Auto Glass Repair is a broad term encompassing a variety of automotive glass repair services including the most common windshield repair (chips, cracks, leaks, and moldings), car door window repair (electric motors, regulators, elevators, etc), and repairs to other vehicle glass like quarter glass (panels), vents, back glass, sunroofs, convertible glass, and car mirrors. When damage is too severe for repair to be an option you must look to full replacement of your auto glass part. Depending on the age of the vehicle and availability of the part, full replacement may not be easy. Opting for a repair sooner rather than later and choosing a good repair technician is so vitally important for auto glass repair and replacement needs. Let's discuss each of these repair services in detail.
Windshield repair is the permanent or possibly temporary fix of problems with your existing windshield. A good windshield repair can keep your current windshield in working order for many years to come. Most windshield repairs are an effort to stop a chip from becoming a crack or a crack from becoming larger. However, windshield repair can include repairing a water leak, wind noise, or loose molding.
Windshield chip repair can save you from the sometimes extreme costs that arise when you have to replace your windshield. In most cases, less than $100 will get your windshield repaired almost as good as new and allow you to completely side-step a full replacement of your original part. Chip are caused by blunt force impact to the glass and is usually caused by a stone or other debris kicked up from another vehicle on the highway. These chips can start off very small and if they start in the painted area around the outside of your windshield can be almost impossible to notice until they start to grow larger to form a crack. Most windshield chips are repairable. There are just a few of the factors that determine whether your chip repair will be successful such as how recent the damage happened, if there is moisture inside the damaged area, if there are dirt or debris inside the damaged area, and the outside temperature during repair. The most important factor however is the windshield repair technician. A specially trained technician is essential to saving your windshield from needing replacement. The repair process involves the injection of a liquid resin into the chip under high pressure. This resin is then hardened by the application of UV radiation either by the good ole Sun or by a portable uv/black light. Once hardened, this resin will hold the damaged area together for years to come. Though the repair is considered a structural fix and is not necessarily intended to be cosmetic, most repairs result in the damaged area becoming almost impossible to notice. By removing the air within the chip and replacing it with the resin, the light that reflects and makes the chips so noticeable is now gone. Can you wash your vehicle after you've had a chip repaired? The answer is yes. Unlike windshield replacement, immediately after the chip repair is complete you can use your vehicle as you normally would.
What is the difference between windshield crack repair and rock chip repair? A crack is an elongated fissure in your glass whereas a chip is often times star shaped damage that is smaller than the size of a quarter. Windshield repair technicians refer to a crack as any line extending greater than 3 inches. Most of these lines or cracks will start from a chip, however, occasionally an impact will not cause a chip and will only a crack. These cracks are much more susceptible to spreading than chips. It's important to have them repaired as soon as possible to keep them from spreading. Windshield crack repair is much more time consuming than chip repair and requires a much higher level of skill. For this reason crack repair costs much more than rock chip repair. Depending on the size of the crack (generally greater than 6 inches) it may make more sense to have your windshield replaced. Not only will the cost be more but severe damage to the glass can degrade the structural integrity of the glass itself putting the car occupants in danger.
Windshield leak repair is necessary if you notice water trickling into your car from the edge of the windshield, moisture build up on the inside of the glass toward the base of the windshield, or if you hear wind noise when you drive on the highway. These annoyances all point to an improper seal between your glass and the pinch weld of the automobile's frame. Some leaks can be repaired without the need to remove the windshield. Severe leaks may require a R&I (remove and install). To properly fix the leak the windshield may need to be re-set. The technician will have to take special care to remove your windshield without breaking it and this is not an easy task. Once removed, the glass and pinch-weld will require detailed cleaning and prepping before the glass can be installed again. Luckily most leaks DO NOT require the re-setting of the windshield. Usually once the source of the leak is located a small amount of urethane can be injected into the space quite easily. Within a day or so the glue will cure and leak is fixed! No more leaks, moisture, or wind noise!
Much like leak repair, windshield molding repair could require the removal and re-installation of the windshield. Windshield moldings are designed to be affixed to the glass before it is set into place. Once the windshield is set it can be impossible to install the molding or even adjust it's position. If you're lucky this won't be the case for your molding repair. The molding may just required a bit of glue and some TLC (tender loving care). With the proper tools and finesse your windshield molding can be repositioned and look as good as new!
Car Door Window Repair can be any of the following: car window motor repair, electric window motor repair, window regulator repair, or window elevator repair. It could be possible that the door glass itself just needs to be placed back on the track, but this is not usually the case. Unlike windshields which are laminated, door glass is tempered glass and breaks into a million pieces if damaged. This means you won't need chip or crack repair for your door. If your door glass has a crack or chip and doesn't shatter into a million pieces, then you have a rare model with laminated door glass. Besides Dodge trucks there aren't many laminated door windows on the road. Your door glass also may not shatter into a million pieces if you have aftermarket tint. The tint film will hold the tiny fragments of safety glass together. This means a great majority of car window repairs are actually replacements. Although, if your door window has stopped moving up or down you might need to have it repaired. Again, the fix action for over 90% of these repairs is actually a full replacement of the part. For more information please see our replacement page and scroll down to the "Car Window Motor Replacement" section.
There are various other types of Auto Glass Repair including, but not limited to: quarter glass, vent glass, back glass, sunroof glass, convertible glass, and car mirrors. These repairs are very similar for the most part. Let's discuss glass parts that are glued in place (quarters, vents, and backs), sunroofs and convertibles, and mirrors separately.
Almost all quarters, vents, and backs are glued into place unlike door windows. However the glass itself is also tempered glass (safety glass) just like the door glass and not laminated like a windshield. This means no chip or crack repairs, the only repairs possible for these parts are leak repairs. Leak repairs for these parts are nearly identical to a windshield leak repair. In most cases it won't require removal, just the injection of additional urethane to stop the source of the leak.
Sunroof and convertible glass is in a category of it's own. Most auto glass shops will not work on sunroof glass and can't work on convertible glass. Sunroof glass is almost exclusively found at the dealership and not available as an aftermarket part. Convertible glass is almost never available separate from the convertible top itself. This means if you need a convertible glass leak repaired or if something is wrong with your sunroof you must go directly to dealer.
Car Mirror Repair is performed by some auto glass shops and will usually be quick and painless once the part is located. If you require a new rear view mirror you may have to go directly to your dealer, but most other mirrors are available at various 3rd party suppliers.
These days the most convenient auto glass business has changed from in-shop service to mobile service. Many companies have now abandoned the shop altogether and offer mobile service exclusively. But what is the difference? Who do you go to if things go wrong? Is the quality sacrificed by going mobile? The answers to these questions is varied. Many mobile technicians can offer the exact same level of workmanship via mobile service as they can in a shop. So, the quality of service is dependent on the technician and company and not dependant on the location of the repair. What about warranties and where do you go if something goes awry? Whether the company has a warranty and stands behind their work is a huge concern for all customers. This should be among your first question for auto glass companies. If the company provides mobile service and shop service or exclusively mobile you should ask if they have an office or where they get their mail. If they can't provide a true address for you then you may want to select another company. Convenience is the biggest difference between the two services. No one wants to waste their day in the waiting room of an auto glass shop. With mobile service you can continue your day as normal and still have your glass repaired.