If a windshield repair isn't possible because your damage is too extensive, you'll need a complete windshield replacement. Just any auto glass won't do, though. Your vehicle was originally manufactured as a complete unit, so in order to maximize your safety on the road, you must replace your factory-issued windshield with an exact match.

Today, it's especially important to make sure your windshield is the right one. Automakers are constantly coming up with new ways to make their vehicles safer, easier to drive, and more luxurious. Because the windshield is responsible for maintaining your visibility and structural integrity, it's no surprise that these advancements often include windshield features.

Before you settle for auto glass installers who issue cheap replacements, learn why it's so important to make sure your new windshield has the following features.


Third visor & tints

Most modern windshields feature at least one "third visor", which is designed to reduce your glare and protect your eyes from bright, blinding sunshine. Unlike the visors that flip down for the driver and front seat passenger, this visor is actually part of the windshield itself. It spans the top edge of the glass, and sometimes it dips down on either side of the rearview mirror.

Your third visor is most likely a matrix of black dots, which get smaller and farther apart on the edges to make visibility easier. Some windshields also feature a tinted band of green, blue, or bronze, which pitches in to reduce glare even further. Without these features, it might be impossible to drive through Minneapolis as the sun's rising or setting.


Defroster & defogger

When winter hits the Twin Cities, your windshield is responsible for keeping your view clear. Ice and snow damage the structural integrity of your glass, and it can take hours to scrape off your windshield if you don't have heating elements that melt them. Once you start driving, you must also account for the temperature difference between your warm car and the cold outdoor air, which often causes condensation that fogs up your whole windshield.

Windshield heating elements are strips or sensors that heat up rapidly to get rid of ice, water, and fog on your windshield. However, they don't work independently. They're embedded into the windshield and connected to your car's controls, so that you can activate them when necessary. That's why it's especially important to have an exact windshield replacement this time of year.

As one of St. Paul's most reliable auto glass replacement centers, we take your seasonal safety very seriously. Whether you have integrated or adhesive heat strips, we'll make sure we replace your windshield with a pane that has the exact same features.


Rain sensor

If you have a vehicle with automatic windshield wipers, you rely on a rain sensor to activate them as soon as it starts raining. In some vehicles, this rain sensor even tells open windows to go back up. If you're not sure whether you have a rain sensor, check behind your rearview mirror and in the lower right corner of your windshield. There should be a gel pack, disk, or small electrical device that reacts to increased moisture.

If you need a windshield replacement, repair, or any other auto glass service, contact Only 1 Auto Glass today. Our auto glass installers are trained to quickly and thoroughly replace your windshield with one that matches its exact dimensions, type, and features.