Reasons to Detail a Car

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Paint Health
Proper cleaning, polishing and waxing greatly extend the life of a car’s paint. Your paint protects the metal underneath. If allowed to degrade, rust and corrosion can wreak havoc on your car with potentially devastating results. Trying a reasonably priced detailing package specifically dealing with paint is a good place to start.

Improved Lighting Ability
Part of proper detailing is making sure your headlights and taillights are clean and free of damage. Even mild deposits of dirt and grime on your lights can cause large reductions of available light, which can be potentially dangerous at night or in harsh weather.

Interior Condition
By regularly cleaning your interior, you get rid of bad odors, protect surfaces from fading and help prevent cracking and discoloration of the dash panels. Not only does this greatly improve resale price, it also adds a great deal of comfort for the driver.

Wheels and Tires
Oils, solvents, brake dust and other chemicals frequently encountered during normal driving can have a negative effect on your wheels and tires. By properly detailing them, you not only keep them looking good, but you also reduce the risks of cracking in the sidewalls or failure of the wheels due to corrosion.

Proper detailing not only helps to keep your car looking great, it helps to keep it running great both inside and out. This not only improves value and safety, but also personal comfort and pride in your car.

Why do Glass Chips and Cracks Spread?

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1.  Moisture

Because your windshield is made up of a “glass sandwich” (two pieces of glass with a layer of vinyl in the middle), there is room for moisture to get inside.  Even if you have a tiny crack, a rainstorm or the water you use to wash your car can make its way underneath one layer of glass and get stuck – which can weaken the structural integrity of the entire windshield!  Even worse, if the temperature drops after that moisture gets in, it can freeze, which will cause the moisture to expand and create new cracks!

Just like that, you’ve gone from having an issue that could have been repaired to needing a full-blown replacement.

2.  Dirt

Just like moisture, dirt can make its way into the inner-workings of your windshield.  If that happens, you’ll wind up dealing with a weakened windshield – and once again, you’ll be dealing with a costlier replacement instead of an easy repair!

If you want to play it safe, put a piece of clear tape over the damage until you can get it fixed.  (Just don’t assume that the tape gives you an excuse to delay your repair job.  It doesn’t!)  The tape won’t obstruct your view while you drive, but it will give you some protection against dirt, pollen, and other fine particles that are floating through the air.

3.  Extreme Temperatures

The combination of a scorching summertime heat wave and a powerful air conditioner (or a frigid winter mixed with a strong defroster) can be too much for your windshield to bear.  The difference in temperatures between the inside of your car and the outside can put added pressure on an already-damaged windshield.  When that happens, chips and cracks get bigger.

In fact, even if your car’s heater isn’t involved, cold temperatures can make windshield damage spread.  According to a study done by the Motor Industry Research Association, once the temperature drops below freezing, cracks and chips are 60% more likely to spread.  That’s because windshields get more concave when it’s that cold outside – and even a little bit of added curvature will make cracks and chips spread in a horizontal pattern.

4.  The Sun

It’s powerful enough to burn your skin, and it’s powerful enough to damage your windshield!  That’s because the sun increases the temperature of your windshield.  If it gets hot enough, it can make chips and cracks get bigger.  So, be sure to keep your car parked in the shade (or, even better, in the garage) until you get the damage repaired.

5.  Bumps in the Road

Innocent things that you do every day without giving them a second thought – like driving over a speed bump, jamming on the brakes, or even slamming your car door – can put extra stress on your windshield.  As a result, any existing damage will be more likely to spread.

Will a spreading crack or chip cause your windshield to shatter and shower broken glass all over you?

That’s incredibly unlikely, but you still need to do everything you can to keep the damage from getting worse.  After all, an auto glass replacement is much more expensive and tedious than a repair!

And, remember, even if the crack or chip isn’t in your line of vision right now, it could soon be if the damage spreads.  If it winds up obstructing your view in any way, you’ll likely get a ticket, fail your state’s mandated car inspection, or worse, not be able to see something dangerous that’s headed your way!

