Replacing a car’s windshield is actually a pretty straight forward operation, but there are a couple of restrictions that the car owner should be aware of when he brings the car into the shop.
Repairing a chipped windshield is a quicker operation, another reason that repair is preferred when it is safe to do so. A superficial chip, if it is outside of the driver’s sight-lines, can be quickly repaired by forcing a liquid polymer into the chip and any cracks around it. Of course, there is the preliminary step of cleaning the chip to ensure good contact with the polymer, but the priming cleaner dissipates quickly, and once properly applied, the polymer will set in a few minutes.
Full replacement of the windshield will take a little longer, but it should not be an all day process. The first step is to ensure that OEM, or Original Equipment Manufacture, glass is used. OEM glass is essentially the same windshield that the factory installed. OEM windshields for popular model vehicles are likely to be stocked by the glass shop, but older, rarer cars may require some searching to find a proper windshield.
Once the proper materials are in hand, it is time to proceed with the replacement. First the windshield trim will be carefully removed and saved for replacement. The trim is sometimes fragile, and if it is damaged during removal, it may not look right after reinstallation.
Next the old windshield and its adhesive are completely removed. Because of the safety lamination, the windshield should come out in one piece. If it does not, the technician will ensure that all the glass shards are removed from the vehicle.
Once the old adhesive has been completely cleaned away, the new windshield will also be thoroughly cleaned and a primer applied to ensure the new adhesive urethane sticks properly. Once the new adhesive is applied, the technician will carefully place the new windshield in place, perhaps enlisting the aid of an assistant to ensure proper alignment.
Once the new new glass is in place and properly seated, the windshield trim can be reinstalled, and the vehicle appears to ready to drive away. However, in most cases the adhesive must be allowed at least an hour to set before the car can be safely driven.
The technical reason for this one hour wait has to do with the performance of the adhesive specified by OEM standards. Guidance is also provided by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. It is a good idea for the customer to inquire whether the glass technician is aware of the standards set forth by FMVSS. Although the Insurance Companies may blacklist a shop which engages in fraudulent practices, they will rarely follow up on the quality of the actual work.
In general, consumers can judge a shop, and the work they can expect, by investigating the shop’s reputation. Associated Glass has been family owned in the Lynnwood area since 1959, and our store in Snohomishopened in 1998.
Be sure to call Associated Glass for all of your Residential, Commercial, and Auto Glass needs.