Auto Glass 101

How important is my windshield?

Your front windshield does more than just keep the rain and bugs out. It is a structural component of your vehicle. It helps provide roof support in the event of a rollover and acts as a backboard for the airbags.  Today’s vehicles offer many high-tech auto glass features. From antennas, rain sensors, and heads up displays to acoustic interlayers, hydrophobic coatings, and Advanced Driver Assist Systems…glass installation today requires specific training and professional expertise. Our friendly staff and certified technicians will get you back on the road quickly and safely. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

What about the rest of the glass in my vehicle?

Windshield Glass can fix them all

What features does my auto glass have and what does it mean?

Below is a glossary of terms that can help understand some of the high-tech features in today’s auto glass.

Acoustic Interlayer – Glass having a thicker than normal vinyl laminate for noise reduction.

Adhesive – A polyurethane product designed to bond glass to painted metal that is both strong and flexible. Its strength is measured in two ways: tensile and lap shear. Typical auto glass adhesives achieve tensile strengths of 1000 psi and lap shear strengths of 500 psi.

Anti-Theft – Vehicle glass that is made of laminated glass & tempered glass sandwiched together to help prevent smash & grab theft.

Butyl – An adhesive / sealant that was the primary material used to bond car windshields in the 60’s and 70’s. Achieves lap shear strengths of only about 13 psi.

Condensation Sensor – usually located near the rear view mirror, it detects moisture on the inside of the windshield and automatically adjusts the climate control to reduce the fogging effect.

Diversity Antenna – Combines the reception from 2 or more antennas on the vehicle. They work together to achieve superior radio reception. Usually appears as a thin brown or orange line inside the glass.

Dot Matrix Shade – The traditional gradient shade band in the laminate is replaced by a dot matrix frit across the top of the windshield. These little black dots are painted onto one of the glass surfaces.

Electrochromic Mirror – Also known as Auto-Dim Mirror. A rear view mirror that senses light and automatically dims.

Encapsulated – A glass part that has a molding attached, sometimes at the top only, and sometimes around three or four sides of the glass.

FMVSS – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, i.e: FMVSS #212 the barrier crash test, and #216 the roof crush resistance test.

Frit – The black painted border around the perimeter of the glass. This painted area serves two purposes. First is aesthetics, it just looks better. Second, it blocks the sun’s rays from deteriorating the adhesive that structurally bonds the glass to the vehicle.

Heated Wiper Park Area – Windshield contains heater grids across the lower part of the glass where the wipers rest.

Hydrophobic coatings – coatings on the exterior #1 surface that cause raindrops to become round and roll off the windshield automatically.

HUD – Heads up display. Some of your vehicle’s key instrumentation is flashed up onto the bottom of the windshield. This allows drivers to check speed, etc. without having to take their eyes off of the road.

Laminated – A sandwich of two pieces of glass with a PVB layer between them. All front windshields are made of laminated glass. Properly installed windshields cushion an occupant’s head during impact, act as a backboard for the airbags, and provide structural roof support in an accident.

Lane Departure Warning – using a camera mounted to the windshield, the system is designed to alert drivers of unintended lane changes. Warnings are triggered to restore the driver’s attention in cases where the car drifts or changes lanes without using a turn signal.

Laser Deletion Area – a solar coated glass that has a small area without coating to allow lasers to work through the glass.

Light Sensor – A sensor usually located on the windshield that senses the absence of light and turns the headlights on.

Night Vision – An infrared camera mounted on the vehicle which detects objects further ahead than headlights, and displays the images on a section of the windshield.

O.E.M. – Original Equipment Manufacturer

PVB – Polyvinyl Butyral. The vinyl layer between the two pieces of glass that make up a front windshield.

Rain Sensor – A sensor usually located near the windshield’s rear view mirror that senses rain and activates the wipers.

Safe Drive Away Time – Actually, it should be called “Safe Crash Time”. The elapsed time after a front windshield installation that a vehicle would safely pass all the appropriate rollover and roof crush requirements. We recommend a minimum of one hour.

Solar Control Glass – Glass that blocks out solar radiation thereby reducing heat gain and keeping the inside of the vehicle cooler.

Third Visor Frit  – The black speckled shading in your windshield behind your rear view mirror. It is designed to keep the sun out of your eyes at the top middle of your windshield between your fold down visors