Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Starting the new year off with a *CRACK!*

Driving back from Tennessee after the BCS game, it seemed like the interstate in south Indiana had been liberally salted with pea gravel. Every couple miles would come a resounding "POK!" or "TAK!" as a stone would carom off the bluff North face of the Subie.

Eventually the inevitable happened: With a resounding "CRACK!" something whanged off the driver's side A-pillar, about six inches above dashboard level, and a tiny crack appeared. By the time I got home, it had wandered well out onto the windshield, stretching a couple inches out of "Repair" and into "Replace".

Just to put the cherry on the icing of the cake of the incident, I was sitting in downtown construction traffic last week, running late for an appointment with the almost-a-dentist, when the crack started propagating again at an easily visible pace. In the space of a block, it grew another 8 inches, and added insult to injury by taking a left turn to make sure that it was well within my lower field of view. You can imagine the way I turned the air blue while pounding my forehead on the steering wheel rim.

I scheduled a windshield replacement for yesterday morning, right on the street out in front of my house. It promptly started snowing yesterday morning. We're rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon, so if you have any outdoor plans in the Broad Ripple area, you might want to look into having an alternate ready...

33 comments:

Phillip said...

Check with your insurance to see if it's covered. I don't know if it's a Florida thing or not, but windshields here are covered under most basic auto insurance.

Tam said...

I have 50/50 coverage.

If the car breaks in half, I get to keep both halves.

og said...

Just what you needed right now, I'm sorry. Still, you might warm up the air a bit. headline:
"Indianapolis gun nut causes her own zone of gloebull warmening with her uncontrollable incandescent rage!"

Anonymous said...

Snort.

Lo, these many years ago I took my 2 day new (new!) car out on a clean pretty interstate near me, and within 5 miles there was a mighty SMACK noise. And what to my wondering eyes appeared?

A impact divot in the windshield about 1/2" in size. at eye level, right between my eyes.

I followed the official Tam
(tm) method of expressing my displeasure: "You can imagine the way I turned the air blue..."

And then because I live right and am like this >< with God the damnable divot never turned into a crack worth replacing, for the next 15 years I glared at it with true hatred.

6 months before the car was totaled I had it filled in.

That'll learn me.

Firehand said...

When my truck was a whole several months old, a rock came flying up from another vehicles' tire and put a nasty divot in mine; below eye level, at least.

I got one of the repair kits and sealed it up; either that did the job or it wasn't bad enough to grow; it's stayed like that for years.

Robert said...

At least it wasn't the Z3.

Tam said...

Robert,

"At least it wasn't the Z3."

A decade of driving the Z3 a hundred thousand miles across eleven states and I never take a rock to the windshield bad enough to chip it*; the inaugural roadtrip with the Subie, and this happens.


*I have, however, clipped a buzzard's feet with the windshield, and taken a bouncing chunk of concrete that glanced off one of the little "nostril" grilles and up over the car. Luckily those little grilles are designed to pop inward on impact, and it was easily pulled back into place.

bygoneblog said...

A couple years ago, we were traveling to Oregon up Hwy 5 on the day that radio Evangelist said was going to be Judgement Day. We had Mischa and Corporal Eddie and young Zoe in tow and were joking that if the end came, at least we would all be together.

Just north of Sacramento, a seagull peeled off from his flock and Kamikaze'd all the way down into the passenger side of my F150s windshield. I couldn't really take any kind of evasive action in traffic but it seemed like the damn thing had targeted us.

Thank God for AAA and mobile glass repair!

Tam said...

bygoneblog,

"Just north of Sacramento, a seagull peeled off from his flock and Kamikaze'd all the way down into the passenger side of my F150s windshield."

Yikes!

Here's the buzzard story.

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

Must be a Subaru thing. I never had any issues with windshields either until I got my Outback, then I got two chips that developed into cracks within the first couple weeks. Got them filled and then woke up one Christmas morning to find that one had opened up and migrated halfway across the windshied over night. Not my best present that year.

