Q: What is OEM glass?
A: OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacture. This means that the glass meets the original specifications for safety and quality as the glass that it came with from the factory. Windshields may look simple, but they are actually made from two pieces of glass that are bent in a very precise way. If a windshield does not meet the exact specifications of the manufacturer, it will not fit precisely in your car. The best way to assure exact fit is to use a windshield produced from a fixture engineered to manufacturers specifications. OEM glass is your assurance that this has occurred.
Q: Does my windshield really protect me in a collision?
A: Yes. Your windshield plays an integral part in the structural integrity of the roof for crush protection in a roll-over accident. It also provides the brace for your passenger-side airbag. If your windshield loses adhesion on a collision or rollover, your safety is in jeopardy. This is why it is important that your auto glass work be done by a trained professional.
Q: I have a crack or a ding in my windshield - is it really important that I fix it right away?
A: Yes, It's important for two reasons: If the ding is small, it may be repairable. Repairing your windshield typically takes less than 30 minutes. If for any reason it fails, the cost of the repair will be applied toward a replacement windshield. The longer you let the damage remain without having it fixed, the more dirt and debris will collect in the break - and the more the break will spread. If it gets too big, it's very likely that a replacement will be necessary. The second reason to have a damaged windshield fixed is for your own safety. The windshield is more than just a "shield" from wind and road dirt, it's an important structural element of your car. It helps keep you and your passengers in the car in a front impact accident, and keeps your car's airbag in the optimum position so it can function as designed. If your windshield is weakened due to damage, it could be dangerous to you and your passengers in the event of an accident. Also, damaged glass may cause optical impediments when driving, particularly at night, which is a significant safety hazard.
Q: How long will it take to repair/replace my windshield?
A: To repair a small crack or rock chip (without replacing the entire windshield) takes about 30 minutes. Length of service may vary for a complete windshield replacement, based on the adhesives used, the thoroughness of your technician and "safe drive time" (the amount of time your vehicle must sit to allow adhesives to fully cure making it safe to drive your vehicle).
Q: What's the difference between my windshield and the other glass in my car?
A: Your windshield is made of LAMINATED SAFETY GLASS. What makes it unique is its special construction, designed to offer optimum safety in the event of a crash. LAMINATED SAFETY GLASS is made up of two pieces of glass, with a thin layer of vinyl sandwiched between them. The three pieces are laminated together by applying heat and pressure in a special oven called an autoclave. When a small object strikes a piece of safety glass, often only the outer layer struck breaks. This is what makes windshield rock chip repair possible. In a more severe impact, the glass "shatters" but usually does not fly apart - the broken pieces of glass generally adhere to the vinyl inner lining. LAMINATED SAFETY GLASS also acts as a barrier to objects moving inside the vehicle. The side and rear windows are made of TEMPERED GLASS. As the name implies, the glass has been "tempered", i.e., put through a special process where it is heated, then rapidly cooled. This "tempering" process makes the glass many times stronger than un-tempered glass of the same thickness. Upon impact, TEMPERED GLASS is designed to disintegrate into small pieces of glass about the size of rock salt. There should be no large, jagged pieces of glass to injure the driver or passengers. However, the force necessary to break a piece of tempered glass is considerably more than an un-tempered piece.