As we aforementioned in our previous blog post about headlight cleaning, this is a laborious, time consuming, but more surefire method of removing that headlight fog.
Word of warning, you may be uncomfortable performing some of the steps in the process. Please thoroughly read all steps before purchasing any of the required products or starting the process.
What you will need:
low/no lint paper towels
plastic sheets or bags
400 grit sandpaper
600 grit sandpaper
2000 or 3000 grit sandpaper
spray bottle of warm water
spray UV protection clear gloss coat
carnauba paste wax
*We recommend doing this inside a well-ventilated space or on a day with NO wind, pollen, or dust. *
Tape off headlight using painters’ tape. Make sure the seal between the paint and the headlight is tight, you don’t want to damage the clear coat.
Wet the 400 grit sandpaper and the headlight lens; make sure the lens and sandpaper are always wet. Using the wet sandpaper and very light pressure, sand the lens in a large circular pattern. Constantly spray with water throughout the process.
After a minute or so, change your pattern of motion to left and right horizontally, keep pressure very light. Continue to spray with water. Stop again after a minute or so. Spray with water and wipe headlight off.
Cloudy residue and mild scratches are expected. Do not freak out.
Using the same process as in Step 2, repeat using 600 grit with slightly more pressure. Spray with water throughout.
Like Steps 2 and 3, repeat with 2000 or 3000 grit sandpaper with very light pressure. Continuously spray with water and be sure to sand all areas of the lens. Spray and wipe dry.
Lens will look hazy, but don’t worry we’re not done.
Using your low/no lint paper towels, wipe headlight with rubbing alcohol. This removes natural oils from the lens.
Cover the surrounding area of the vehicle with plastic sheets or bags and tape down. Using scissors, cut out to reveal headlight and tape off. Alternatively, simply tape down plastic around the headlight. This is to protect your vehicle’s paint.
Repeat Step 5 for one final cleanse.
Spray clear coat. If you are uncomfortable with this step, practice a few times to obtain a sense of the pressure and amount that is sprayed. Watching a few YouTube videos may help to get a proper technique.
As with spray painting, start spraying off the object, quickly carrying over the lens one stroke at a time. Hold can several inches away from the lens. DO NOT SPRAY A HEAVY LAYER. This is a very light application.
If you encounter air bubbles, poke with a needle or use a gentle heat gun in short, distanced bursts. Warning, heat gun may produce fumes from gloss and possibly speed up or slow down drying process depending on the type of gloss spray. Try a needle first.
Allow the coat to dry for 5 to 10 minutes.
Repeat Step 8 for two more coats, allow dry before each application.
Once clear gloss coat is dry, apply a layer of carnauba paste to the lens. Allow it to almost dry and buff.
You Are Done
That’s about it. Hopefully, your headlight is significantly clearer, and you are satisfied with the results. Remember, this is not a process to rush nor cut corners with. Doing so will result in subpar results. If you are a visual person, like me, there are some decent tutorial videos out there that may be helpful.
Headlights are notorious for developing that cloudy film. Most of us don’t know what to do when it happens or even why it happens, but that’s what we’re here to tell you.
The cloudy film that plagues your headlights can be explained by simple oxidation. Plastic, when exposed to the elements day in and day out, will oxidize and deteriorate. There are things you can do or buy to help slow down this process, but if you’re like me, it’s too late for that.
After ample research, I believe I have found the most popular methods to try in removing or reducing this plastic film. For all methods, it is important that you thoroughly clean and dry your headlights with soapy water to remove surface dirt and grime.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
This was recommended as a first-choice attempt since it doesn’t take much or cost much to try. All you’ll need is some water, white vinegar, baking soda, and a cloth; a toothbrush will also work.
First, I recommend lightly wetting the headlight so the baking soda will stick. Then apply baking soda. Wet your cloth or brush with vinegar and begin scrubbing your headlight in circular motions, don’t afraid to be too rough. After a few minutes, rinse the headlights and repeat as needed.
Once again, this won’t remove oxidation very well, but it may remove enough dirt and grime to make a difference. After all, the ingredients are cheap and worth a shot if it means not having to spend more money.
