5 Tips for Keeping Your Headlights Crystal Clear

Over time, your car’s headlights will be exposed to a number of things like, dirt, grime, insects, and the elements. These things work together to tarnish the plastic headlight covers, and heavily reduce your visibility while driving. Keep yourself safe, and your headlights shining with these tips!

  1. When is the last time you changed your lightbulbs? Depending on the type of lightbulb your car uses, they usually need to be changed every year or so.
  2. Give your headlights a wash with soap and warm water. This will remove any surface dirt and grime, and give you a look at any deeper abrasion.
  3. If you notice your headlights are still hazy you can try some DIY restoring with toothpaste, an old rag, and some water. Rub the headlights in a small circular motion with the rag and toothpaste, then rinse with warm water. This will clear any minimal scuffing.
  4. Still hazy? It might be time to head to your local auto store to pick up some cleaning and polishing compounds. For really bad scuffing, there are kits available which come with a cleaning solution and various grit sandpaper.
  5. After getting your headlights bright and shiny again, keep them clean with a UV sealant. Apply the sealant a few times a year to keep your headlights protected.

AllStar Windshield Centers is Member of the AGSC

The Auto Glass Safety Council is a non-profit organization that educates and fosters safe auto glass repair and replacement standards. They have developed the AGRSS™ Standard, a system of standards for auto glass replacement.

AllStar Windshield Centers is a proud member of the AGSC and supports their mission in improving safe auto glass replacement standards. Our membership shows that we follow the highest safety standards for all auto glass replacements along with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.

 

AllStar Windshield Centers delivers high-quality windshield repair and replacement services throughout the greater Chicago, IL area and beyond.

Auto Glass Repair Services in the Greater Chicago Area

We offer mobile windshield repair and replacement services from our two Chicago area auto glass shops. AllStar Windshield Centers has locations in Naperville and Addison, IL. Our mobile auto glass technicians provide on-location windshield repairs and replacements up to 50 miles away from each location.

Our AllStar Windshield Centers in Naperville is located on W. Ogden Ave, Rt. 34, in the northernmost part of the city. We are just south of Warrenville and Wheaton, IL. Our mobile repair technicians travel throughout the Chicagoland area.

Our Addison, IL Allstar Windshield Centers is located on Capital Drive, a few minutes off Route 20, to the southwestern area of town. Our mobile service technicians travel as far north as Waukegan, and as far south as Wilmington, IL.

AllStar Windshield Centers performs high quality windshield repair and replacement services throughout the greater Chicago, IL area and beyond.

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.

The Risks of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Distracted driving includes the texting and driving and using your phone for other purposes while driving, along with other activities such as attending to a child or eating. While texting and driving is a serious issue in itself, “distracted driving” also recognizes that many accidents are caused by cell phone usage that is not necessarily texting, such as the use of social media and other apps.

The risks and dangers of distracted driving are severe. The NHTSA estimates that distracted driving results in 3,000 fatalities every year. In 2012, one in every 10 accident was caused by distraction. Researchers have found that just talking on a cell phone while driving quadruples the chance of getting into a motor accident. Checking your cell phone for five seconds while driving (about the time it takes to read a text message) would result in traveling 300 feet without looking at the road, if driving at highway speeds. Teenage drivers are the biggest offenders, with 11 percent of teens in accidents admitting they were driving distracted. However, people of all ages have been found to participate in distracted driving.

The dangers of distracted driving should not be underestimated. They are a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents in the U.S., yet many drivers do not take the risks seriously. Lead by example while behind the wheel and keep your cellphone put away at all times while driving.

Tips for Cleaning Your Auto Glass

Cleaning auto glass can easily be done the wrong way. Most drivers would clean their glass, windows, and mirrors with nothing more than some sort of Windex solution and a roll of paper towels. Many times using these tools will often lead to unsightly streaks across your window or small fibers left behind from the paper towel and many Windex type solutions will contain ammonia, which can dry out plastics and rubbers.

Here are ten cleaning tips that will leave your windows streak free and your mirrors as clean as possible.

