Woman inside vehicle examining windshield for dirt and damage

Windshield Chip Repair

Keeping Little Chips & Cracks from becoming Big Repairs

Here in Kansas, we are at risk of suffering a crack or ding to our windshield during any time of year. From being parked outside during a large hailstorm in the spring to just following a construction vehicle along Kellogg in Wichita, people come into our Andover auto shop all year round with a variety of auto glass damage.

When to get a windshield chip repaired?

Woman inside vehicle examining windshield for dirt and damage

A little chip or crack on your windshield may be annoying, but not an impairment to your driving. You may be tempted to delay getting your vehicle’s glass repaired later. But how long can you safely wait to fix a little chip in your window before getting it fixed? There really is no good length of time to wait to repair a broken windshield, no matter how minor the damage is. The fact is, the smallest ding in your window or windshield is at risk of turning into a large crack at any time. Waiting to fix a little windshield chip could cost you more in the long run.

What’s the cost of fixing a chipped windshield?

If you have a chip less than a half inch big or a crack that can be completely covered by your hand, these damages probably require minor repairs and will not be very expensive. Here at our auto shop in Andover just minutes from Wichita, we often can repair minor chips and cracks in less than an hour.

The cost and repair time increase if the damage is not as minor as you think. If there are 4 or more chips or cracks on the glass, if the damage is located at the ends of the windshield, or if your windshield is covered with tiny divots, then you may need to have the entire windshield replaced.

Finding out if we can fix it and how much it will cost is free. Here at Collision Center of Andover, we do not charge for a repair quote. Feel free to bring your vehicle to our auto shop at 948 N. Andover Rd, just a few minutes outside of Wichita. Or you can use our online repair quote form to submit a description and a photo of your car’s damage to help us get started on your repair quote.
Severely cracked windshield of a vehicle

What could cause a small windshield chip to become worse?

Think you can just try to drive more carefully to keep the little crack from getting worse? You are taking a big gamble. The truth is, there is really no way for you to avoid a little chip in your glass before that minor damage becomes a crack that reaches across your whole windshield.

 

What can cause a chip or small crack to spread?
    • Pothole
    • A bumpy road
    • An aggressive turn

Beyond those above situations that could occur while you’re on the road, elements in nature could also contribute to making a little problem much bigger and more expensive for you. Your windshield experiencing sudden temperature changes could cause the chip or crack to get worse. Some ways to avoid these big temperature swings affecting your windshield, do not park in direct sunlight and avoid using your window defroster until you get the damage fixed. In addition to temperature, leaving a window chip exposed can cause dirt to get into the tiny cracks, making it possibly harder to repair later. Even something relatively small that drops from a tree like an acorn or nut could be enough of an impact to make your small chip become a large crack in your windshield.

How to stop a windshield crack from spreading

The best thing to do is to get the damage fixed right away. But if you can’t get it into a shop immediately, there are some simply DIY steps you can take to prevent the damage from getting worse. One easy measure is to apply superglue or clear nail polish to the chip. You will first want to completely clean the windshield and damaged area. Then fill the crack with the glue or polish. Once it’s dry, put a piece of clear packing tape over it to keep dirt from getting into the crack.

Are there laws against windshield damage?

Police officer pulling over a car for a traffic violationWhile we’ve already explained the very practical and financial reasons why it is best to not wait on getting a windshield chip repaired, there is also a legal reason.

Kansas law states that you cannot have damage to your front windshield or windows that present a substantial obstruction to the driver’s view of the roads. What size of damage is considered substantial? The law isn’t exact, but it’s probably not something you want to leave up to the officer who decided to pull you over. It will be up to that officer’s judgement on whether the chips or cracks in any of your vehicle’s glass are in violation of state law.

Federal law is a bit more specific on how much windshield damage is illegal to have on an operating vehicle. It’s against the law to have cracks that intersect with each other. And it’s illegal to have glass chips ¾ of an inch wide or larger within 3 inches of any other damage.

Breaking the Kansas state laws on vehicle window and windshield damage could result in a fine of $45.00. Although subsequent offenses within a couple years’ time will increase the amount you are fined.

Can you fix your car’s window yourself?

Possibly. There are DIY windshield kits available for consumers to use. Before deciding to take on this job yourself, you will want to consider a few things:

  • Is the crack or divot very small, or could it be large enough to require more extensive repair than what a DIY window repair kit can handle?
  • Is the chip or crack located in your field of vision while driving? Your repair job could leave a mark or blemish that will obstruct your view while driving.