Anonymous said...

I have two good windshield stories. First, I finally decided a few years ago that my 4runner was old enough to drop the full insurance (with no deductible glass replacement) and just run with liability. Guess what happened less than two weeks later.

The best was when I was going to college back in the eighties. My Honda had a cracked windshield and I finally put together the funds to replace it. Had to take it in to a glass shop and after I had my nice new glass installed I was driving home happy when........divot followed my instant crack followed by turning the air blue and pounding my head on the steering wheel. Turned around and went back to the glass shop. After they finished laughing the gave me half off on another windshield.

Corey

Ritchie said...

At least it wasn't an elk.

Tam said...

Ritchie,

"At least it wasn't an elk."

True.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the kind of Divot an elk will put in your windshield is kinda epic.

bluesun said...

Someone threw a hunk of concrete through my jeep's side window--got it replaced, and two month later I rolled the jeep off the interstate in Idaho.

As I was hanging there upside down, covered in "safety" glass and snow, the first though that went through my head was "Dammit, I just replaced that window."

the pawnbroker said...

When I was still burning up I-75 back and forth between central teh fla and the Georgia mountain place a few years back, I was keeping up with traffic through Tifton at 70 in the inside lane when I see something bouncing toward me at speed. Just when I could tell it was solid metal and the size of a donut, WHACK! right in front of my face.

I'm a little shocked and wondering wtf just happened, and realized it was probably a roller wheel off a semi trailer, probably four or five pounds...and started thinking, man, if that thing came on through I'd be dead right now. But the angle of the blow and of the windshield of the truck probably saved me, instead it made a spider the size of a silver dollar.

When I made it up to Blue Ridge I read up on Safelite and found that they absorb the deductible on my insurance and come right to the house, but wait, it said if you can lay a dollar bill over the damage they would repair it, larger than that they replace the whole 'shield. Well I didn't really want 'em pumping silicone into a patch right in front of my face and spend the next two years being irritated by the smudgy effect that is the norm with those repairs, so...a good whack with the side of my ball peen took the damage well into replacement territory.

Made the call to the Safelite dealership in Woodstock and they were there the next morning at ten; before lunchtime I had a shiny new 'shield, and took the time to thank God for small pains in the ass, mindful of what coulda been.

staghounds said...

That's a dirty trick.

Kristophr said...

PB: Thank you for admitting to committing Insurance fraud on the internet.

the pawnbroker said...

Well I coulda kept driving around on those rocky mountain roads 'til it expanded like Tam's, or as the Safelite guy said, it caved in on its own, but that woulda been as stupid as it woulda been dangerous.

K-man, you're a sad little troll AND a stoolie? Guys like you are why the P2P gun thing will be so dangerous.

Tam said...

You're so cute when you stomp your little foot like that! :)

the pawnbroker said...

I know, right? And without a drop of liquid courage too. :)

mpak87 said...

Not sure if it's just an Alaska thing, but you'd be hard pressed to find a Subaru more than 5 years old up here that doesn't have a windshield that looks like a spiderweb. Between all of the gravel getting thrown around on our highways and thermal shock from heating up on cold mornings, windshield cracks are pretty much an accepted fact of life up here.

JohninMd.(HELP?) said...

Here's an auto-glass story - many moons ago, bought one of the first-year production Dodge Caravans. All was good exept one nigglin' detail... the window in the slidin
g door would shatter when closing it. The things were selling like mad, and the temper of the glass wasn't quite right. Buckled my boy (age 5?) into the seat, slide door, "CRASH"! kid's sitting there covered in glass wondering "why me?"
It did that twice; third time's the charm. Several years later we were going to a friend's house to load .45's for my first trip to Camp Perry. Hydroplaned, rolled that sucker thrice. broke every window in the van... execpt the sliding door. Never got to Perry. Dammit.

Anonymous said...

Look right up overhead. Do you see a tiny black thunderstorm cloud with itty-bitty cracks of lightning?

