Although auto glass damage is not uncommon, only a portion of Tucson, Arizona drivers have experienced the need for auto glass replacement or repair. When faced with windshield chip damage or extensive cracking, it’s important to find a reputable Tucson auto glass repair shop. To do this, it is crucial for car owners to be knowledgeable about what to do when they have damage to their vehicle’s glass.
As a car owner, your task is to determine where to seek auto glass repairs or replacements when your windshield or windows display signs of damage. Continue reading for more details on how to address auto glass issues and effectively manage the cost of repairing windshield chip damage.
Determine What Auto Glass Services You Need
If you’re a newcomer to the auto glass world, you might assume any type of damage necessitates a total replacement. But that’s not true: car window repair is a standard service, and our qualified mechanics work on fixing cracks in windshields every day.
On the other hand, not every damaged windshield or window in a vehicle is repairable. To figure out what type of service you’ll need, consider factors such as:
The Type of Damage You Have
From an outside perspective, it can be challenging to comprehend the difference between various types of auto glass damage. Still, that doesn’t mean these differences don’t exist. In fact, the form of damage your windshield or window has sustained could determine whether or not this glass can be repaired.
Skilled auto glass mechanics can repair some types of damage with ease. That includes the likes of:
- Pits. These are tiny, crater-shaped patches that gradually form as your windshield sustains wear and tear from particles of dust and sand.
- Bullseye/partial bullseye chips. These chips and cracks are circular and semi-circular, respectively. Either way, they are created when a circular object hits your glass.
- Dings/crack chips. These cracks or missing chunks of glass only affect your glass’ surface level and are smaller than an inch.
- Star breaks. This type of auto glass damage consists of a single point of impact with small, short cracks branching out.
While a qualified Tuscon auto glass shop should be able to repair these types of damage with ease, having multiple damaged areas on your windshield or window complicates matters. If your glass is dealing with that situation, it may or may not be qualified for repair.
The Damaged Area’s Size/Depth
One of the main factors auto glass mechanics use to decide whether or not they can work on fixing cracks in windshields is the size of the damaged area in question. If you have chip or bullseye damage with a diameter of one inch or less or cracks up to 14 inches in length, you’re in luck. It’s usually easy for skilled mechanics to repair windshield chip damage in this size range.
That said, the depth of your damage also matters. Even if your damage appears repairable based on its surface area, you’ll have to replace your windshield if your crack or chip has reached its vinyl or inner glass layer. That’s also true if your inner layers are compromised without damage to the external layer.
Where the Damage is Located
If you have a small damaged area on your auto glass, you might assume you can get car window repair. But that might not be true—you’ll also have to consider the location of your damage. A tiny damaged area in your direct field of vision can make it harder for you to drive safely. Plus, there’s a chance that even professional repair work will leave some visual irregularities in your windshield.
You should also be wary of damage near the edge of your glass. If your auto glass is damaged far from its center, its integrity could be significantly reduced as a result. When that’s the case, you can’t afford the risks that come with your continued use of this glass.
Potential Safety Hazards
If you have a chipped windshield or even crack damage, you can probably drive your vehicle for short distances without threatening your safety. Still, that doesn’t mean drivers can ignore even minor chip damage. Damaged auto glass is significantly weaker than fully-intact glass, so your windshield or window needs to be repaired or replaced ASAP.
Even if you understand these factors, it can be tricky to determine whether you need auto glass repair or replacement. In such situations, a qualified auto glass shop should decide what type of work will deliver the best results for your needs.
Understand the Difference Between Windshields and Windows
Along with the factors listed above, there’s one other thing Tucson residents should keep in mind when planning auto glass repair—whether your windshield or windows have sustained damage. Most drivers assume windshield and window glass are identical, but they have some crucial differences that will determine the services you’ll need.
Along with its other functions, your windshield is built to protect you and to keep your car intact if you’re involved in a collision. With that in mind, today’s windshields don’t consist of a single pane of glass. Instead, your windshield includes two layers of glass and an inner layer of vinyl, all of which are laminated together. This process makes your windshield capable of dealing with everything from crashes to everyday wear and tear.
Typically, windshield damage from a small object will only affect the outer glass layer of your windshield. That means it’s usually easy for skilled auto glass mechanics to fix this type of damage (assuming it has a small enough diameter and isn’t in a dangerous location). And if your windshield sustains severe damage, the shattered pieces will stick to the vinyl layer—preventing them from falling apart.
Conversely, your rear and side windows are made from tempered safety glass. Unlike “normal” glass, this type of glass is heated to temperatures above 1100°F and rapidly cooled. Because of that, tempered safety glass is far stronger than other forms of glass, and small cracks or chips in tempered-glass windows can be easy to fix.
But since it doesn’t have an inner vinyl layer, a serious impact can cause your windows to break into multiple pieces. Thanks to the design of these windows, these pieces shouldn’t be larger than an inch—protecting you from getting cut by large, sharp glass pieces during a crash.
Know What to Expect During Auto Glass Repair
Now that you’ve learned about the two main types of auto glass service, it’s time to find out what will happen to your glass when it gets repaired or replaced. Here’s what to expect when you schedule:
Auto Glass Repair
Tucson’s leading auto glass shops use the vacuum pressure repair process while fixing windshields and windows. This process works as such:
- Mechanics will scrape out glass particles or drill a small hole through your top layer of glass to remove trapped air in the damaged area.
- A glass resin injector will be attached around the site of the damage.
- The injector will create a seal around the area before switching between vacuum and pressure cycles while filling the damaged area with a transparent, curable resin. That process will restore your glass to its original appearance and structure.
- Extra resin will be removed before the resin is cured with a UV light.
- Your windshield will be cleaned and polished as necessary.
This is far from a lengthy process when qualified mechanics handle it. You can expect to have your windshield fully repaired within 30 to 40 minutes.
Auto Glass Replacement
Replacing auto glass usually takes a bit longer than repairing it—but not dramatically so. This job takes about an hour to complete, regardless of whether your windshield or windows need to be replaced. During the auto glass replacement process:
- Technicians will remove your old windshield’s seals, adhesives, fasteners, clips, and retainers.
- Your windshield will be extracted with equipment that attaches suction cups to the glass.
- Once your old windshield is gone, pieces of broken glass and other debris in the frame or window channel will be removed. Any rust in this area will be sanded and primed, as well.
- Primer will be applied on the parts of your frame where the edges of your new glass will sit.
- New urethane adhesive will be applied to your new windshield’s edges.
- After a few moments, the new windshield will be installed with the same device used to remove your old windshield.
- Clips will be used to secure the new windshield in place while it cures. The curing process should take about three hours.
Pick the Right Tucson Auto Glass Shop
Even if you take all of the advice included in this article to heart, it won’t do you much good if you choose an unqualified shop to handle your auto glass needs. But while doing your research on local auto glass shops is crucial, you’ll need to take care of this job before your damage can get worse.
Whether you need to repair windshield chip damage or replace one of your windows, you deserve Tucson’s best, most affordable auto glass service. With that in mind, give Max Auto Glass a try! Our mechanics have Dow and Auto Glass Safety Council™ certifications, and we can reduce your cost to repair windshield chip damage with our valuable promotions and financing opportunities.
Take the first step towards fixing or replacing your glass by requesting a quote today!