Tips for Keeping a Clean Windshield

Cleaning your windshield may seem like a quick and simple process but it’s a bit more complex than you may think. We are going to walk you through the best products and methods to help you get a sparkling windshield.

Windshield Cleaning Solutions

Glass cleaners are easy to find in any supermarket, but which one is right for you? Generic is the easiest way to go and there is nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking for a little more of a bang for your buck, products like Rainx can give you more benefits. They contain hydrophobic properties that let the water roll off your windshield easier, allowing for better visibility in the rain. If you like to use concentrated products that require adding water, we suggest using distilled water as opposed to tap.

Distilled water has no left-over minerals or chemicals meaning less streaking. You can also use white vinegar in a 50/50 solution with distilled water as well. Vinegar’s acidic composition breaks down the accumulated film on glass with ease.

Windshield Cleaning Products

Next, you will need something to wipe the window with. Surprisingly, newspaper works wonders when it comes to windshield cleaning, leaving a streak-free shine. If you want to get fancy, microfiber clothes are a great idea as well. These clothes are reusable and can last you a very long time, but you must keep them from getting contaminated by other chemicals and prevent abrasive materials from getting attached to them. Keeping a separate wash basket for these and washing them separate from other items is suggested if you have enough for a small load. If not, hand washing with a mild detergent and hang drying the clothes somewhere clean will do the trick.

Windshield Cleaning Process

First and foremost, it’s important to park in a cooler environment because a hot windshield will make your window cleaning solution evaporate too quickly. Be sure to clean the front and rear windows first, since they are the most important and they have tight corners and odd angles. You might want to tackle these in the beginning, leaving the easy work for last. Start with the outer edges of the windshield – this is where they are most neglected and collect the most dirt. Once that is complete, work on the center of the windshield.

To determine where streaking may be located, use different strokes on both sides of the glass. Maybe left to right on the inside, then up and down on the outside. Working on your side windows is a breeze compared to the front and rear. Start off with rolling the window down part way first and wiping off the top edge. Continue by rolling the window up and clean up those edges and corners before you start the center of the windshield.

If Your Side Window Won’t Close, These Are Some Reasons Why

Just think, it’s the dead of winter and you can’t roll up your side windows due to something being faulty. You’d likely be fuming if it weren’t for the already chilly temperatures in the car. Now, we understand this is a made up scenario but side window problems can strike at any time. Let’s take a look at a few of the common reasons why side windows stop working properly.

The Weather Stripping is Damaged

If the weather stripping around your door is damaged, it can keep your side window from fully closing. Not only that, but mangled weather stripping can allow water, dirt, and unwanted air to enter your vehicle. The former two can cause some real trouble if they come into contact with your vehicle’s carpet or upholstery. If bad weather stripping is the cause of your window not closing properly, get it fixed as soon as possible.

Rogue Auto Glass

In order for your side windows to move up and down, it has to follow a track. As long as the glass stays along its track, everything should be good. But, if it gets off track, things can get a bit ugly. If you’re noticing rough movements or general non-movement in your window, the door panel will have to be removed in order to ascertain whether or not the window has gone off track. If so, it’s time to see an auto glass specialist.

Broken Glass

Your side windows are comprised of tempered glass, which is designed to shatter into tiny pebbles when impacted. If you get into a minor accident and damage happens to the glass along the track where you can’t see it, broken glass can get into the track and keep the window from functioning properly.

 

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, please come into one of our centers and we’ll resolve the issue right away. You can always opt for our mobile services too!

Common Mistakes People Make When Cleaning Their Auto Glass

Now that the weather is starting to really perk up, you’re probably feeling the urge to pull out the old bucket and soap and give your car a good washing. First off, kudos to you for taking care of your vehicle. After all, a dirty car isn’t the most attractive thing in the world. But, before you start the process, you might want to brush up on your car cleaning techniques to ensure you’re not secretly damaging your vehicle. Follow the tips below to refresh your skills.

Don’t Use Just Any Soap

You may not know this, but your vehicle’s auto glass has an important coating covering its surface. If you throw dish soap in a bucket with a sponge and use it to clean your car, you’re damaging said coating. When heading outside to scrub your car, always make sure to check the soap you’re choosing to use implies it has the proper formulation for use on auto glass. This way, you’ll never have to wonder if your cleaner is hindering your efforts.