Call for a free estimate

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Advanced Auto Glass: (707) 526-5700

Advanced Auto Detail: (707) 526-2200

If you are not familiar with our company, we would be pleased to hear from you! Please let us know what your needs and questions are. We will be more than happy to help. As an up-to-date business, we want to give you the opportunity to stay in touch with our company and our offers. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Having a chip or crack can safeguard you and your passengers from:

 

  • A loss of structural integrity in a front-end collision – When a windshield is intact, it helps transfer the force of a front-end impact down to the chassis. This lessens the effect felt inside the car and helps protect the passengers. If your car’s windshield is cracked and it shatters during a collision, you and any other occupants are at greater risk of sustaining injuries.
  • A greater likelihood of injury during a roll-over accident – An undamaged windshield adds vital structural support that can keep a car’s roof from caving in if the vehicle flips over. A crack in the glass can weaken the windshield, and if it breaks and the roof is crushed, the occupants may be seriously injured.
  • An increased risk of ejection from an accident impact – If the occupants’ seat belts aren’t fastened when a collision takes place, the windshield can keep them from being forcefully thrown from the car. A windshield with a minor crack or chip that shatters on impact doesn’t offer any protection.
  • Ineffective airbag deployment – In many cars, the windshield is an essential ingredient in the proper deployment of the passenger side airbag. When a collision triggers deployment, the windshield is the backstop that makes the airbag inflate toward the passenger. The force of an airbag deployment can shatter a cracked or chipped windshield. If that happens, the bag may inflate out through the opening, and the passenger won’t have the protection of the bag or an intact windshield.

If you’re driving with a cracked windshield, contact us today at Advanced Auto Glass LLC  to schedule convenient repair or replacement.

707-526-5700

Keeping Your Windshield Clean

It’s a dusty, windy, hot day. You, however, are secure, cool and comfortable inside the passenger confines of your car as you pull into the gas station. It’s so evil outside, you actually pay extra for Full Serve gasoline–but the attendant neglects to clean your windscreen before scurrying off to the next car. And you don’t really notice until you head back into the sun, at which point every particle of dust and smeared bug carcass seems calculated to scatter sunlight. The road disappears, and you frantically hit the washer stalk and wiper switch to improve your vision.

Mistake. A few drops of water dribble onto the windscreen, and the wipers smear it into a paste, chattering back and forth across the screen in perfect little corduroy waves–through which you can see even less than before.

Time to tune up the washers and wipers. Here are a batch of things to try, depending on what part of the system isn’t doing its job.

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER

Rubber windshield wiper blades sit on a hot surface in UV-rich sunlight for most of their lives, and that’s tough on the rubber. The useful life span of a wiper blade is only two or three years. Minor streaking can sometimes be reduced by wiping the edge of the blade with rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits (use a clean rag for this). But every other year or so you’ll need to replace the blade itself. If you hunt, you can still find inexpensive replacement rubber inserts, you cheapskate. If you can find inserts, be prepared for several minutes of fiddling to install them on your existing arms.

But by the time you need them, the articulated arm itself is probably in bad shape, too. If it’s sticking, the blade won’t conform to the shape of the glass, leaving you with streaks or unwiped areas. Spring for a complete wiper blade. Most are replaced with no more trouble than depressing a catch–or perhaps removing a pin–and pulling them off the wiper arm. There will be instructions in the package with the wiper blade.

CHATTERBOX

Does one of your wipers chatter like an agitated monkey as the blade traverses your windshield in one direction or the other? If the wiper-motor arm is twisted so the blade doesn’t sit perpendicular to the glass, the blade is far more likely to chatter. Look along the length of the blade to check. If the motor arm has been twisted, possibly after being savaged by a carwash brush or a gas jockey who’s had too much Mountain Dew, just twist it back with a pair of adjustable wrenches tightened on the arm. Remove the wiper blade to make room for the wrenches, and use a rag to keep from scratching the windshield. Some tape on the arm will protect the paint.

GLUG, GLUG

So much for the wipers. The parts unseen–the washer components– can cause just as much mischief.