Four of the skilled auto technicians at Collision Center of AndoverLetting a professional handle your windshield damage is always the best idea. Our skilled technicians at our Andover auto shop have an incredible amount of experience handling all the variety of chips, dings and cracks vehicles suffer in Kansas. From construction to hail, our cars and trucks face a lot of punishment on roads in and around Wichita. Our auto technicians know immediately whether the chip or small crack is easily fixable, or if you will need an entire windshield replacement. Attempting to fix the issue yourself when the problem is actually large enough to need more professional repair, could end up costing you more money when the damage becomes worse or if your repair job doesn’t hold.

Beyond windshield, Collision Center of Andover can handle all your auto glass repair & replacement, including rear windshield and door windows. Minor cracks and chips can be fixed very quickly, often in less than an hour. And depending on your insurance coverage, the window chip repair may be at no cost to you. Call us today and let us know how we can help – (316) 733-9310.

When Will My Car be Ready? 9 Things that Can Slow Down Repairs

From Estimate to Fixed: Factors determining how long your car will be in the shop

Having been the premiere auto body shop for Andover and Wichita since 2006, Collision Center of Andover are experts at putting your damaged car back to the way it was. Not only do our experienced car technicians know how to get the job done, we know how long this process can be expected to take AND all the factors that cause delays in getting your vehicle fixed as soon as possible.

Graphic image with icons of car repair: When Will Car Be Ready?

The 1 question our customers ask the most: When will my car be ready?

Photo of beagle puppy with his head out of a moving vehicleWhen people need us to get their vehicle back in perfect condition, there really is just one question we get asked more than any other. You want to know when your car will be done. After all, it can be quite an inconvenience to not have your own personal vehicle. You probably know exactly where things are in your car: your umbrella, your ice scraper, your cup of change for a Spangles mudslide. We definitely understand your rush to get your car back and deal with as little auto repair time as possible. And so, we make every effort we can and anticipate every hurdle to get you back in your car or truck as soon as possible. In the meantime, while your vehicle is with us, we can arrange for you to have a rental. We are a concessionaire shop for Enterprise and have their vehicles on site for you to rent. We will make sure to have a vehicle here for you and will arrange the insurance billing at your request.

So, what’s the answer? When will we get your vehicle done?

We wish we could give you an exact answer. But the fact is, we can’t. And believe us, we really, really wish we could. The simple fact is we just don’t know. It almost pains us to tell you that. With a team of car guys with decades of experience fixing cars day in and day out (heck, Jeff alone has nearly 30 years’ experience!), you would think we would be the local auto body shop to know this answer.

There is a good reason why we can’t predict with 100% accuracy how long it will take for us to repair your car. Actually, there are 9 reasons. And many of those reasons are outside the control of our technicians and repair shop, at least until we learn how to control mother nature.

