Travel Blog


Windshield Stone Chips

December 14th, 2010 ernie Posted in Truck Hazards No Comments »

Most car owners have had a stone fly up from a trucks tires or fall off a truck to bounce along the road striking your windshield and starting that crack that seems to have a life of its own. Windshield Stone Chips start out as a pinpoint crack and then over time with the stress of heat and cold on the glass gradually grow across your windshield.

I am not sure if there is any thing really dangerous about not fixing a crack like this, however it is unsightly and I believe it is against the law, especially if it obstructs the drivers view in any way.

You really get ticked off when it is your brand new car and your on a major driving trip. What should you do? Get it fixed now , wait until you get home again, or wait until you reach your final destination. Turns out that there are lots of pros and cons for each of these questions.

This happened to us and it actually worked out well for us in the long run. Don’t misunderstand me, I was upset when the crack occurred, but then the solution was quite reasonable in the end.

Trucks Again

We had already had one encounter with a trucks tire exploding!  Next in another state, a stone is kicked up by a truck tire and as we watched in what seemed like slow motion, it bounced along the road into the air striking our windshield in the passenger side. While it scared us due to the suddenness of the strike and the noise, the damage did not seem too bad. Just a little stone chip, which we could get fixed anytime with one of these quick pressure repair jobs they advertise.

Well the next morning it had grown and now it was a crack about 5 inches long , spreading across the window. We were in Laughlin , Nevada at the time and planning to leave in a few days. Should we get it fixed there or wait until we got to Palm Springs were we were planning to stay for a few days?

We Waited

I checked with a couple of places that repaired windshields and the prices were very reasonable, however if we had any problems, we would have to come back to Laughlin to get repairs done, which would not be convenient. Turns out this would be a good decision.

The crack got longer, spreading across the windshield and there was no doubt that I would have to replace the windshield. Now should we wait until we got home or have the repair completed while in Palm Springs? We were going to be in Palm Springs for a couple of months so we decided to head there and deal with the windshield crack at that time

Best Deal in Town

We are from Ontario, Canada, so I called a company at home to see what price they would offer and they quoted $500 to do the job. Pretty expensive and I would have to wait until we got home, driving around with this ever enlarging crack across our windshield. I then called a local car dealer who also quoted an expensive price, but better than Canada, at $350.

I asked him if there were other places that offered better deals. He said he was not supposed to tell me, but that I should go to a local windshield repair place that they use, (the dealer does not even do the actual repair themselves, they just contract it out and add a profit margin) to see what price I could get.

Well it turns out that not only is it cheaper, at $240, but I can use my AAA card to get a discount which brought it down to $200 and they could fix it the next day. They would even come and do the repair at my location, however I chose to come into the shop. I wanted to see what kind of place it was. They were just what you would expect, a respectable small business, clean and neat as well as professional. What a deal!

Shop Around

The moral of the story is shop around and follow advice you get from various people on were to find good deals and reputable companies. Also if you are Canadian, it pays to go across the border to get these kinds of repairs completed, since the savings are significant!

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Tire Truck Explodes

December 3rd, 2010 ernie Posted in Truck Hazards 1 Comment »

Have you ever been near a tire when it explodes? How about a truck tire? We have and it is not fun at all. We really do not like being near big trucks at any time, unless they are well behind us and I guess this is one of the reasons why. The tire truck explodes right beside us.

We were on the Queen Elizabeth Way, just South West  of Toronto, Ontario in the middle lane passing a tractor trailer on the right. As we were traveling past the truck, we  pulled along side the rear wheels of the tractor, and one of the tires on the tractor, literally exploded within 3 feet of the passenger side of our car.

It is like a bomb going off, the sound is so loud and there was rubber from the tire flying everywhere. The tire just falls apart and the rubber starts flying. I am not sure if anyone was behind us or not, however the truck quickly pulled off the road and made repairs.

Tire Truck Explodes – Lucky

Fortunately for us, the rubber went behind us and missed our car completely. My wife was freaked out and I have to admit it shook me a bit as well.There were no cars behind the truck so they did not get hit by flying debris.

What a surprise start to our first day driving to California. We continued along our way to Niagara Falls which fortunately was only another hours drive. We were visiting the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls.

The only other time we have had something similar was actually in a car. I was not driving. A friend was driving in Los Angeles on one of the expressways. This guy was a little crazy and I think one of the tires was a bit low on pressure. In  case you do not know, if a tire is not properly pressurized it will heat up at high speeds and can explode.

This is exactly what happened to us at one hundred miles an hour. I told you this guy was crazy. Anyway we were able to pull off ok and make it to a garage were we were able to change the tire and get a new tire from the rental company. I don’t think they were too pleased. After all how often do you think this happens?

Anyway the moral of the story is to stay well away from tractor trailers and when you do pass them, do it quickly so there is no danger from flying debris from exploding tires or even stones that might be kicked up from the tires. Also keep your tires at the proper tire pressure and do not drive significantly over the speed limit.

Comments appreciated about your travel stories.

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