Thursday, April 23, 2015

5 Windshield Repair Myths

Small Windshield Chips Are Safe and Won't Crack
Research shows that 7 out of 10 chips in a windshield will eventually crack. This means that the problem went from something that could simply be repaired turned into something that needed to be completely replaced. A windshield that is chipped immediately becomes weaker and is at risk for becoming more damaged. Car owners should be aware of any small windshield chips that exist on their vehicle and repair them before they worsen.

All Chips in Your Windshield Require a Full Replacement
While windshield chips can cause a lot of problems in the future if they are not repaired, they do not require a full replacement. Chips in a windshield are actually very simple to repair and if done right, one would never know the window was ever chipped. A windshield only requires a full replacement by a windshield repair company if it is cracked or when a chip turns into a crack that is larger than a quarter. If a crack is the size of a quarter or smaller, it may be able to be repaired instead of replacing the whole windshield.

Do-It-Yourself Repair Kits Are Good Enough
Taking the cheap way out and using a do-it-yourself kit is going to have cheap did-it-yourself results. Many windshield repair companies will not repair a window that has already been experimented on with a repair kit. Going straight to a professional will save more money in the long run and will ensure that the job is done well. Do not make the mistake of using a kit to substitute a real repair. Companies that make and distribute repair kits will market that their products work just as well as a professional repair job, but remember that they are a business trying to sell a product. Do not fall for it.

Chip Repairs Must Be Paid for Out of Pocket
Usually, vehicle owners will not have to pay for the entire chip repair on their own. Paying for a chip repair is much cheaper than replacing the windshield. Insurance companies are aware of this, so they will often waive the deductible on the chip repair. In the case of the entire windshield being repaired, a car owner will most likely have to pay the deductible themselves. In addition, windshield repair professionals often offer warranties and other benefits to their clients.

All Chips Are the Same 
Most people do not know that all windshield chips are categorized into 6 different types and are treated accordingly. These are combo break, bee's wing, star break, bull's eye, clover leaf, and half-moon. A professional can determine what kind of chip is in a windshield. Each kind of chip will spread differently. Some types will spread faster than others. Knowing what type of chip it is plays a part in the repair process, which is another reason to have a windshield repaired by a professional rather than with an at-home repair kit. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

5 Automotive Mobile Devices Ideal for Teenage Drivers

Many parents worry when their teens start to drive. Distracted driving, inexperience and simple carelessness are all reasons for parents to be concerned. The added distraction of a cellphone and all its available functions bring even more reasons to worry.

While it would be great if parents could keep a watchful eye every time a teenager is behind the wheel, it’s just not possible. In this age of technology, can parents have more peace of mind when their newly licensed teenage driver is on the road?

“Parents can make use of vehicle monitoring devices,” says Chris Kersting, president and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). The trade association represents the $33 billion automotive specialty equipment industry that includes thousands of products that are available to enhance a vehicle’s styling, performance, comfort and convenience. “These devices can help relieve some parents’ anxieties about their teen driver and can even improve teen driving habits.”
Here are some devices to consider for anyone who wants to keep tabs on teenagers behind the wheel.


While you don’t want your teen texting while driving, it’s equally as important to make sure that he’s not talking with his phone glued to his ear. A vehicle with Bluetooth capabilities will ensure a safer hands-free experience – not to mention you can call him knowing he can answer you without taking his hands off the wheel or his eyes off the road. Choices range from a standalone universal Bluetooth kit, FM transmitters or a new Bluetooth-enabled car stereo system.

GPS tracker

You can easily track a vehicle’s movement using a GPS tracker. These handy devices can be mounted in any car, sometimes using only a magnet, and will report back to your computer or smartphone. Advanced features include alerts letting you know if your teenager is driving out of a pre-designated area. Trackers typically require a monthly subscription service fee.

Plug-in diagnostic port adapters

Plug-in diagnostic port adapters plug into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port (OBDII). The OBDII connects to the car’s brain and when accessed, can provide a plethora of information on how the car is being driven. Every car sold after Jan. 1, 1996 was required to have an OBDII port, so most vehicles on the road today include this port. Numerous plug-in adapters are available to monitor driving habits and gather reports, including speed monitoring, harsh braking, location displays and more. Most adapters also require a service subscription in order to provide text or email alerts on activities you wish to monitor.

Hardwired telematics systems

A hardwired vehicle tracking system eliminates the possibility of your teenager finding and removing the diagnostic port adapter. Hardwired systems also provide real-time information and can pinpoint locations more accurately than a plug-in unit. These systems provide the same features such as speed tracking and notifications when your teen exceeds speed thresholds, and have built-in motion sensors to detect rapid acceleration or rapid starts. When real-time information is important, a hardwired system, while more costly and time consuming up-front, has real advantages.

Cellphone blockers

Some aftermarket products available today can actually block cellphone usage when your teenager is driving, going a step beyond vehicle tracking or telematics. These cellphone blockers can be configured to block numerous phone capabilities, including texting while driving, taking photos and using applications. It can even block all incoming and outgoing phone calls, except from numbers you specify (i.e. mom and dad). Like a plug-in or hardwired telematics system, cellphone blockers connect to the vehicle’s telematics system. Along with blocking the most distracting functions of a phone, cellphone blockers also monitor and report speeding, driving habits and provide location identification.