Spring Driving Tips

As spring rolls around, we begin to leave our winter hibernation and get out of the house more often. In the spring and summer, there are more drivers on the road than at any other time. While every season has its own unique challenges for the driver, spring typically gives drivers trouble in the form of potholes, rain, and fog. Watch out for the following while driving this spring:

  • Rain: This is the rainy season. This means that roads will often be slick and slippery. As we know, that means slower stop times for automobiles.
  • Potholes: Winter does a number on the health of our roads. Expect to encounter serious disrepair in the spring months as towns and cities work to fix potholes. Keep an eye out for potholes and cars that may be swerving ahead of you (they’re probably avoiding a pothole!).
  • Busy Roads: Not only are there more automobiles on the road, but there are also more joggers, walkers, and cyclists on the road that are enjoying the nicer weather. While the snow might be giving you some more space on the road, you are going to have to share it!
  • Fog: The spring is not only rainy, it is also commonly foggy. Vision is limited for you and other drivers in foggy conditions. Use caution!

If you experience damage to your windshield or auto glass, call AllStar Windshield Centers today to get it repaired before it causes other issues!

3 Tools to Keep in Your Car

When operating a motor vehicle, you never know when problems will arise. One minute you’re cruising along the roadway with not a care in the world, and the next minute you’re wondering how so much could have gone wrong in such a small amount of time. We’ve all been there, and will likely be there again at some point in our lifetime. However, there are some things that can keep the bad times on the side of the road at a minimum. Be sure to always keep your car stocked with these three essential tools, and you’ll be patting yourself on the back later.

 1.) Jumper Cables

Sometimes, car batteries lose their charge. So, keeping jumper cables in your car makes you a handy person, indeed. Dead batteries can present themselves at any given time, and having jumper cables at the ready makes dealing with the process so much smoother. Also, if you’re broken down on the side of the road, it’ll be easier for someone to come to your aid if you have jumper cables. Not only that, but it’ll be easier for you to help someone else too.

2.) Flashlight

A lot of cellphones come with built in flashlights these days. But, there are times when you experience car trouble at night AND your phone is dead. Yes, life can be that cruel. However, if you keep a compact flashlight in your glove compartment, you’ll be able to shine some light on the problem. Whether it be a flat tire or a debit card lost between the seats, a flashlight is essential for nighttime car issues.

3.) Multi-Tool

While it would be amazing to have a tool box handy at all times, the reality of such is not realistic. Therefore, it is much simpler to keep a multi-tool in your car. These tools come fit with pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, knives, and scissors. In short, a multi-tool provides you with several options to get the job done, and provides you with plenty of tools to help tackle plenty of car problems!

Not every tool fits every problematic situation you’ll encounter while operating a motor vehicle. However, these three tools are car staples that any responsible driver should have located within their cars. Find a convenient place to store each within your vehicle, and you just might thank yourself for it when trouble presents itself.

When And Why Do I need To Get My Windshield Calibrated?

To fully understand why and when your vehicle needs a windshield calibration, automobile owners must first understand what Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are. Referred to as ADAS for sort, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are becoming increasingly common in modern day cars and for that reason, automobile owners are often uninformed in regard to any maintenance that is required to keep the system running properly. Now, a windshield calibration may seem like it is completely unrelated, although this is far from the truth. ADAS take advantage of radar, lidar, cameras, sensors, and many other devices in order to help generate a driving experience that is safer for those in the car. Although, to accurately obtain all of the information the Advanced Driver Assistance System of an automobile must be properly calibrated, especially after a windshield replacement.

Windshield Calibration: When And Why

Even the slightest misalignment in the calibration of an automobile’s ADAS could lead to disastrous results. The reason for this is because of the massive amount of information that the system not only takes in but then has to relay to automated systems within the car to warn them of any potential hazards. Some of these automated systems include things like Automotive night vision, Driver drowsiness detection, Driver monitoring system, Emergency driver assistant, Blind spot monitor, Collision avoidance system, Crosswind stabilization, Forward collision warning, Intersection assistant, Hill descent control, and much more. Following a windshield replacement is also not the only time in which your vehicle may require calibration as it is generally recommended following a change in suspension or alignment, if the dashboard shows a faulty code, and if the camera has been disconnected.

AllStar Windshield Centers Can Help You With Windshield Calibration Services Today!

Providing your auto repair technicians from AllStar Windshield Centers with as much information about the vehicle as well as the windshield will help to ensure that you not only receive the correct type of windshield calibration but that it is done in a timely and efficient manner. Whether your automobile is in need of a static recalibration or a dynamic recalibration our trained professionals can handle the job and have you back on the road, safe and sound within no time. If you are in need of a windshield replacement, windshield calibration, or both, reach out to AllStar Windshield Centers. We would be happy help answer any questions you may have regarding the process or our company and the available services we have to offer. Reach out to us today!