Does your washer go through a whole gallon of blue fluid in only a few minutes of drizzly day running? The real kicker: Is there blue stuff on the driveway nowhere near the windshield?You’ve got a leak, caused by a hose that’s been pinched or perhaps is just disintegrating after a long and arduous life in the furnace of a car’s underhood environment. Get a helper to toggle the pump while you trace the hoses from the nozzle to the tank. You might use tap water instead of washer fluid for this test: It’s cheaper and it doesn’t burn when you accidentally squirt it in your eye. Don’t ask.

Just run your fingers along the line, looking for the leak. Replace the damaged hose (it’s probably time to replace it all if it’s deteriorated enough to leak). Also check for cracked plastic fittings, which befall a similar fate underhood, getting brittle and prone to splitting.If the flow is poor and there’s no leak, you may have a clogged pump–which can happen if something other than water or washer fluid is added to the reservoir. That “something” is usually leaves or dirt from a bucket that wasn’t cleaned or junk that sneaks in because a reservoir top is missing. Check by pulling the hose off right at the pump output. Toggle the washer, and look for healthy flow. If it’s good, the pump is fine and the hose may simply be pinched. You may need to reroute the hose.

It may be necessary to remove the hood blanket to access the hoses and the back of the washer nozzles. The washer reservoir may not be as accessible as this one when you try to reach the pumps and their wiring.

Got low flow right from the pump’s output spud? Unbolt the reservoir, disconnect the electrical wires and hoses, and flush it out with water to remove any debris or sludge. Remove the pump from the reservoir and clear it out as well. Flush the pump with water, and then reinstall it.

If your vehicle has a rear-window washer, it probably has two identical pumps mounted on the reservoir. One good thing about this setup: If visibility gets dangerously impaired, you can swap the pumps and get the front one working to make it home without having to hunt for a dealer on Thanksgiving weekend or some other inconvenient time. One bad thing about swapping pumps: If you get the hoses or wires crossed, you’ll be washing the wrong end of the car.

ELECTRICAL

When you pull on the wand to spray the windshield, do you get a lot of nothing? You might have electrical issues. Start by checking the fuse. The owner’s manual will tell you where the fuse box is and which fuse controls the washers. Fuse good? Get a voltmeter or a 12-volt test light and back-probe the connector that carries current to the pump. If there’s voltage at the connector, there might be a poor connection to the pump’s side of the connector. And considering the high-humidity environment, it’s no wonder that a common cause of problems is a rich coating of green fur on the connector. Clean things up with hot water, and reassemble with a coating of dielectric grease to prevent any invasion of moisture. If there’s good voltage at the connector, and a good connection, then the pump should run. If not, the pump motor is bad, and will need to be replaced.

RUNNING DRY?

Does one of your washer jets not work, or just pizzle onto the hood while the others send out a strong, fine stream? It might be clogged. Try sticking a dressmaker’s pin or a toothpick into the nozzle to dislodge the foreign object. If you don’t get it out, the obstruction may well lodge into the nozzle again in a short time. Remove the hose from the back of the nozzle, and flush backward with a garden hose or, better yet, a compressed-air line to blow it back, out of the fitting. I recommend peering into the reservoir to see if the offending piece of debris has any friends. They’ll need to be flushed from the reservoir to prevent a recurrence.

ONE-WAY

Many washer systems use a check valve to prevent fluid from draining back into the reservoir. If the check valve is clogged, you may or may not be able to clean it–because you can’t backflush it. By design, there’s no flow backward. Fortunately, replacement valves are cheap.

There’s an even more important reason for the check valve. In cold weather, fluid draining back into the reservoir might allow a few drops of rain or melted snow to wick up into the washer nozzle. That water isn’t alcohol-laced washer fluid with a freezing point well below zero–it’s plain old water that will freeze at normal temperatures and plug the nozzle until there’s a thaw outside or you park your car inside a heated garage long enough to thaw it. If your washers are inoperative only at low temps, check these valves. In extremely low temperatures, however, even regular washer fluid will freeze.

Use compressed air or running water to backflush debris from the nozzle. Remove the hose from the back of the nozzle to let the debris blow clear. Check the reservoir for junk if this is a frequent problem. Dielectric grease will keep electrical connections free of corrosion which thrives on the dampness near the pump.