You didn't insult a Roma or anything like that?

Mike James

NotClauswitz said...

It's the high, upright glass of the Subie that catches 'em good. My older F-150 took a gravel Kennedy Shot (glad it wasn't a 6.5 carbine) like that off a semi whilst crossing the great Nevada nullarbor on the way to dirtbike heaven in Idaho. New windshield positives were: no more veiling glare in the setting sun.

Robert said...

Tam said "*I have, however, clipped a buzzard's feet with the windshield, and taken a bouncing chunk of concrete that glanced off one of the little "nostril" grilles and up over the car. Luckily those little grilles are designed to pop inward on impact, and it was easily pulled back into place."


I was driving my Z3 up a 4 lane Hwy with a center turn lane. Doing about 50 MPH in a 45 zone, top and windows down. A Pepsi delivery truck coming towards me at about 50 MPH had the hand truck come loose from the back and come bouncing & cartwheeling across the hwy towards me. Our combined closing speed was ~ 100 mph. I was able to swerve just enough to keep it from going through the windshield and have it instead neatly clip off the drivers side mirror and touch nothing else.

I quickly U-turned and caught the Pepsi truck at the next red light. Pulled up beside him and told him that he was missing a hand truck, I was missing a mirror, and could he please pull into the next parking lot while we waited to get a police report? The Pepsi distributor paid for all repairs promptly.

Ironically, that truck was usually driven by a good friend of mine, but he was out sick that day.

Darrell said...

I've replaced three windshields in seven years on my present vehicle, the first within a week of buying it. And every time it's been a guy driving a dually, spinning his tires--twice in snowstorms, nad once on a gravel road.

I'm also reminded of riding my bicycle one day when I was a kid, riding down a fairly busy street. I saw a bus coming toward me, then noticed an older kid leaning out the bus window and looking right at me. The look on his face reminds me of the bully in A Christmas Story. He leaned out and made a snapping motion with his arm. I saw something bright red flying toward me--in the moment before it hit I recognized it as a cherry lifesaver. Between me, the bus and the candy, closure speed must've been 50 mph or better. It hit me square in the chest, and it HURT. That bastard!

Anonymous said...

Cracked windshields last forever, whereas a new one will last less than six months. Leave well enough alone. -- Lyle

Larry said...

bygonebog: I couldn't really take any kind of evasive action in traffic but it seemed like the damn thing had targeted us.

Thank God for AAA and mobile glass repair!


I think you need to upgrade your AAA. I'd suggest 40mm Bofors, preferably in a dual mount.

Mike_C said...

Sorry to hear about the Forrester's windshield. Dunno if it's indeed a Subaru thing, but add one more data point (or is that anecdote point?). Around the first good freeze a three-foot horizontal crack magically appeared overnight on my Outback's windscreen, just above the windshield wipers. Didn't hear any commotion outside and I live in a pretty quiet neighborhood, so I'm guessing micro damage from a prior rock strike propagated with the temperature changes. Called the insurance man, who sent me to Safelite. Got the windscreen replaced in the bay of a big Sears auto center (apparently Safelite rents space there) in 45 minutes with original Subaru parts (is this a good thing?). The cool part was the repair guy transferred the oil change sticker and the Velcroid attachments for the turnpike transponder. A little thing, but a pleasant surprise of above-and-beyond customer service all too rare these days.

Buzz said...

For a second there I thought Tam's blog had been hijacked by writers of a Batman fanzine.

mikee said...

For any Texans reading the comments this far down, all I have to say is "I-35" and stories of their own crack-propagation experiences will come to mind.


The good news is that by paying the State Farm insurance add-on of $12/year for windshield replacement, I spent only $20 on my first replacement after seven years of living with dings and small cracks that grew over time.

The bad news is I then dropped that add-on thinking it worthless, and have had 3 windshields replaced in 3 years.

staghounds said...

My old Cherokee had two windshield glass stars, both bird strikes.