Don't Breeze Through a Cheap Fix on a Broken Windshield, Advises Edmunds.com


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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — November 3, 2011 — Looking to save money on car maintenance or car repairs? There is a simple way to minimize the expense of a chip or small crack, but don't cut corners when replacing the windshield, reports Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information.

"Chips are easier to repair when the damage has just occurred. Over time, rain washes dirt into the crack, making it harder to seal. Carry a roll of clear tape in the glove compartment to quickly cover a crack until it can be fixed," suggested David Beck, a technician at Salt Lake City's Windshield Express who is one of the experts interviewed for the story "Repair or Replace Your Windshield the Right Way" at http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/repair-or-replace-your-windshield-the-right-way.html

While most drivers only have to worry about those small chips and scratches, some will have to actually replace their windshields entirely, and shouldn't take the situation lightly.

"The windshield is an important layer of protection, not only keeping out debris but also helping with the car's structural integrity," said Philip Reed, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com. "An incorrectly installed windshield could pop out in an accident, allowing the roof to cave in and crush the car's occupants."

Edmunds.com offers several tips to make sure car owners go through the appropriate steps to replace a broken windshield:

  • Find a certified installer — Certification is valuable because it keeps installers up-to-date on advances in adhesives and changing automotive designs. A directory of certified installers can be found at Safewindshields.org or the National Glass Association.
  • Go directly to the glass shop — Dealerships and body shops most often subcontract a windshield replacement job to a glass shop, and then mark up the price about 30 percent. Going directly to the glass shop can help save money.
  • Ask for "original equipment" glass — The replacement windshield branded by your automaker is usually higher quality and better suited for your car than a generic replacement.
  • Inspect the work — Check for signs that the job was completed correctly. Make sure the molding is straight and that there is no sign of adhesives visible inside the car. The car should be clean inside. Debris or dirt left in your car could be the sign of sloppy workmanship.
  • Let the car sit — A car should sit up to 12 hours after a windshield installation. Follow your service provider's advice and don't blame the shop for the delay. Your safety is at stake.

For more details on how to properly fix a broken windshield — including tips on how to deal with rock chips and other small nicks — please visit Edmunds.com at http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/repair-or-replace-your-windshield-the-right-way.html.

About Edmunds.com, Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)

Edmunds.com Inc. publishes Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site and hosts the most established automotive community online. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.edmunds.com, makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. InsideLine.com is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.insideline.com, features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. AutoObserver.com provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/edmunds.

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