One of the most important decisions you will make regarding the maintenance of your vehicle is who you will trust to replace your windshield.
Did you know the Windshield is rated by most safety experts to be the third most important safety system in your vehicle? Only the seat belts and airbags are rated higher. In fact, the windshield is integral in supporting the roof in a rollover accident.
In addition, the airbags can not function properly if the windshield is not installed properly. The passenger side airbag uses the windshield as a backstop in a front end collision.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that 70% of windshields are improperly installed. Because there is no state or federal licensing required for auto glass installation, anyone can say they are qualified to install auto glass and there is currently no reliable way for the general public to verify the claim. And currently no one tracks how many windshields end up on the pavement after a crash. There is no box to check on the form for accident investigators, so no one is tracking it. See video below
Quote from Auto Glass Safety Council
" The windshield provides a significant amount of strength to the structural support in the cabin of the vehicle. For instance, in a front end collision the windshield provides up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle and in a rollover, up to 60%.
How would you like for over half of the force of a collision to be absorbed by YOU because your windshield flew out in an accident? It happens more times than most, so its extremely beneficial for you to be aware
Windshields are an integral part of the safety restraint system in your car. It keeps the roof from crushing in on you in a rollover, it allows the airbags to deploy in the correct position to cushion passengers, and prevents you and your family from being ejected in a serious collision. It’s important to your family’s safety that the automotive glass in your vehicle be installed properly."
Make sure the Auto Glass Installation Facility you are considering is vetted and registered by AGSC.
And, be absolutely sure that the technician completing your install is listed in their website as certified. Check here
The safe drive away times (SDAT) mentioned here are no longer valid, but most of the specifics are still relevant. Even though this video is a few years old, its extremely informative.
Certification is Critical
That is why we voluntarily applied and received certification for our company and our techs from the AGSC. This is one of the only independent certification programs in the country to certify auto glass installation companies. You can find Legacy Glass at Safewindshield.org and our technicians listed on the AGSC Website installers page.
This video is several years old, but we are still seeing this problem. Many installers are not doing everything right and that results in a dangerous situation for the general public. Unfortunately most people are not aware.
Sealants and Primers
Sealants have come a long way since that 20/20 video was made. Back then, safe drive away time was up to 10 hrs after install. Now, Sika has improved those times considerably. Their newest urethane appropriately named MACH30 has a safe drive away time of just 30 minutes. But please realize that is not total time for the job... this is the actual cure time necessary after the completion of the install. If the install takes 3 hours and cure time is 30 minutes, safe drive away time (SDAT) is 3.5 hours. The actual install time can vary from vehicle to vehicle. We use NAGS (National Auto Glass Specification) hours as our guideline for how long an installation will take. All glass parts are assigned labor hours; as little as half an hour for some quarter glasses to 5.5 hours on some windshields. NAGS is the industry standard for not only labor times, but list prices on parts as well. All reputable glass companies, insurance companies and claims networks rely upon this database.
How Long Will My Install Take?
We can tell you the published hours needed for your particular vehicle. However, there is always the possibility that we may find something during the install that would add time to the proper install.
Obviously if rust is present, it must be dealt with. This is an example moderate surface rust. It must be ground down to bare metal with a wire wheel and then treated with a rust inhibitor. The inhibitor must dry completely before any primers or urethane can be applied. The process can take a couple hours to overnight to dry down completely.
This picture shows a body seam crack in the upper pinch weld. The customer thought the windshield was leaking, but upon removal of the glass, this crack was found. This is above the urethane seal for the windshield, so the windshield was not the problem. But this crack was allowing water to seep into the car, dampening the inside. This was not our install, but we do help customers diagnose leak issues.
Mobile Auto Glass Installation? Is That A Good Idea?
Honestly, we don't think so; for many reasons. If you have read this far, you have a genuine concern for choosing the correct company for your installation. Please click Here for our philosophy on mobile.