Graphic image with vehicle parts icons: 9 Factors that Determine Car Repair

9 Factors that Determine Auto Repair Time
  1. Photo of cars covered in snow and ice along a streetFirst, what time of year is it?
    Is it a nice spring day, or is it the day after central Kansas’ first ice storm of the winter season? If our area’s first mix of ice and sleet covered roads from Andover to Goddard, there are likely hundreds (or more) of other people across the Wichita area who are taking their car or truck to the repair shop at the same time as you. While we want to get to work on your car right away, you may be waiting in line… at ANY repair shop across the area.
  1. Photo of an insurance adjuster inspecting damage on a vehicle with a flashlightWho is your insurance?
    Depending on your answer, this could be the most substantial delay to work getting done. We have great experience in the entire process, and that includes working with insurance companies to avoid delays. But the truth is, each insurance company operates differently. While Collision Center technicians can get started without any delay when certain insurance companies are involved, other insurance companies may require an extensive approval process, taking days or every several weeks! While we can’t control how long some insurance companies will take to allow us to get your car repair started, you can trust Collision Center of Andover to do what it takes to help insurance companies expedite their process whenever we can.
  1. Woman on the phone looking distressed with a very damaged vehicle behind her tangled up in a treeIs there more damage hiding?
    Once we get the insurance approval, we can get straight to work on repairing your vehicle. That often starts with us tearing down your vehicle. This is where new issues can arise. It’s very possible that while we are getting a closer look inside your vehicle, we will find additional damage that wasn’t visible until AFTER we took it apart. If that happens, we will work quick to handle any new orders for parts or any further coordination with the insurance company.
  1. Does your vehicle need to go to the dealership?
    There are times when a repair job will require work to be done by the dealership. This may be because of insurance requirements or warranty specifications. In any case, taking your car to a dealership means the repair is temporarily out of our hands. Just as we effort to expedite work with insurance companies, we are quick to work closely with your dealership to avoid any unnecessary delays. Once they can get their part of the work done, we are ready to take over.
  1. Road closed sign with traffic cones at a country highway covered in snowWhat’s the weather like in other parts of the country?
    Even if Kansas isn’t currently dealing with bad weather, a storm in our neighboring states could still affect how long it will take your car to get done. Fortunately, many parts are available here in the Wichita area. But sometimes parts needed for repairs come from outside Kansas, such as from Denver, Oklahoma or Texas. Usually when we need to order parts, we can have them on hand in a day. But as we’ve seen happen, roads like I-70 are prone to be shut down during and after a big snow storm and can delay how soon your parts get to us.
  1. What type of car do you have? Is it uncommon?
    If you’re driving a foreign car or some other less common vehicle, we may need to order parts that could take a while to get delivered to us. But if you drive a Ford, Chevy, Honda or other common vehicle on our roads, delays for parts are usually minimal, if at all. Also, if your car is rather old (more than 10 years), it may require parts that aren’t as common and quick to receive. And having a vehicle that isn’t being manufactured anymore (like an Oldsmobile or Saturn) could also mean a delay in getting your car’s parts.
  1. How high-tech is your car?
    The more technology your vehicle has, the more there is for us to fix. Nowadays, there are some cars with sensors everywhere. So that little dent on your bumper that used to be a quick fix to smooth out, now comes with the complication of us needing to address all the technology that has been installed into that bumper.
  1. Raindrops on a blue carLet’s talk weather again: Has it been raining?
    If it has, and your vehicle’s repair job is going to require painting, that could add time. Paint dries slowly in humid conditions. Although we are so close to being done at this point, it is possible rainy conditions mean one more day of waiting for you.
  1. And lastly – it’s the little things.
    Because we are going to make sure that your car is put back to the way it was before the accident, we take care of all the details. From the air bag light to the trim pieces – for every little issue that could be broken or affected by the wreck, we check it and we fix it.

Collision Center tech doing paint job on truck in Andover auto shopBottom line, for us at Collision Center of Andover, it’s about getting your car back in shape AND it’s about getting you back on the road in your car as soon as possible. Know that we will work quickly to repair your vehicle and know that you can trust we won’t cut any corners. We even offer a lifetime guarantee of the work we do.

When can we Guarantee a Delivery Date?

While we may not be able to give you an exact answer when you first bring your vehicle in for repairs, after the vehicle is inspected and parts are sourced, we can give you a delivery date. We will contact you immediately after repairs are done and our quality inspection is complete. Preference of being contacted by phone, email or text communication can be requested when you drop off your vehicle.

We Have a Habit of Delivering on Time

We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, and that is why you will see on Google that we are filled with 5-star reviews! In fact, many of those glowing reviews thank us for doing excellent work in the time we estimated it would take. Here are just a sample of recent reviews from Collision Center of Andover customers extremely satisfied with their wait time and repair work.

Graphic image with customer reviews commending Collision Center of Andover for excellent, quick work fixing their vehicle

We hope you call on us for your next repair. We are just a few minutes’ drive outside of Wichita on Andover road. Call us at (316) 733-9310.

 

boy looking at a map on a family road trip

How to Keep Your Car Clean During a Family Road Trip

Keeping your vehicle from becoming a disaster while traveling with kids

While all of us at Collision Center of Andover know what weather and accidents can do to the outside of your car, we know there’s another force of nature that regular keeps many of you from maintaining a nice interior.

Children

a toddler strapped into a car seat for a family vacationKids can make the task of keeping a vehicle clean seem impossible. And of course, some of us adults can also be guilty of regularly contributing to the clutter.

Working to keep your car clean on a regular basis is challenging enough. A road trip with the whole family packed in the vehicle for many hours over many days means your car may resemble the inside of a trash can before returning home.

Whether you’re headed across Kansas or across the country, here are some tips to prevent the inside of your car looking like a disaster on your next family road trip.