  • Mirrors and Windows Last: Cleaning your windows last will ensure that you are also wiping off any other cleaning product left behind from cleaning other parts of your car.
  • Glass Temperature: Never clean glass or windows that are hot to the touch. Move the car into a shaded location or in the garage to avoid making contact with the hot surface. The heat can also dry out the cleaning solution too quickly.
  • Start with The Windshield: Start by cleaning the windshield and rear windshield. This is due to the difficult angles that are hard to reach and are most important in terms of visibility.
  • Different Cleaning Strokes: Use different cleaning strokes for the interior and exterior of the windows. For example, use vertical strokes on the interior of the glass and horizontal strokes on the exterior side. This technique will make it easier for you to inspect the windows for streaks, the different cleaning patterns can make it easier to tell where the streak is on the window.
  • Use Newspapers: Instead of using paper towels to clean the windshield, use newspapers for a more eco-friendly approach. Use one sheet of newspaper for each side windshield and two sheets of newspaper for the front and rear windshield, and buff each windshield with a clean sheet of newspaper to ensure a streak-free finish.
  • Roll down The Window: Roll down your windows to clean the top portion of the window that is usually not exposed by the door.
  • Diluting Your Glass Cleaner: If you choose to dilute your glass cleaner, always use distilled water. Distilled water does not contain any minerals or chemicals, unlike tap water. These leftover minerals will often collect on top of the glass.
  • Using One Towel: Only use the same towel every time the windows are being cleaned. Using a different towel might will risk staining the windows with grime or grease from cleaning other parts of the car.
  • Clean Wiper Blades: Periodically clean the wiper blades of any build up.
  • Target Small Areas: When cleaning the front or rear windows, start by focusing on smaller areas instead of the whole window all at once. This will ensure that you are not transferring any dirt from one side to the other.

How do you tell if you should change your windshield wipers?

It’s raining out, the weather called for clear skies but instead its raining heavily, and visibility on the road is terrible. The only thing that is keeping the rain off your windshield are the windshield wipers, unfortunately the wiper blades are not doing a great job, leaving unsightly streaks of water across your windshield making road visibility just as worse as it was originally. What should you do?

It is important to periodically change your windshield wipers as part of your car maintenance routine. The rule of thumb is that windshield wipers should be changed every six months to one year of use. The reason for the replacement is due to the rubber and plastic material that the wiper blades consist of which deteriorates after taking much damage during the hot summer months, and the freezing winter conditions. Replacing the wiper blades is a fast and easy adjustment that can make driving in hazardous conditions safer.

Here are some signs that will indicate to you whether or not you need to change your windshield wipers.

  • While it is raining, your wipers are leaving large steaks of water across your windshield. This is due to the wipers not creating a complete seal with the windshield because of the rubber being damaged or warped.
  • A chattering or stuttering sound is being made as it travels across your windshield. This is due to the wipers breaking down and not creating a complete seal with the windshield.
  • The rubber of the windshield wiper peeling away from the wiper arm due to the rubber deteriorating over time. A slapping sound may occur when your turn on your wipers.

Replacing your windshield wipers is a critical maintenance step that should not be over looked. Replacing the wipers can take less than 15 minutes to install and is an important investment for driver vision and passenger safety.

Do you need full auto glass coverage?

Basic liability insurance for your car often times does not cover auto glass damage. This is a commonly held belief that many of our customers are surprised to learn isn’t true. Many of our customers also think that their collision insurance will cover auto glass damage. This is a misconception held by many of our customers as well. In many cases, not even those cracks and chips are covered by collision damage.

If you are looking for full auto glass coverage, your best bet is to get comprehensive coverage. However, not every insurance company labels their insurance packages the same way. If you are unsure of the state of your auto glass insurance, you should contact your insurance company directly.

The next question is: should you get full auto glass coverage? This depends on how much you drive, the conditions that you typically drive in, and also where you live. You should consider the costs of auto glass coverage versus the cost of auto glass repair or replacement. For example, if you do a lot of driving on gravel roads, you might be at a higher risk for auto glass damage.

 

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!).
  • Busier 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!

Other Vehicles Serviced by AllStar Windshield Centers

AllStar Windshield Centers services more than just automobiles. The windshield is an important safety feature for more than just autos. Also, auto glass is important for the security of larger vehicles like mobile homes and buses. We provide windshield repairs and replacements to tractor trailers, buses, and mobile homes.

Mobile homes are often used for long trips. This makes it more likely that they will suffer some auto glass damage over time. Our windshield repair and replacement specialists are trained to repair this type of auto glass so that the mobile home is returned to its original structural integrity.

Tractor trailers use high quality windshields, but they are also on the road more than almost any other vehicle. This makes it almost inevitable that they will suffer windshield damage at some point in their lifespan. We provide auto glass replacements and repairs for tractor trailers, as they wear out significantly over time.

We also provide windshield and auto glass repairs and replacements for buses. Buses take frequent auto glass damage because they are on the road so often and have many sections of glass that can get damaged.

Contact AllStar Windshield Centers today at (800) 900-1505 to find out if we can service your specialty vehicle.