Vehicle Repair

Need help? Here's how to fix your chipped, cracked, or shattered windshield

Chipped, cracked, and shattered windshields are a problem that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

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Chipped. Cracked. Shattered. Whatever the ailment, it's likely that at some time during the life of your vehicle, you will have to change out its windshied. Here's what to do if your windscreen suddenly needs to be replaced.

Contact your insurance company. Have photos of the damage ready and your story straight. Often, your insurance company will authorize a repair without any cost to you or waive the deductable if you opt for a chip repair, which costs them less than replacing an entire windshield. Insurance companies will likely have a preferred vender for a repair, and it might not be your dealership.

Will your insurance cover it? When looking for an automotive glass installer, call your insurance company for a recommendation. At the same time, inquire about making a claim for the repair. They usually treat a glass repair claim differently than other comprehensive claims. A different deductable usually apply in this situation.

Move quickly. If you just have a small chip, it can usually be easily repaired and you won't have to replace the entire windshield. However, you need to act quickly to prevent the chip from turning into a crack or worse.

Auto Glass Replacement There's a lot to consider when you think you need to have your windshield replaced. Photo by Getty Images

Not all windshields are created equal. If you do not get a chip repaired in time and the crack spreads, you will need a replacement windshield. You may think that all replacement windshields are the same, but they are far from it. Calling around, you might find a replacement windshield for only $150, including installation. A call to another automotive glass specialist reveals that company charges $375, including installation.

What is the difference?

There are numerous types of replacement windshields on the market but they aren't all good quality. Some are thin while others are thick. Some may not contain the tinting you are used to or distort your view.

Find the right replacement. When you contact a glass installer, ask for a price of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) DOT replacement glass. To obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) certification, the glass must pass strict quality standards.

Automakers have specifications regarding the shape, size, and thickness of the windshields in their vehicles when the car is originally produced. Most new cars and trucks use laminated, acoustic glass. An acoustic glass windshield has an layer of soundproofing insulation between the two layers of glass. Replacing any of your glass with standard glass, which is not laminated, will make your previously quiet vehicle more susceptible to wind and road noise.

Is it safe? According to the Auto Glass Safety Council, the windshield provides significant structural support strength to the cabin of the vehicle. According to their research, in the event of a front end collision, a windshield provides up to 45 percent of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle. During a rollover crash, the amount increases to 60 percent. It is not an exaggeration to say that choosing the right windshield could be the difference between life and death.

Make sure the job is done right the first time. To ensure that your windshield is being replaced by a certified technician who knows what they are doing, ask if the shop/operation is AGRSS (Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standards) certified. To obtain this accrediation, a repair shop and its installers must have specialized training and the equipment to perform a professional replacement.

Get schooled on the stipulations of your service. It there a warranty? Even great shops make a mistake sometimes. A warranty may ensure that you will not have to pay again for something that should have been done right the first time.

Not all replacement windshields are the same. Using this information to choose the right installer and the right parts can ensure that you get the quality replacement you need to keep you safe on the road.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

A new study shows that many women lack basic auto maintenance knowledge.

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Women are taking automotive decision making into their own hands thanks to the internet. A new study of 2,000 women by OnePoll on behalf of Continental Tire revealed how the women are educating and informing themselves but many still lack basic automotive maintenance skills.

The poll found that three in four respondents researched pricing and repairs before they set foot in an automotive repair shop in a bid to guarantee fair prices. Many women (two in five) have refused a service because they had a hunch they were given an unfair price.

Woman changing a car tire More than two-thirds of women surveyed said that they couldn’t change a tire without looking at instructions. Photo by Getty Images

Sixty-five percent of the respondents said that they feel more confident entering the shop having done the research. Still, there’s room for improvement. Three out of four women polled said that they wished they were more confident beyond price knowledge and would like to add to their vehicle upkeep skills.

There’s a generational gap. Women between the ages of 18 and 23 are 17 percent more likely than women agree 56 and older to want to feel self-assured in their vehicle know-how. Many of those youngsters are part of Generation Z or categorized as Milennials, who grew up with the internet as an easily accessible and mostly reliable resource. According to a 2019 article from the Pew Research Center, just 68 percent of Baby Boomers own a smartphone while 93 percent of Millennials do.

