First let me start out by sharing a personal story. I can go on and on about stories we have heard in which windshields we have installed have saved lives, but I will share one that is very personal to us. The photo on our blog entry is of a good friend of ours vehicle. He was a representative for the company that sells us the adhesive that we use to install our windshields and out of all of the glass companies that he reps across the US he chose our shop to have his windshield replaced at. Little did he know that shortly after his windshield was replaced he would experience a heart attack while driving high speeds on the interstate in MN. He hit the median on the side of the interstate and the car rolled several times. A first responder was following him and was sure that he would not walk away from the accident due to the severity. As you can see, the windshield was badly broken but served its purpose of supporting the roof and keeping him in his vehicle. He walked away from the accident unharmed.
I don’t know about you but when I need new tires or a maintenance item on my car, it is never fun to have to pay for or replace. Windshields are a common item on your vehicle that may need replacement during the lifetime of your vehicle, especially with the growing traffic on our ND roads. Many times vehicle owners look at the windshield as an item that they need in order to see-out of the vehicle and are not aware that the windshield is one of the top five safety features of a vehicle. They will simply call everywhere and go with the cheapest and fastest shop instead of looking for a shop that uses quality products and safe installation procedures. Please read on and we will inform you of why your windshield is worth a bit of research before you make your next appointment for a replacement.
When you look for a windshield replacement facility it is important to make sure that you are not only getting a good price but that the facility has knowledgeable installers and uses quality products. A proper, name brand windshield is important as well as a quality urethane (adhesive). But even quality products can fail if they are not used properly.
In a bad accident your windshield provides you with many safety features. It is part of the structural integrity of the car and also part of the Safety Restraint System in your vehicle.
SAFETY FEATURES OF YOUR WINDSHIELD:
1. The windshield helps support your roof and keeps it from caving in a bad accident. If your windshield comes out of the vehicle it is not providing you with impact protection and your roof will cave, leading to imminent severe injuries and very possibly death.
2. If your airbags deploy you will notice that in many cases your windshield will be broken. This is because in many vehicles your airbags deploy, hit the windshield, and then go in place to protect you. If the windshield comes out of the vehicle your air bags won’t work properly and therefore can’t properly protect you.
3. The windshield is also designed to work with the safety belts to keep you inside of your vehicle in the case of a bad accident. If the windshield comes out because the proper products were not used or it was installed improperly it is unlikely that you will not be kept in the vehicle in the case of a bad accident.
You would be surprised to find out how many shops actually have improper installation procedures and get customers like a “McDonald’s” approach by focusing on quantity and not quality of work. Please take the time to watch this investigative report regarding unsafe windshield installations: http://www.autoglasssafetycouncil.org/2012/11/cbs-news-conducts-investigative-report-about-unsafe-windshield-installations/
Replacing your windshield does not have to be expensive in order to be safe. You can ensure that you are getting a better quality product simply by asking a few questions when you call for a price quote on your windshield. The safe drive away time is important because many companies will tell you to keep tape on your windshield for several days after an installation. What they don’t tell you is that your vehicle actually isn’t considered safe to drive until that tape is able to come off! Many times if you have to have tape on your vehicle for 24+ hours after an installation the glass company is using a generic urethane (adhesive) to install the windshield. You will also hear things such as: crack your side windows to relieve pressure in the cab while the urethane cures, or don’t slam your doors. If the shop is using a quality adhesive you should be able to drive away from the shop without tape on your windshield and you should also be able to drive your car as you normally would.
A properly installed windshield is equally as important as the products used. The windshield needs to be cleaned and primed properly before installation and the area also needs to remain free from oil such as the oil from fingers before it is installed so that the primer and urethane can bond properly. Glass companies should have training courses in the latest windshield installation techniques and also should be certified glass installers.
You don’t have to pay a ton more for a name brand windshield and urethane and for the expertise of a knowledgeable glass company. Many times glass companies are very competitive and the windshields will be within the same price range or within $15-20.00 of each other. Next time you get a glass quote, ask yourself, is the $15-20.00 price difference the difference between a generic windshield an urethane and a quality product with knowledgeable installers? Is 15.00-20.00 worth my safety and the safety of my family?
Many times you won’t even have to weigh a price difference because a properly installed and quality windshield may be the same price as a shop that is using generic products and adhesives. When it comes to your windshield and your safety you don’t want to compromise. Ask the shop about the products they use, the training they have, and also ask around for referrals from friends or family members. Most times others have had to replace the same parts and they know of reputable shops that can do a great job for you for an affordable price. If you would like additional information please contact us at 701-250-6787. We would love to provide you with information and also with a quote for the glass replacement on your vehicle.