of hitting the dash, or being ejected from the car.

Conclusion…

As stated above, taking care of windshield damage is much more important than simply being annoying or ugly.  Damaged windshields present legitimate safety issues for drivers and passengers of the vehicle.  Since most consumers don’t know what damage can be repaired or not, it is very important to contact a knowledgeable company that will do a good job.  As always, repairing the windshield saves the customer money, but more importantly saves the factory safety seal by not replacing the windshield and restores the windshield’s structural integrity.

Watch this video of a 20/20 special a few years ago.

The Role of a Windshield

Weather Barrier – Projectile Shield – Safety Device

What is the purpose of the windshield in a modern vehicle? Is it a weather barrier, a projectile shield, a bug screen? In reality, an auto windshield is all those things and more, including a safety device. It is as important to your security while on the road as a seat belt, child seat, or even the airbag.

The windshield is designed to keep occupants from being thrown from the vehicle in case of a frontal impact, to support the roof in a rollover accident and to position the passenger-side airbag for the most effective protection. Properly bonding that auto windshield to the vehicle’s body is paramount to the safety of the occupants.

Auto Windshield’s New Role

With smaller and lighter weight vehicles on the road, the public has become more concerned about occupant safety. In designing more fuel efficient automobiles, advanced crash dynamics were studied to determine the factors that go in to making vehicles safer. Much of the designed safety is dependent on the proper installation of the glass into the vehicle. The new role of auto glass includes:

  • Reducing occupant ejection
  • Support of the roof structure
  • Positioning of passenger-side air bag
  • Support to the firewall
  • Better visibility
  • Added security

Today’s vehicles are safer than they have ever been. However, a simple chip or crack in the windshield could jeopardize the safety of vehicle passengers.  By no means are we saying that a repaired windshield will keep you safe.  But, by repairing your windshield you are not interfering with the functional safety that the windshield provides to your vehicle. If you let your chip turn into a crack, or your crack turn into a “road map”, you are lending yourself to potential problems in case of an accident or rollover.

Call or contact us to schedule an appointment to experience the amazing results that Windshield Remedy can deliver to your damaged windshield. Remember… at Windshield Remedy they’re “Fixed Fast & Sure to Last!”

Windshield Repair vs. Replacement

Every day society becomes more and more environmentally concerned with all the changes going on around us.  Windshield Remedy is trying to do its part by constantly advancing in our capabilities to repair instead of settling for a replacement. Everytime we complete a windshield repair instead of replacing it, that is one less windshield that is unnecessarily filling up our landfills.  Also, the manufacturing process for windshields is harmful to our ever-so-fragile environment and uses valuable resources. The more informed our customers are, the more and more they will choose repair over replacement for chips and long cracks because it is the eco friendly solution for damaged windshields.

A broken windshield can compromise the tensile strength of the windshield drastically. Tensile strength is the ability for the windshield to be stable when the windshield is “torqued.” This includes hard turns at high speeds, side impact accidents, and the constant jarring and bumping while driving on our road system. Windshield Remedy restores the structural integrity of the windshield back to 100% in the repaired area. This is the most important advantage of the repair process.  Structurally, the same result is achieved with a repair or replacement.

Repairing your windshield retains the original factory seal in the windshield. This is important because each time a windshield is replaced, there is a chance that it will not be done properly.  There is a set of standards that is to be followed with each windshield replacement.  If a sub-standard replacement is done, it can lead to air noise, leakage, and a number of other problems. Also, improper windshield replacements can lead to the windshield being ejected when the airbag is deployed. The windshield acts as a backstop to a deploying airbag. If it is replaced improperly or if damage is left unrepaired, the windshield’s major safety function is no longer functional. It is imperative to passenger safety that the windshield is properly replaced, or better yet, properly repaired. We always recommend windshield repairs when possible to avoid unnecessary replacements.

Not only is the integrity of your windshield compromised with faulty replacements, but they are very expensive.  Compared to repair costs, replacements costs are astronomical.  For a quality aftermarket windshield, the average price is anywhere from $250-$1000. Depending on the make and model of the vehicle, an Original Equipment Manufactured windshield can cost more than $2000. Not to mention, as soon as the windshield is replaced, another rock could damage the windshield the next day. It is always best to keep costs down to repair the windshield and save 100’s or 1000’s of dollars per instance.

Call or contact us to schedule an appointment to experience the amazing results that Windshield Remedy can deliver to your damaged windshield. Remember… at Windshield Remedy they’re “Fixed Fast & Sure to Last!”