If the Glass is Dry, Don’t Clean It Yet

Unless you’ve sprayed down your car with a hose, or wet the cloth you’re using, refrain from wiping down your vehicle while it’s dry. Even though your glass might look free of debris, there are dust particles present that can leave scratches on your windows if you wipe them with a dry cloth. The more you do this, the more your glass will weaken over time and become prone to damage. So, to avoid such implications, always make sure to hose down, wet, or apply cleaning solution prior to giving your car a wipe down.

Keep Away from Paper Towels

We all know paper towels are super convenient for cleaning pretty much anything but keep in mind that they probably aren’t the best for your auto glass. The surface of paper towels is particularly rough and even if they are wet, they can still damage the surface. If you think tissues are a better alternative, think again. A lot of tissues these days contain some form of soothing lotion and can leave behind lint and fibers when wiped along your glass. If you’re going to choose any material to clean your vehicle with, choose a microfiber towel.

 

There’s more to cleaning your car windows than you thought, huh? It really comes down to the materials you’re using. Follow the instructions laid out above and your auto glass will be sitting pretty come wash day. If your auto glass runs into any trouble, rely on our technicians here at AllStar Windshield Centers!

Before Tinting Your Windows, Get Your Auto Glass Fixed

Seeing varying degrees of window tint on vehicles is quite common. After all, it can feel a bit weird when you’re sitting in your car and everyone can see you. Window tint offers some level of privacy for drivers and their passengers. It also reduces UV rays and can help keep your car a bit cooler in the summer. But, if the tint is applied over a broken window, you’re basically just throwing money down the drain. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why…

Impaired Quality

By placing tint over a damaged window, you’re gambling with the overall quality of the finish. If any chips or cracks are present on the windshield at the time you apply the tint, they will definitely become more noticeable and you run the risk of the tint developing a groove around those damaged areas. Save yourself from a messy tint job and get your auto glass replaced before trying to do anything to it.

Could Be a Problem with the Law

There aren’t laws in place prohibiting drivers from tinting their damaged windows, but if a police officer notices your window tint is especially messy they might pull you over. The reason for this is that having blatant imperfections in your tint can limit your vision on the road. It’s not illegal to have window tint but it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a heavily discolored or cracked windshield that may prove dangerous to the vehicle operator and other drivers on the road. It’s not a done deal that you’ll be pulled over, but shoddy tint over damaged auto glass can be enough for it to happen.

If the Tint Job is Bad, Trust Us to Fix It

Our technicians are experts for a reason, so no matter what quality of tint job you arrive at one of our centers with, we can get it repaired just as quickly as a normal window. We’ll remove the tint, repair any imperfections in your auto glass, and leave you with a clean slate so you can, hopefully, do better with the window tint the second time around.

 

If you’re struggling with some bad window tint or simply need your auto glass repaired or replaced, get in touch with your nearest AllStar Windshield Center. If you’d rather keep things on the web, you can choose to fill out our online contact form. We look forward to helping you!

A Few Reasons Why Your Windshield Wipers are Squeaking

When you drive with your music so loud it’s like you’re having a mini-concert in your car, it’s easy to miss sounds your car might be making. This is especially true when it comes to your windshield wipers. The sound usually starts off small but can grow in volume the longer the problem is left unaddressed. But, you may find yourself asking why your windshield wipers are squeaking in the first place, even if there is plenty of moisture present on your windshield. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why your windshield wipers are making funky sounds…

Poor Installation

When getting new windshield wipers installed, you stand the chance of them being implemented out of alignment. To further explain, windshield wipers should be positioned in a way where they prevent air pockets between the blades and glass. When not properly positioned, you stand a high chance of hearing a squeak every time the blades are in motion due to air getting trapped.

Dirty Glass

If you allow enough dirt to accumulate on your windshield, it can prevent your wiper blades from moving smoothly back and forth across the glass. If enough grime is left untended for too long, you risk the chance of chipping your glass due to the friction on your windshield. You should hear the noises your windshield wipers are making long before it gets to that place, however.