Fall Automobile Preparations

The fall months bring a different set of challenges than other seasons that you have to prepare your car to handle. The weather goes from post-summer comfort to cold and icy. The roads become unpleasant and even dangerous for drivers. It is necessary to take extra precaution and prepare your car for the fall months to ensure your safety and your car’s survival through that period.

Check and Change Your Fluids

Ensuring that all your car’s fluids are clean, and tanks are topped off is crucial when making sure that your car is ready for the cold temperatures coming. Colder temperatures can make the fluids in your automobile change and become thicker. When this happens their movement through your car’s engine is slowed. For this reason, you should make sure to give special care to your coolant by making sure to drain as well as replace it, since the ratio of water to coolant changes with the rising and falling of the temperature. In addition to this, another fluid that should be addressed is the car’s oil. This is important to do at the recommended oil change interval for your vehicle. It’s considered a good idea to complete an oil change before the chill arrives, particularly if you’re doing it yourself, although this is true even if you visit a professional for assistance. Colder temperatures cause the motor oil to thicken as discussed earlier. This makes it more difficult for the engine to turn over throughout the colder months.

 

Check the Brakes

One of the most essential things to check off of your safety checklist is a brake review. The reason why it is so important to conduct a review of the condition your brakes are in is that they are essential for safe driving. Brake pads, as well as rotors, tend to wear out faster as more problems with brakes take place during months where the temperature is low. Frozen break lines that are caused by cold air can make themselves known due to the grinding and squeaking noises that produce.

 

It is important to get your brakes checked before the Fall season begins. The reason for this is that cold weather increases the likeliness of brake problems since the roads have the potential of becoming slippery from a variety of hazards. The hazards people usually consider the most dangerous are snow and ice, although a batch of wet leaves that have recently fallen off a tree can pose just as much as a threat. This is why it is important to listen for unusual noises that may point to failing brake pads and stay ahead of any concerns.

What To Do After An Automobile Break-In

Those who have experienced a car break-in understand that it is something that puts a real damper on your day. Although, it is slightly less disheartening when you are properly equipped with the knowledge of what to do in such circumstances. After the event of an automobile break-in, when you realize it has happened it is important to take action right away in order to properly address the issue.

Steps to Take:

The first step is to make sure that you document all the details of the incident, inside and out. Be sure to do so without disturbing any of the vehicle’s contents to ensure an accurate report. Many parts of the car need to be photographed in this situation such as the windows, trunk, tires, doors, and any other damage of the car that may have been damaged. As discussed previously, avoid any temptation to enter the car as this may tamper with existing evidence. With these photos, along with the written documentation of damages done to the car and possessions stolen, it is time to take the next step.

The second step is to get in contact with a variety of individuals including the police department and insurance company, as well as credit card company if you realize confidential financial information has been taken. The reason why it is so important to document as much as possible in an accurate manner is that you will have to be contacting these individuals. The police should be first made aware of the situation because depending on severe how the crime is the reporting process can differ. Often a police officer will visit the scene of the crime while in other scenarios victims have to actually visit the station using means of transportation other than the vehicle that was damaged.

After you have contacted the necessary individuals to file reports on the break-in the final step is to repair your vehicle and protect it from any further break-ins. The best way to do this is to replace any broken windows why high-quality auto glass such as that available from the professionals at AllStar Windshield Centers!

Contact AllStar Windshield Centers Regarding Your Auto Glass Needs!

Here at AllStar Windshield Centers, we make sure to have your window fixed in no time so that you are back on the road as soon as possible with a vehicle that is protected from further robbery attempts! We offer auto glass replacement for front, rear, and side automobile windows. Contact us today at 800-900-1505

 

Caring for Your Windshield This Winter Season

Every year we find ourselves reminding drivers to take extra care of their automobiles in the winter. After all, winter can be absolutely brutal. Not only to your car but also your surroundings, your home, and even your skin. So, as the cold settles in, allow us to give you a refresher on how you can care for your auto glass this season.

Avoid Drastic Temperature Changes

Blasting heat onto your frigid windshield in the morning isn’t going to do it any favors. Sure, you might think it’s going to melt that ice off faster, and it will, but it’s really just putting your windshield at risk for damage. When you “shock” your auto glass with sudden temperature changes, it can crack, pit, and in rare cases, shatter. Now this doesn’t mean you cannot utilize your car’s heating system to help the ice melt, but it’s in your best interest to not crank the heat to it’s highest temperature setting while also blasting said air straight onto it. Keep your cold morning from getting any worse and follow our advice, please.