This isn’t too dissimilar from the above method. All you need is some regular, non-gel toothpaste. If it has baking soda in the ingredients, that is an added bonus, but not necessary as you can add some yourself for the extra abrasiveness. You will also need a toothbrush, hard or medium preferred but just whatever is cheap.
The first step is to apply a very generous amount to the headlight with your fingertips, spread all over. Then scrub in a circular motion with your toothbrush. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse and repeat as needed.
Buy the kit. Follow the instructions.
This is a much more laborious and time-consuming process, but it will significantly reduce or remove that oxidized layer on your headlight. As this process requires multiple steps, we’ll explain it all in the next post here.
Tell Us Your Method
Those are all the methods we’ve found in our short research. There was one about bug spray, but that slightly terrified us, so we decided not to include it. If you have any other methods for removing that foggy layer on your headlights, let us know in the comments below!
Also, tell us which of these methods work best for you. Good luck and happy adventures!
No, the title is not a GOT reference. Though I would be lying if that didn’t come to mind. Regardless, temps are on the rise and that means we can start enjoying more outdoor activities.
“What does this have to do with cars? Is this not an auto glass website?”
Valid point and I will tell you. With milder temperatures, people like you and I start to go on outdoorsy trips. We might go on a hike, head to the lake, or just cruise the streets windows down and music blaring. This also means that our cars may be traveling on more rough and rocky terrain, traveling longer distances, and overall getting more use than normal.
As with anything, more use equals more wear and tear. Am I discouraging you from going on road trips or taking your kids to the lake? Absolutely not. I’m simply reminding you that car repairs may spring up more in the summer, especially after the particularly harsh winter we just had.
There are things you can do to ease the wear on your car though and none of them will break the bank or require egregious amounts of labor.
The closer you are to the car in front of you, the more likely a rock will fly and crack your windshield. Distance yourself about two cars from the vehicle ahead, especially on the highway.
Wash your car
Dirt and dust, no matter how fine, is not a gentle material. Leaving it on your car to sit and stir around ever so slowly erodes the clearcoat and paint of your car. This isn’t a major issue, but if you really want to preserve your paint job, give it a wash and wax every now and again.
Check your tires
This is a year-round task you should be completing, especially before long trips. The last thing you want is to experience a flat tire while out on a relaxing drive. Accelerating slowly and taking gentler turns can also help increase the life of your tire.
Wet Seats and Vacuums
Hikes and trips to the swimming hole are always a blast. However, before you let your soaking wet kids back in the car, have them sit on a towel or some plastic. Your upholstery will thank you later. Additionally, don’t forget to occasionally vacuum your vehicles carpets and floor mats. The longer the dirt sits, the harder it will be to get out.
Go Have Fun!
There are plenty of other little tasks and maintenance tips for your car, but this is all you’re getting today. It’s far too beautiful out for me to write summer car tips all day. The most important thing to remember is to have fun, make memories, and keep reading blog posts…
The auto glass industry has yet to reach instant replacement technology. We all look forward to that day, but it is not yet upon us.
With that in mind, we would like to remind all our wonderful customers that an auto glass replacement takes one hour to perform and one hour to cure – in other words, the glue needs to dry for an hour.
This means that all replacement customers should plan on not driving for at least two hours. If the glue is not left to cure for at least one hour, our workmanship guarantee is void, rendering any and all windshield problems (leaking, wind noise, etc.) not covered under said warranty.
So please, for your own sake and ours, do not drive your car for at least one hour after the repair is done. Thank you and happy adventures.
This is a short update to our previous blogs about chip repairs and a little reminder of what we can and cannot guarantee.
As you may or may not know, chip repairs are only ever an attempt at repairing a chip in your windshield. It does not guarantee that the chip will not crack out nor does it prevent more chips from occurring.
The main reason for a chip repair is to TRY to prevent a chip from spreading. Does is often work? Yes. Does it sometimes not work? Also, yes.
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that a chip repair will 100% solve the problem. They are sometimes visible after the repair and they sometimes don’t prevent the chip from cracking out later.
Just as we cannot guarantee that a new windshield won’t get a rock chip a day later from driving around, we cannot guarantee a chip repair won’t crack out that chip.
