I have been an auto glass installer for 35 years and have seen a lot of changes in the auto glass and the insurance industries over the years.
Gone are the days of someone with basic mechanical skills being able to install a windshield under the shade tree in their backyard. Auto glass installations in vehicles during the 70s were done with butyl tape kits or rubber gaskets.
Today, installers use urethane and primers that are manufactured and tested to meet federal and industry standards.
Years ago, the main function of the windshield was to keep the wind and bugs out of your face. Today’s windshields are an integral part of the safety restraint system in your car. The passenger air bag uses the glass as a back support during deployment, the timing down to milliseconds. If you have had an improper installation of your windshield it is possible that the air bag will not deploy at the correct time. This could lead to serious injury, or death! The windshield also supports the roof of your vehicle in case of a rollover, keeping you from being crushed!
I talk to customers everyday that are shopping around to get the lowest price for their new windshield. Some of the reasons they give me are, “I don’t want my insurance rates to go up so I want it done as cheaply as possible,” or “my insurance company told me to get 3 estimates and have it done at the cheapest place.” My question to them is, “aren’t you concerned about the safety of the passengers in your car?” Of course, they say they are concerned, so I explain to them that by having their auto glass replaced by the cheapest shop, they may be jeopardizing not only the value of their vehicle, but also the integrity of it’s safety system.
Over the years I have seen the damage done by auto glass installers that are in a hurry to finish a job and move on to the next one. In my next post, I will list the steps that are taken during an auto glass installation and talk about what steps may be skipped by the “cheaper” shops and how it can affect you.
Have you had a windshield replaced? Did you have any difficulties? Please feel free to post any questions or comments.