Abuse

If you find yourself using your windshield wipers a lot, know that they can become brittle with too much use. The same applies when you use them too little, as well. Brittle blades tend to squeak, so it’s best to use your wipers appropriately. For example, if you have your windshield wipers set to the highest setting when it’s simply sprinkling out then you’re going to wear them out quickly. Use the low setting for light rain and the high setting for downpours, and you’ll find your windshield wipers will have a longer lifespan.

 

These are a few of the reasons why your windshield wipers might start squeaking on you. Pay attention to wiper blade health because you don’t want them conking out on you when you need them most. For all of your auto glass and auto glass accessory needs, get in touch with our team at AllStar Windshield Centers!

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.

What You Should Know About OEM & Aftermarket Windshields

Your car is a substantial investment. Even if you aren’t cruising around in the flashiest vehicle on the block, you want to make sure that you’re choosing the best products for your automobile within your price range. Therefore, one should know the difference between OEM and aftermarket windshield options. Read on to learn more!

Aftermarket Auto Glass

 

An aftermarket windshield, otherwise known as original equipment equivalent or OEE, is designed to fit any vehicle. These types of windshields are reverse engineered, and while they are built like regular glass and look like regular glass, the auto manufacturer’s name cannot be stamped on the windshield. When asked if you want an aftermarket product when you go in for windshield repair, you should be aware that the aftermarket product, if chosen, is not from the original auto manufacturer.

 

OEM Auto Glass

 

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. What you need to know is that auto manufacturers will allow other companies to construct windshields using their exact design specifications, sometimes even with the same equipment. Not everyone is allowed to do this, however, so the auto manufacturers bid out contracts to auto glass manufacturers. Those who win the bids are allowed to manufacture the windshields and use the auto company’s name and logo on them. In order to generate revenue from their own products, though, the auto manufacturer will limit contracts to auto glass manufacturers. When asked if you want OEM glass, know that the windshield you’re choosing is either from the auto manufacturer or from another company who built it exactly how the auto manufacturer would.

 

There aren’t many differences between OEM and aftermarket windshields, but some owners like to go with OEM replacement parts in order to keep their vehicles authentic. Also, if both windshields are equal in quality and design, you can always choose based off of which one is the most cost-effective option. Rest assured that we offer products for any budget here at AllStar Windshield Centers, and all of our auto glass is of the highest quality.

The Dangers of Not Getting Your Windshield Fixed

Taking a mere glance at the title of this blog post likely reminds you that you’re guilty of leaving your windshield hanging at least once or twice…maybe even three times. If you’re in a state where windshield repair is covered with comprehensive insurance coverage then you’re putting off free repairs for no reason. If you have to pay for your auto glass repairs, we understand the hesitation, but it’s in your best interest to get your windshield tended to if it’s damaged. Things can go quite wrong if you let damage linger for too long, so perhaps the following list of potential consequences will spur you into action.

1.) Small Damage Only Gets Worse

Glass damage only gets worse as time goes on. It can be easy to brush off a small chip or scratch, but brushing it off soon turns into avoiding it all together. Allowing a chip to hang out for too long can allow it to turn into a bigger problem, which only makes it more expensive to fix. If you get ahead of the ball, you can repair the chip while it’s small and drastically reduce the amount you pay for the repair job.

 

2.) A Damaged Windshield Simply Isn’t Safe

Any time there is structural damage to a windshield, its ability to protect you in an extreme situation is compromised. If your windshield glass is cracked or chipped prior to getting into an accident, it stands a far less chance of remaining intact. Echoing the point above, you should stay on top of repairing damage as it comes so that the integrity of your windshield can remain intact.

 

3.) Insurance May Not Cover Everything

While it’s true that insurance companies are required by law to waive their deductibles when paying for windshield damage, they can set a cap on how much they pay for the entire repair or replacement. Having to fork over money when you technically shouldn’t have to is always a bummer, so do your best to keep your windshield healthy.