The 2 items that can make car clean-up easy (or at least easier)

  1. A trash bag
    Or several! Make sure you have enough small bags (grocery bags work well) to last the duration of your trip. You’ll want to be sure there is one in reach of each person in the vehicle. This way, all the cups, receipts, wrappers and miscellaneous trash that gets accumulated along the road trip have a place to go.
  1. An activity bag for each kid
    You might consider this a miscellaneous bag. Fill a bag (backpacks work great for this) for each kid with items that will help keep them entertained along the way. Some great things to put in an activity bag include:
    • Crayons, pens
    • Notebook, coloring book
    • Books
    • Hand-held games
    • A few toys (hot wheels, Barbie dolls, etc)

    Beyond this bag serving the purpose of bringing the items along that will help keep kids entertained in the car, it will also serve as the holding place for those items to return to. After all, crayons and notebooks that get taken out will need a place to go when your child discards them for another activity. Using a separate and designated activity bag, instead of putting these items in the luggage with your clothes, means that those luggage bags can remain tucked away in your trunk.

The right cleaning supplies for a family road trip

photo taken from the backseat looking at parents in the front seats of a vehicle driving on a highwayWhether you’re exploring Kansas or states far away, being on a trip should be an enjoyable time, not one you spend worrying about a dirty car, but a little bit of quick, on-the-spot cleaning (as needed) can go a long way. At the time of a spill, even having just the bare essentials will help you address the spill right away, when it’s something that can be easily wiped away. This may keep you from having to deal with time-consuming deep-cleaning after you return home.

The basics of being ready to handle quick little messes include just two items:

1. Wipes
2. Paper towels

 

 

 

Put your stops to use

a child putting on their seat belt inside a vehicleStaying on top of the mess can be as simple as “old mess out before new mess in”. Use the stops you make for a fill-up or a fast food break as moments to make a quick vehicle clean-up.  Have the kids fill up the trash bags you’ve brought along with whatever trash they’ve accumulated before the next round of food and drink enter the vehicle.  Have them look around and put any of their books, crayons, or toys that are lying around into their activity bag.

Want to make sure your vehicle is travel ready before your trip? Whether it’s a day trip exporing new towns across Kansas or you’re heading across the country, it’s always good to make sure your vehicle is well-equipped to handle the trip. Schedule an appointment with us for us to make sure your car is ready for your next road trip.

driving on icy roads

The 7 Sins Drivers Make in the Winter

Are you guilty of making these winter driving mistakes?

The winter season for us in the Wichita area and across the Midwest poses different challenges and issues for you on the road. But staying safe in the winter is more than just making sure your vehicle is ready for Wichita’s next winter of harsh weather. Drivers need to be prepared as well. From how you maintain your vehicle to how you handle it on the road, there are common mistakes many drivers make during the winter.

Here is the checklist of the 7 things NOT to do as well as the tips to prevent avoidable problems.

  1. Warming the car too long. Letting your vehicle get warmed up for a couple of minutes is fine, but engines are not designed to idle for too long. This can cause build-up on the spark plugs and make them less efficient. Also, this can waste gas.
  2. Neglecting to change your windshield wipers. This is often an overlooked item as we tend to let the streaks get worse for a while before we get around to fixing the problem. You should change your windshield wipers as soon as they don’t clear the windshield well.
  3. Having low tire pressure. Cool weather makes the air compress inside your tires leaving you with low pressure. Be sure to check for the tire pressure warning light as temperatures begin to dip. In addition, make sure to do a visual check of your tires, especially when we encounter sudden significant drops in temperature.
  4. Having a nearly-empty gas tank. Even if you’re not at risk of running out of gas, you may face other problems if you allow your gas tank to get low during the winter. Moist air in a near-empty tank can freeze and crystallize leading to ice in the fuel lines.
  5. Using hot water to de-ice. You may be looking for a quick fix to clear your windows from frost, ice and snow in order to get right on the road but dumping a bucket of hot water on your vehicle is not the answer. This can cause your windshield to crack. Be sure your vehicle has a reliable scraper inside. Also keep one in your house if the ice is preventing you from opening your car doors.
  6. Even when the roads appear dry, there could exist problems you can’t see, such as black ice. Maintain a steady speed below the speed limit or as slow as conditions warrant. It’s not just a slippery road that could be a hazard, but also other drivers. Winter conditions may cause other people on the road to be overly cautious, or impatient by those who are going slow, so it’s best to give yourself plenty of room between cars to stay safe from those potential dangers. AAA advises that when driving on rainy and snowy roads, you should increase your following distance to 8 to 10 seconds.
  7. Slamming the brakes to avoid an accident. Hitting your brakes too hard can make your car spin out of control. When faced with your car suddenly sliding on wintry roads, the best thing to do is stay calm, gently turn the steering wheel INTO the direction you are sliding and then lightly tap the brake.