We hope you understand, and we very much encourage you to get glass insurance so that a cheap repair doesn’t turn into a more expensive replacement. Thank you and happy adventures.
Why suddenly a blog about patience? Due to our recent and rather dramatic snowfall here in sunny Arizona, we have had to reschedule quite a few appointments. It is not the fault of any individual, after all, no one could leave their home for two days. Regardless, it has still caused quite the stir.
We understand that a cracked or chipped windshield is a concern for many us included – it is our livelihood – but we assure that in most circumstances, there is no immediate threat to you or your vehicle. We are doing our very best to accommodate all our wonderful customers but kindly ask for patience during this period of high call volume.
Although rescheduling an appointment may be inconvenient and requires additional time between now and your appointment, we have come up with a TOP 10 LIST of what to do with that extra time!
Our Top 10 Things to do Before Your Appointment Date – in no particular order
We love to hike here at Adventure, and we hope you do too. These past few days have had AMAZING weather that is absolutely perfect for hiking. Not to mention we live in one of the best areas for hiking. The trail possibilities are nearly endless, though my favorites have to be Mingus and The Dells.
2. Chores and Errands
Okay, this isn’t really our favorite thing to do, but it is important to do. We sometimes find that completing the simple necessary tasks are often the most difficult to find time for. So perhaps between now and your appointment date, you can get some of those things done! Productivity, yay!
3. Road Trip
Road trips do not have to be long or expensive. Even driving out to Sedona for the day can be a blast, and if you’re needing to fill some time, a road trip can be a great solution!
4. Day of Relaxation
If you can spare an entire day, a home spa day is always a great idea. You can draw yourself a nice bath, read a book, or even binge your favorite show. The idea is that for the entire day, you do what you enjoy most!
5. Movie Night with Friends
Another great idea is to host a movie night! Gather your favorite people, make some popcorn, and fire up Netflix! You can even buy your favorite candy or make some delicious sweets!
6. Craft Day
You might not be into arts and crafts, I can respect that, but for those of you who are, this is a perfect opportunity to really craft it up! Build a nightstand, pre-make all your Christmas cards, or just sit down and draw. Be as creative and adventurous as you wish!
7. Home Renovations
This is one of those things that is ALWAYS pushed aside. Now is the perfect time to finish painting your bedroom, tiling the bathroom, or hanging up that décor you bought a month ago. Get it all done and you will have one less thing to worry about in the future.
Watch a few episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Konda and get to work! Does it spark joy? No? Get rid of it! Clean out that closet, pantry, garage, you name it! Organize your life and house like never with this extra time, we believe in you!
9. Start a New Book
When do we have the time to read anymore? Exactly, never. So, pick up a nice short book to start and finish with this small bit of extra time. Learn something new or plunge into a new world, either way, enjoy it!
10. Get Your Hobby On
We’ve all had a hobby we picked up and dropped because of a time commitment. Well, now is the time to pick it back up! Or, if you don’t have a hobby, now is the perfect time to look into a new one! Why not start something you enjoy with this little extra time, who knows when you’ll have free time next.
Windshield wiper fluid may be relatively inexpensive, but to make it yourself is even more so. Not only that, but there is a certain satisfaction in making something yourself and there’s a comfort in knowing what goes into the products you use. Furthermore, by making your own windshield wiper fluid, you can reuse the same jug every time and won’t have to throw them away!
Makes 1 Gallon of Windshield Wiper Fluid
Here’s the recipe:
1 Pint rubbing alcohol
1 tsp dish soap
1Tbsp non-sudsing ammonia
1-gallon empty container
1 – Combine rubbing alcohol, ammonia, and dish soap in your empty 1-gallon jug. Add the dish soap last so it doesn’t suds too much. Mix well.
2 – Add one to two drops of food coloring, then fill the rest of the container with water – the food coloring is to help the mixture not look like drinking water. This mixture will kill your plants, pets, and probably you, so please don’t drink it.
3- Mix to ensure your ingredients are completely combined.