An Ice Scraper and De-Icing Windshield Fluid Are Your Friends

Two of your best bets when battling auto glass ice are de-icing windshield washer fluid and a trusty ice scraper. Tap water can help you get rid of ice if you’re truly in a bind, but removing ice by hand with an ice scraper is simply the better method as long as you remember to wear gloves (to avoid cold hands, of course). De-icing windshield washer fluid also comes in handy both while on the road and when prepping your car for a winter drive. If you currently don’t have either of these items at your disposal, head to the store and grab them today!

Replace Damaged Glass

Bitterly cold temperatures can leave your auto glass super sensitive and weak. If your windshield got damaged by a rock on the highway a few months ago or if there’s been a troubling crack on your windshield for a bit, go get them fixed at one of our nearest centers. It saves your from dealing with auto glass problems in non-deal weather conditions and also keeps your family and passengers safe while riding in your vehicle.

 

These are a few of the things you can do for your auto glass this winter. Apply our advice and you should be good to go throughout the cold months. If Jack Frost finds a way of throwing a curveball at you, or a wayward snowball, then know you can come to us and we’ll have you safely back on the road in no time. If you require our services, please call your nearest AllStar Windshield Centers location or fill out our online contact form.

How to Avoid a Vehicle Break-In

If your vehicle has ever been broken into, you know the pit falling feeling in your stomach when you notice your car windows have been smashed in. Your belongings are strewn about the car, and most likely something of value has been stolen. While having to replace your windshield is usually an inconvenience but not too much money out of your pocket, having to replace smashed in window glass can be a different story. Take a look at some of these tips to avoid having to ever deal with an automobile break in.

1.) Choose Parking Wisely

Always choose a well-lit, public spot to park your car whenever you can. While it can be tempting to want to park your car away from others, it also means leaving your car in an area that isn’t as traveled or well-lit. This can present potential problems because thieves won’t be dissuaded from breaking in if they can remain relatively hidden while they sneak away with your things. So, whenever possible, choose a spot where people walking by would be able to notice nefarious behavior.

2.) Keep Valuables Out of Sight

This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people leave their GPS’, backpacks, expensive sunglasses, and other valuable items in plain sight within their vehicles. While it is likely you have valuables in your car (who doesn’t?), it is in your best interest to keep them hidden. Have places where you store these items that aren’t your front seat. Keeping items of note out of sight will never 100% prevent a break in, but it will certainly make your car a less likely candidate over someone who leaves their possessions out in the open.

3.) Alarms are Your Friend

There is nothing that draws a person’s attention quite like a car alarm. If your alarm currently doesn’t work, you should certainly get it checked out soon. Not only do alarms deter thieves from sticking around to finish stealing your things, but it also alerts others in the area to the general location of said theft. Every time the alarm sounds is another chance for someone to notice that a robbery is taking place.

If you put these three tips into practice, you’ll stand a good chance of not having to deal with the aftermath of a vehicle break in. The most important tip to remember here is keeping valuables out of sight! However, if the worst should happen, look no further than AllStar Windshield for auto glass replacement and repair. We’ll be here to clean up the pieces. Call us at 800-900-1505, or fill out our online contact form.

Safety Tips on Sharing the Road for Bike Riders and Car Drivers

We have all been in a situation, regardless of being in a car or on a bike, where we felt as though there was not enough room on the road. This can lead to frustration for all parties involved, but, fortunately, there are a few ways we can go about making the road a more hospitable place for all commuters. Particularly now, when bicycling has become a major mode of transportation for urban dwellers. From 2000 to 2009, the number of bike commuters grew 70% across the entire country, and that percentage was even higher in more heavily settled areas. This comes as no surprise, as riding a bike has numerous benefits for both your health and the environment. Take a look at our tips for keeping things copacetic on the road, because you might think you’re a good driver, but you could be wrong.

Safety Tips for Bikers

  • Safety gear is a must! Okay this might be an obvious one, but many bike riders seem to forget about utilizing the correct equipment to protect themselves. At the very least, you should be wearing a helmet when you hit the road. Taillights and headlights are also recommended for cycling around sunrise, sunset, and at night. In addition to having lights on your bike, it is recommended one utilize reflective clothing when biking during times of low visibility, especially at night.
  • Obey the rules of the road. It might seem effortless to glide along the streets of a sprawling metropolis, but this does not mean the general rules of the road do not apply to bike riders. While on your bike, always stop at both red lights and stop signs, and be sure to adhere to all traffic signs. Also, a bike is considered a road vehicle just like a car is, so it is smartest to travel along the same traffic patterns as the other vehicles on the road.
  • Stay to the right! While some roadways can truly make this difficult, it is a best practice to stay on the right side of the street you are traveling on. Some streets have designated bike lanes, which makes this tip much easier to follow. However, if there is no bike lane, it is good to leave enough space for cars to pass you while sticking to the right side of the road. Be sure to leave enough space between you and any parked cars on the road too, just in case someone suddenly exits their vehicle.