For more information on the best ways to protect you and your vehicle over the next Wichita winter, check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Winter Driving Tips.

ccoa_logo_340x156

Collision Center of Andover provides fast, reliable collision repair in and around the Wichita area. Check out our before-and-after examples to see how we can completely fix your dented car. From collision repair, paintless dent repair to mechanical repairs and more, count on the repair experts to get your vehicle running and back in shape.

car on a very snowy Wichita road in the winter

Winter is Coming: Is Your Vehicle Ready?

If you find yourself stranded in snow or ice, that is not the time to wonder if your car is sufficiently equipped. Take some basic steps before the first day of winter to ensure you and your family are prepared for problems you may encounter on wintry roads.  Once you pull your winter coat out of storage and start turning on your furnace, that’s also the time to take the necessary measures to make sure you’re in good shape before the worst of winter strikes.

Most of the ways you can get your car or truck ready for inclement weather can be done by yourself if you have some basic or moderate-level car maintenance know-how.

Check Your Fluids

  • Coolant: Be sure you have the coolant filled to the maximum line AND that you have the correct antifreeze/water mixture to keep your fluid from freezing. You can find a coolant tester at an auto parts store. Your owner’s manual will have the information on what your vehicle needs.
  • Oil: Some vehicles do best in freezing temperatures if you switch to a thinner oil. Check your owner’s manual or talk to a skilled mechanic.
  • Wiper Fluid: This is definitely a fluid you shouldn’t forget about. Before freezing temperatures hit, switch to a freeze-resistant wiper fluid so you’ll be sure to always have a clear view.

 Check Your Tires

More than just worrying about a flat, you also need to be sure your tires are giving you enough traction on slippery roads. Low air pressure and worn tires can reduce your tire’s traction.

  • Air Pressure: Check your owner’s manual for the recommended PSI for your vehicle. Use a tire gauge to know when you’ve put the correct amount in your tires.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Just as you should prepare an emergency kit in advance of tornadoes and dangerous spring storms, you should take a few minutes to gather together a winter kit of items that will prove very helpful if you find yourself stranded in the cold.

  • Phone Battery Charger: If your car breaks down and the engine won’t start, there goes your power source for your cell phone. Purchase a battery charger that you reserve for this winter kit so that it always remains fully charged and ready in case of an emergency.
  • Warm Coverings: You may find yourself waiting a couple hours for a tow truck without being able to use your car’s heater. Keep a hat, gloves and even a blanket in your vehicle. If you frequently travel with others (including pets), be mindful to keep enough extras for your regular passengers.
  • Kitty Litter: When you find your tires deep into a few feet of snow, you’re going to need some added traction to help you out. Kitty litter or sand can be poured onto the snow to help your tires get the necessary traction.
  • Ice Scraper
  • Flashlight
  • Small shovel

While this kit will be kept inside your vehicle, you should also have one more item that is kept OUTSIDE your vehicle. A De-Icer spray can help you make your way into a car that’s frozen shut, but only if it’s not trapped inside the vehicle. Consider keeping one at both your home and workplace so you’re never frozen out.

Protection from Salt Damage:

Give your vehicle a fresh coat of wax before the first snow and then wash it regularly during the winter. While rust isn’t the problem it once was with older vehicles, salt can build up in some areas. Have the wheel wells and underbody washed regularly to keep them clear from too much salt.

Let your Car Warm Up:

Just because you can start driving once you’ve started your car up doesn’t mean you should. Allowing your car to idle for a bit will give the oil a chance to heat up, thin out, and flow more smoothly. Start up your car before you tackle brushing off the snow and that should provide enough idle time.

Know your Towing Service:

Suffering a collision or being stranded with a dead vehicle isn’t the best time to worry about finding a reliable towing service who will get to you quickly. The Collision Center of Andover provides 24/7 full-service towing to Wichita and Andover, towing any passenger vehicle to any destination or the shop of your choice. Put our number, (316) 719-2100, in your contacts so you’ll be ready to call right away when you need us.

ccoa_logo_340x156

Collision Center of Andover offers high-quality, reliable repair and towing service. Check out our before-and-after examples to see how we can completely fix your dented car. From collision repair, paintless dent repair to mechanical repairs and more, count on the repair experts to get your vehicle running and back in shape.