That’s all there is to it! Some Tips might be to use warm water to help the dish soap dissolve. You can also double this recipe if you have a larger container. We also recommend using a container that can be easily poured, like a milk jug. This mixture can also be used to clear most mirrors and windows in your home as well.
We hope you like our quick DIY Windshield Wiper Fluid and wish you happy adventures!
(This mixture is not designed for extreme temperatures and we cannot guarantee its effectiveness in extreme cold or extreme heat)
You can’t see me, but I am taking a bow for that highly intellectual joke re-write. Thank you, I am here all year! Anyways……
Chips. We’ve mentioned them a few times here in the past, I’m sure there are a couple of old ‘Chip’ blogs laying around here, *COUGH* There are probably thousands. *COUGH* Excuse me.
This one is different though. I am certain we haven’t discussed this before and I am a little excited to talk about it. What exactly am I blabbering on about? Well, my friend (or enemy…?), today I am talking about why chips run!
Believe it or not, this is a question we are frequently asked by our customers and wonderful fans on the net. That along with, “How do I stop chips from spreading?” Both questions I am here to answer in as great of detail as possible but, of course, in plain speak so that you (and me) can understand it; no jargon today folks!
Why they Run
First question: Why do chips spread?
There are a couple reasons why chips in your windshield spread, but the likely answer is temperature. This may be obvious to some of you since we all learn in school that heat causes expansion and cold causes contraction, but what temperatures exactly will affect a chip?
Well, we asked our lead tech and were told that a 15o temperature difference between the inside of your vehicle and the external or atmospheric temperature will cause those windshield chips to run. Any less of a temperature difference shouldn’t make a difference and any more will simply make those chips run even faster.
This one should be obvious. If you apply force to an already broken thing (i.e. a chip) it will make it worse. So, do not sit on your windshield
What can you do?
If I’m being honest, and I am, there isn’t much you can do to prevent a chip from spreading. However, there are some things you can do to help prevent situations that make chips spread easier.
First and foremost, once you get a chip, you need to schedule an appointment to have it repaired. Up until that appointment date, you can place a piece of clear tape, scotch is fine, over the chip to prevent water from entering the chip. If water seeps in there, it will likely cause that chip to run and spread much faster with changing temperatures.
Also, go easy on your defroster. That can even make it crack out.
That’s about it
I hate to say it, but there’s not much more to it than that. Chips can happen and when they do, they can spread. There is little you can do to stop this other than having them repaired. We wish you luck out and happy adventures!
Have you ever considered how exactly we auto glass shops select and receive windshields? How do we know which one will fit and how do we go about getting it? If my intuition is correct, none of you have ever thought about these things, but I don’t blame you.
Like many services we employ, there is a general expectation that the people behind the operation know what they are doing. We arrive with our need and expect the need to be met when we return. I would say this is a reasonable expectation too. Why should you care how it goes down as long as you get a desirable result?
Well, why not spend a little extra time to prepare yourself. Strengthen or alter the expectations you may have had about the service and go in with some slight comprehension about how things are going to happen.
Trust me, customers that come in knowing what they want and what information they need to get it are an employee’s favorite type of person. Plus, you can avoid looking or sounding confused, uncertain, and uninformed. (Don’t confuse this with being a know-it-all though, those are often the least favorite person.)
Regardless, here is how we go about selecting and receiving your glass.
Selecting the correct windshield is not as difficult as one might think. There is actually a computer program that we and most, auto glass shops use to find the correct windshield for the client.
With this program, there are a couple options that come up for finding different windshields
We can enter the year, make, and model of a vehicle and the type of glass (windshield, front passenger, etc.)
We can enter the VIN# of the glass
With either of these, we will likely find your vehicle’s glass
How exactly do we get the glass? Contrary to beliefs, we and every other auto glass shop, do not manufacture windshields on site. Even Safelite, who does manufacture their own glass, doesn’t have a “glass machine” at every location. There’s also no such thing as a glass machine but, if you’re curious about how windshields are made, check out our other blog: How They’re Made: Windshields.
Instead, each day we receive three separate shipments of glass from various auto glass manufacturers; Two from Migrant Glass and one from Pilkington. The drivers come up every day from the Phoenix metropolitan area (usually) and deliver to all the auto glass shops in the area, Safelite excluded.
