Windshield

 

Be kind to your windshield this summer. 

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If you have a crack in your windshield, now might be the time to replace it before temperatures get too high.

While the summer heat will not directly cause chips or cracks in your windshield, it can be very bad for an already damaged windshield. Heat causes chips and cracks to spread, so those 110-degree days can do a number on your windshield.

“The summer is one of the worst times of the year to put off getting a windshield repair,” said Gary Bons, operations manager for auto repair business for AAA Arizona. “Minor cracks and chips in your windshield will spread when exposed to intense heat and sunlight. Be proactive and get your auto glass repaired as soon as you see damage.”

As an automotive resource, AAA sees about 20 percent more windshield repair and replacements in the summer. As one of the few states that provides the option of having no deductible for glass replacement, be sure when buying auto insurance to specify you want full glass coverage. 

There is no surefire way to know if your chip will crack enough to warrant a full-on windshield replacement. Sometimes a windshield has a chip for years, and it never expands. 

Keep in mind during the repair process, there also is no guarantee the chip won’t expand. A trusted technician will advise the customer if the repair process will probably work or not. If a full replacement is advised, the customer still can choose to have it repaired, yet he will need to sign a waiver in case it doesn’t work. 

AAA will not repair more than three chips per vehicle, and the safety advocate will not repair chips in the direct line of vision. That is because the chip repair may cause a prism effect when in the sun, which could cause blinding while driving. 

AAA Auto experts offer three tips on protecting your car’s windshield:

Repair cracks: The hot temperatures cause windshields to be less stable, which puts more pressure on any existing cracks or chips. 

Be gentle: Cracking or chipping of the windshield happens more often in the summer months. This is because the windshield expands in the heat, making the structure of the windshield more fragile. Avoid slamming the doors when entering or exiting the car, as slamming doors will put added pressure on to the windshield.

Don’t blast the AC: Running your air conditioning on high will create a temperature difference between the temperature of the interior and exterior of the windshield, which will have a negative impact on the integrity of the windshield. The rapid change in temperature causes stress to already damaged windshields, and it is not uncommon for cracks to lengthen when directly exposed to cold air after sitting in the sun. AAA recommends gradually increasing the setting of the air conditioner instead of immediately turning it on high.

AAA Mobile Auto Glass will come to you and do the replacement on site, and AAA will file the paperwork with your insurance company. 

AAA is an automotive resource. Go to aaa.com/autoglass.

Valerie Vinyard is a public affairs specialist with AAA Arizona. Contact her at vvinyard@arizona.aaa.com or at 520-258-0518.

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