 

4.) It Makes You a Liability

Even if you consider the damage to your windshield to only be a minor inconvenience, someone else could see it as a major problem. For example, existing windshield damage of a certain degree is not going to win you any favors with a police officer who pulls you over for unrelated offenses. Also, a damaged windshield likely isn’t going to make your passengers feel completely safe either. Keep all rides and interactions copacetic and stay on top of your windshield repairs.

 

If the point wasn’t yet clear, please stay on the ball with your auto glass. All of us behind the wheel benefit from auto glass that is in top shape. Damaged auto glass can compromise not only your safety, but the safety of your passengers and loved ones. Let AllStar Windshield Centers help you keep your glass strong! Call us, or fill out an online contact form.

Why is My Windshield Damage Visible After Being Filled

Getting any damage to your windshield, whether it be a simple crack or chip, quickly repaired is key to preventing further problems. So after you make the appointment and do the responsible thing, you might be a bit disheartened to see that the damage is still visible following the repair job. You might begin to ask yourself what the point of getting the crack mended was when you can still see it, so we’re here to provide answers to some common questions we hear from customers.

1.) Why Should I Repair My Windshield if the Damage is Still Visible?

When you repair a chip or crack in your windshield, you help prevent that damage from growing in size. However, repairing damage like this does not remove the damage from the glass. Tending to the damage keeps it from getting worse, whereas if you didn’t opt to get it fixed the crack would grow as the glass expands and contracts with outdoor temperatures. Playing music loudly and hitting pot holes does not do much for your damaged auto glass either. So, even though the repaired damage can still be visible, it’s important to get small damage filled in order to prevent an even bigger problem from happening. Repairing a crack simply requires filling the damage with material that prevents it from cracking further. It is not intended to hide the damage completely.

2.) Can I Hide a Crack?

The only way to truly do away with any subtle windshield damage is to replace the windshield entirely. It should be made known that some repairs help mask flaws better than others. A filled in chip is always likely to be less visible than a repaired star. If you take a look at your windshield, can you handle having to see visible damage that has been repaired? This is an important question to consider when deciding whether or not you should repair or replace your auto glass. If the damage is out of your general view and does not impact your ability to drive, then repair is your best bet. If you’re the kind of sort who wants there to be no flaws present on their windshield, then replacement is the way to go.

Keep an eye out for window damage when it happens. Being proactive about addressing your windshield issues only saves you money and a bigger headache. We’re here to handle all of your other auto glass concerns. We are the experts after all, so come to us with your questions!

Repairing Your Windshield Without Using Insurance

Dealing with your insurance company is always a toss-up. Either the interaction goes really well, or it ends in complete frustration. This is especially true when contacting them for windshield problems. Your damaged windshield is likely covered by your car insurance, but you might want to pay out of pocket to avoid having your monthly insurance payment go up as a result of filing a claim. Besides, paying out of pocket can help keep the price reasonable, and will likely save you money in the long term. Insurance companies tend to charge additional fees for replacing windshields. Here are some tips for replacing your windshield without having to use your insurance specifically for your windshield problem.

Vandalism

While you might not enjoy ruining someone else’s property, there a plenty of folks who do. While it can be incredibly aggravating to emerge from your home to find your car has been vandalized and your auto glass destroyed, it’s sometimes better to pay for the auto glass damage on your own than inform your insurance company of the incident. This way, they won’t fall under the impression that you live in an area where this type of activity is frequent.

Wear and Tear

Over time, everything tends to break down, and this certainly applies to windshields. Seeing as it protects you from road hazards while you travel speeds upwards of 70 miles per hour, your windshield will sustain its fair share of cracks and dings as time goes on. Minor damage like that can usually be repaired, and prevents you from having to pay more money for a full windshield replacement if you remedy the situation in time. Remember, that small damage on your windshield is never going to fix itself. Be proactive and get it squared away before the damage gets out of hand.

General Mishaps

Sometimes, small vehicular incidents take place. They aren’t enough to cause major damage, but the impact of such run ins can put a crack or two in your windshield. In situations like this, you’ll want to discuss repair options with a company willing to not only work with your insurance, but offer a price that fits into your maintenance budget.

If you require help with your windshield, look no further than AllStar Windshield Centers! Call us at (630) 268-9337, or fill out our online contact form!