Things to Consider When Replacing a Windshield

Things to Consider When Replacing a Windshield

Some car owners will go their whole life without having to replace a windshield. Others will deal with the situation many times. This article will cover the things that make replacement of the windscreen more complicated. If you have heads up display, specialized heated glass or want to know if you live in a State that offers zero deductible glass replacement, then this article is exactly what you’re looking for.

Heated Windshields

When it comes time to replace a windshield, you want to make sure the replacement glass includes all of the same features as the original part. A heated front windshield operates much like the rear glass with a rear defogger heating element. Having a heated windshield that works in conjunction with a standard forced air automotive defroster that derives its power from heated engine coolant can provide superior ice melting and fog free driving.

The big difference between a regular windshield and a heated one is the glass is made of multiple layers. A plastic laminate is sandwiched between two layers of glass with a transparent silver, or zinc oxide coating designed to carry electrical current. Often these features are turned on automatically when the front defroster has been selected from the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning panel. The important thing is a fancy multiple layered heated windshield is more expensive than a plain glass one. To retain the specialized functions the proper glass needs to be installed.

Heads up Display

A heads up display option is often thought of as cutting edge technology a fighter pilot would use in his F-14 tomcat. It’s similar for cars in that critical data is projected on the front windshield so the driver has a transparent and continuous view of this vital information. In order for the heads up display to appear correctly the glass is treated on the inside with a polymer overlay. This makes the windshield unique and much more expensive. Both the insurance and glass companies should be notified when the automobile has this option.

Night Vision Windshields

Although more common on expensive luxury cars this feature is finding its way to more automobiles because of its useful thermal imaging that helps driver see things they never thought possible at night. The system operates using a special imaging camera and the results are displayed on the inside of the windshield using the (HUD) heads up display format.

Similar to a military system it allows the driver to see up to five times more of the road than if they were just using regular headlights. It works by registering differences in temperature and displaying these in sixteen different shades of color on the HUD screen. This provides the ability to display animals or people that are hidden out of the field of vision or clouded by fog. Automobiles that deploy this type of system will have specialized windshields that support them. Make sure the glass company knows that this very special option is installed on the vehicle.

Windshields are Free in Florida

Living in the state of Florida myself, I have heard rumors that damaged windshields are covered at no charge under the standard automotive policies written in the State. This is not completely true. If you only have basic liability coverage, then no type of windshield or glass damage is covered. If you have comprehensive or some type of collision policy than damage to the glass would be covered with no deductible. No deductible is the key part of the windshield coverage in the sunshine state. In fact, Florida is one of only four states that is considered a zero deductible state when it comes to glass coverage.

The other states that participate in this program are Kentucky, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. In my research I found it’s necessary to have comprehensive coverage to be eligible for the zero deductible windshield policy in all of these states. Although free glass coverage is nice to have its constantly being abused and therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if the future of this program is short-lived.

The key takeaways from this article are that even though your windshield looks like a basic piece of glass it could be much more complicated than that. Vehicles that have heads up display or heated windshields use additional layers embedded in the glass that promotes proper operation of these fancy accessories. A good glass company should review a list of possible options that could be included with a specific model. With that said, car owners should be proactive and review their owner’s manual to verify if there automobile is equipped with these additional and useful car accessories.

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