Now they don’t just deliver random windshields and we typically don’t stockpile windshields either. We place orders based on our known future need. In other words, when we are
hired for a replacement job, we schedule the order the glass and schedule the job. The windshield will then be here and ready when the appointment arrives.
This is the main reason why we typically can’t do same day replacements. We don’t have your specific windshield in our shop and it’s usually too late to order it for one of the three shipments. Additionally, appointment slots are most often full when that day comes around. Once in a blue moon though, the stars align, and the same day replacement may be able to happen, but very rarely. Nonetheless, it never hurts to ask.
Some vehicles though, are either too new or too uncommon to have their windshields incorporated into the program. In these cases, we may refer you to another glass shop (classic cars) or may order the glass from a dealer or special manufacturer.
All of this depends on whether the technicians can replace the glass. Some vehicles need special equipment, materials, or skills that are vastly different from your average truck, car, or van. Although, it never hurts to ask your local glass shop if they can do it or not.
If you have any questions on how we get or select glass, please leave a comment, or if you’re curious as why windshields can be so expensive, check out this other blog post. You could also try our FAQ page to see if your question has already been answered or, give us a call. We are always happy to help!
In the world of Pinterest and DIY, a lot of people are considering what they can do themselves that they would normally pay someone to do. Painting a house, changing your oil, you name it, people are opting to get a little messy to pinch some pennies. We don’t blame them either!
There are certain things in life that people can easily do themselves to save a few hundred bucks. Then again, there are also things that people should not do themselves because it’ll probably end up costing them more than a few hundred bucks
Windshield DIY, should you?
Unsurprisingly, there are quite a few people out there that would like to repair or replace their own windshield. While it is understandable why and possible to do, we don’t recommend you do so.
For one thing, windshields can be very expensive. Not to mention the endless different versions, model numbers, and styles each different car can have. If you don’t know what to look for when buying a windshield, then the chances that you will order the wrong one is very high.
If you do order the wrong one, but don’t know it, then you will waste time, energy, and other necessary installation materials trying to make it fit. Plus, you might be tempted to say,
“Oh, I’ll just duct tape it and call it good.”
No, no you won’t because windshields cannot be duct taped, zip tied, nor any other form of jerry-rigging. These are possibly the one part of your car that you cannot zip tie or duct tape down. Not only do they need proper sealing to keep rain from destroying your header, but also to keep wind noise from happening AND, more importantly, to secure the structural integrity of your vehicle.
Yup, that’s right. The windshield of a car offers structural support to your car in an accident. This support is greatly at risk when windshields are improperly installed or jerry-rigged.
You are 100% responsible for anything that occurs because of your workmanship. If it comes off on the highway and hits another car, you will be responsible. If you happen to get in an accident and your passenger is injured because of an improperly installed windshield, again that’s all on you.
Additionally, if you have glass coverage, your insurance company will NOT cover the cost of a repair or replacement you do yourself. So, if you decide to attempt to do it yourself and mess up, they won’t cover the cost of any damage or mistakes.
What about Chips?
Though chip repairs can be simpler than glass replacements, there is a risk you take when performing this on your own. The point of a chip repair is to fix the damage done to the windshield so that the chip doesn’t spread into a large crack.
If done incorrectly and the damage is not completely repaired, then the chip could still spread into a crack. Chip repairs are meant to repair damage, not to erase visible marks and therefore completeness cannot be judged 100% through visible markers.
Additionally, there is ALWAYS a risk when performing a chip repair. That risk being the chip could crack out the glass further. In other words, the chip will become much worse. Just another reason why we recommend having chip repairs professionally done; they know what they are doing and are responsible if they screw up.
All in all?
Honesty and with our utmost sincerity, we recommend you have all your glass repairs or replacements done by a professional. Now I realize that you might think you could easily do the work yourself to save a little money, but if something goes wrong, it’s all on you.
If your biggest hurdle is paying for labor, then think of it as supporting your community. Go with a small business so you know your money will stay local. You should also consider companies that support your community through charities or local organizations. Sometimes it’s okay to kick back and let someone else fix it!