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Be Mindful of the road! This is an easy one, and a tip that applies to a variety of scenarios when operating a motor vehicle. Keep your eyes on the road, and away from your cellphone or other distractions.
  • Treat bike riders the same as cars. Even though bicyclists are not protected by the metal frame of a vehicle, it does not mean they have less of a stake on the roadway. To repeat an earlier point, bicycles are considered road vehicles just like a car, so give them appropriate space and proper right of way.
  • The 3-foot rule. Numerous states have laws in effect stating 3 feet is the minimum distance for passing bicyclists legally and safely. Keep this in mind on tight roadways. If you happen to be on a road free of nearby traffic, you can always give bicyclists more room!

Regardless of if you utilize a car or a bicycle, it is  important to respect other drivers on the road. While operating a motor vehicle, it can be easy to disregard the needs of other drivers, especially those on bicycles. Keep these tips in mind the next time you hit the street, and be sure to always consider the safety of others while traveling the road.

Are You a Safe Driver? 5 Driving Misconceptions Busted

1. “Tailgating will make the vehicle in front of you to go faster.”

False. Not only it won’t make most of the cars go faster, many of them in fact would enter rage mode by consistently hitting the brakes to “educate” the tailgating car. It would also distract the tailgated car driver and lose focus on the road. If you are in a hurry, please do not tailgate, switch to another lane to pass the slow vehicle instead.

2. “Educate Others on How to Drive From Your Own Vehicle.”

Bad Idea! Many would be surprised on the amount of people that try to “educate” the offending car that they feel has wronged them. The “education” would be carried out by either slowing down in front of or blocking the way of the offender. This method would never get any results and instead, a foul mouth or road rage mode starts.

3. “Checking Text Without Responding is Okay.”

This act is considered distracted driving, which is one of the most common causes of accidents. In fact, text messaging makes a crash up to 23 times more likely. If you are travelling at a speed of 55 MPH and you take 5 seconds off the road, you’ve traveled the length of a football field. It would be hard to keep track of what’s ahead of you.

4. “Fatigue Would Not Happen If Well-Rested.”

Not true. It is certainly important to get the 8 hours of sleep required for an adult and get on the road after a good night sleep. However, sleep quality and consistency also contributes whether the sleep is a “good” sleep. In addition to that, a driver should get some rest after driving for a couple of hours since driver fatigue is believed to contribute to more than 30% of road crashes.

5. “Driving in High Heels is Safe”

A study conducted by Confused.com has revealed that 40% of women wear high heels and another 39% wear platform heels, wedges for safe driving. This move actually puts other drivers’ lives at risk.Good drivers placed their heel on the car floor and this makes their feet very easy to change direction and apply force between brake and pedal. With high heels, it is almost impossible to react very quickly in case of any life threatening situations occur. So, ladies, if you are in the driver seat next time, get a spare comfortable flat, rubber soled shoe to not only be safe but also be more comfortable on the road.

The Development of Auto Glass

Modern windshields can be traced back to a fortunate accident made by French chemist Edouard Benedictus, in 1903. One day in his lab, the chemist dropped a flask filled with collodion. He observed that while the flask broke, it did not shatter. Benedictus would later realize he had discovered shatter proof glass. This would lay the groundwork for shatter-proof safety auto glass. Laminated glass would be used for windshields in the 1920s.

In the early 1900s, however, windshields weren’t being used in any automobiles. Windshields were luxury accessories that were typically considered an option for your car. Even though windshields at this time cost more for the driver, they were not very safe or helpful for drivers. They kept dirt and dust out of the driver’s eyes, but they would easily shatter if damaged. This would cause more harm than good if driver and passenger were covered in glass after contact with a projectile.

Over time, auto manufacturers began to realize the necessity for stronger windshields and other forms of auto glass, like side windows and back windshields. Henry Ford began producing his own auto glass at his factories, and eventually utilized laminated auto glass for his windshields. While the laminated windshield solved the problem of glass shattering in the driver’s face, it still was not strong enough to protect against heavy projectiles or offer protection in collisions. Manufacturers invested in the development of safety glass and innovations like using a thin layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between sheets of glass helped strengthen windshields.

Around this time, auto manufacturers also began using tempered glass for side windows and back windshields. Tempered glass helped strengthen the overall structural integrity of the automobile.

Eventually, the NHTSA would make windshields and auto glass a legal requirement for all automobiles. They would also define the standards for windshield mounting, transparency, and strength.