Thirty-eight percent of women polled want to learn more about engine maintenance and a third would like to have a firmer grasp on the mechanics of a power plant.

Engines aren’t the only paint point for women. Nearly two-thirds said that they are not confident in their tire knowledge and the same amount said that they couldn’t inflate a tire without instructions. A third want to know how to check the size of a tire. Thirty percent wished they knew how to find out the remaining life in a tire.

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BMW's new SUV is fuel-efficient, but that's not a good enough reason to bring it to the U.S.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has debuted its first all-electric SUV, touting its emissions-free powertrain, "sporting ability", and comfortable interior. But, the model won't be arriving on U.S. shores anytime soon. Instead, the model will be for consumption in Europe and China. Why? It comes down to government.

BMW calls it their "Power of Choice" approach. Others may call it the "throw noodles against the wall" approach to an ever-evolving powertrain scene. This is the same business model that is causing BMW to make a hydrogen-powered X5 available for sale in Europe.

2021 BMW iX3 The BMW iX3 is a compact SUV. Photo by Fabian Kirchbauer Photography, courtesy of BMW

In Europe and China, emissions regulations have been tightened as governments respond to the pressure of the perceived threat of climate change at an increasing rate. Much of the concentration in these regulations deals with tailpipe emissions, which is a cause of air pollution, but doesn't focus energy on the way power is supplied to the powertrain, whether from coal-fired power station or a battery that is made from materials that destroy large swaths of the earth.

In a release about the iX3, BMW shared that, "BMW Group monitors compliance with environmental and social standards as part of its procurement process for the lithium and cobalt used in battery cells."

It is because of these emissions regulations that more automakers have begun investing in electrified powertrains, whether plug-in hybrid (PHEV), battery electric (BEV/EV), or hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV). For some, like Hyundai with hydrogen, the investment in the technology is decades old. Others, like Volkswagen Group, have built their entire future on it. Many automaker executives acknowledge that battery electric vehicles are only a stepping stone until hydrogen takes over as the fuel of choice. Still, FCEVs have batteries.

2021 BMW iX3 The car is proportionally the same as the traditional X3. Photo by Fabian Kirchbauer Photography, courtesy of BMW

In the U.S., emissions regulations are not as strict, despite moves by California in a self-perceived effort to lead the way, with many states not yet clamping down on emissions regulations.

It is for that reason in addition to low demand and because more often than not the profit margins on PHEVs and EVs are slim (add in the cost of shipping, dealer training, and equipment for repairs and the MSRP would have to skyrocket to make up for the extra expense), that BMW will not be selling the iX3 in America - at least not right now.

The 2021 BMW iX3 will be powered by BMW's fifth-generation eDrive technology. It has an 80 kilowatt-hour battery that will allow for a 285-mile range (WLTP). The model's eDrive electric motor sends power to the rear wheels and produces 286 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The SUV can move from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 112 mph.

2021 BMW iX3 Blue accents denote the model's EV standing.Photo courtesy of BMW

Drivers are able to choose the level of regeneration the model utilizes. It can be enough to allow for near one-pedal driving or minimally invasive.

To support the company's EV offerings, the BMW Connected Charging app delivers enhanced navigation with built-in charging options. Recharging from zero to 80 percent of the battery's capability happens in just 34 minutes. A 10-minute charge adds 62 miles of range.

The model's body design and interior proportions remain much the same in the iX3 as it does throughout the X3 lineup. Buyers can customize their iX3 ownership experience by ticking the box of one or more of the many options BMW offers including metallic paint, automatic lift gate, a panoramic sunroof, and sport seats.

There are blue accents on the exterior and interior of the model denoting its electric vehicle status within the BMW lineup.

2021 BMW iX3 The SUV seats five.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW estimates that the iX3 will have 30 percent less of an environmental impact over its lifespan than the diesel-powered version of the X3. When it is charged exclusively using green energy, that number jumps to 60 percent.

The 2021 BMW iX3 will be the first model to be produced for explore at BMW's Shenyang manufacturing facility in China. It is expected to be on sale later this year.

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