The auto glass world can sometimes get confusing. With the different types of windows all over a vehicle and the various tools and services offered, a little confusion is certainly understandable. Once you establish an understanding of the basics, most windows are easy to identify. Knowing this basic terminology can go a long way towards helping motorists get the glass services they need and the value they want. You can find a glossary of terms here to help you better define difficult concepts.
The large piece of glass that protects the driver from wind and road hazards is the windshield. The rear window is generally windshield-sized but may not wrap around quite as far, and is located in the back of the vehicle. The front and rear door windows typically roll up and down and sit in the door. Rear quarter windows are used in larger vehicles to give all-around visibility, and vent windows are the small, usually triangular pieces that help frame out many window shapes. Most vents don’t open in modern vehicles.
Different type of windshields on a car.
Tracks keep the windows in their place in the door as they go up and down. The window regulator is the device that moves windows up and down in the tracks. A handle connects to the window regulator on non-powered models, and in powered windows the window motor supplies power to the regulator. The window molding holds the windshield in place and various adhesives can be used to keep the windshield molding secure.
Tools and Services:
Many windshield repair tools on the market involve fusing resin and glass to repair the windshield itself. A windshield molding release tool is a knife-like object used to cut the molding away from the vehicle. Some technicians use a heat gun to rapidly dry the adhesives. A good pair of gloves go a long way in the auto glass industry.
Understanding these industry basics can help drivers have conversations with their technician. Knowing what is required to fix or replace auto glass is the first step in knowing what these services should cost. Drivers who can keep in mind the basics to windows, window functionality and the tools and services used will find auto glass mishaps far easier to navigate.
While it’s just as important as any other type of routine automotive maintenance, auto glass maintenance is often overlooked by drivers. A cracked or damaged windshield may not prevent the vehicle from starting, but it can easily make for an unsafe drive. In many states it’s even illegal to have a broken windshield on the road, and a few even have mandatory yearly inspections which you won’t pass if your windshield is cracked or broken!
Cracks, nicks and chips in auto glass weaken the overall integrity of the
glass making it far more likely to shatter when exposed to outside pressure or extreme weather conditions. In cold or hot climates cracks will spread, and the natural stress put on the glass by driving can make a small problem get worse quickly. To prolong the life of your auto glass, avoid slamming your car doors, park in shady areas when possible, and clean your glass with a microfiber cloth.
A small chip can suddenly turn into a shattered window or other roadside nightmare, but auto glass repair and installation is easier and more affordable than it has ever been. There is no excuse for cracked or broken auto glass!
Windshields and windows suffer a wide array of damage. The nature of auto glass, specifically, makes this damage act in different ways than may drivers not in the know would ever consider. Windshield glass is typically reinforced and coated with a lamination like layer or other surfacing agent. This prevents the glass from immediately shattering into the drivers cockpit, a luxury older model cars don’t always have. This surfacing also tends to hold glass in place even with deep cracks, pits and abrasions that would lead to normal glass shattering. While the glass is suspended it is in need of attention or it stands to worse when exposed to elemental stresses like temperature, wind pressure or even heavy rain. Normally drivers are faced with calling a mobile glass repair center or heading into a brick and mortar glass repair shop. Both have benefits that a driver may find outweighs the other and the cons are minimal when going to an auto glass specialist for auto glass work.
Emergency auto glass repairs usually call for a mobile specialist. This is particularly true in cases where the driver does not feel safe driving due to the severity of the damage. Major spiderweb cracking, holes through the windshield and visible fallen glass dust or shards mean the vehicle should not be driven. If the damage is simply to the windshield the driver normally will not need to be towed and can simply can a mobile auto glass repair specialist to replace the windshield.
Lesser damage can typically be taken to the auto glass shop at the drivers leisure. As a matter of course drivers should not wait very long to have even small window glass damage addressed. Minor auto glass damage can spread if left untreated and cost the driver far more than a stop at an auto glass repair shop. Chips scratches and small cracks can all be filled relatively cheaply and allow a low cost alternative to full windshield or window replacement.