As shop owners and techs know, but consumers usually don't, car maintenance isn't just under the hood. A cracked windshield is a safety risk. It can impair the driver's vision and put passengers at risk.
Most automotive safety experts rank the windshield as the third most important safety component in today's vehicles, behind seatbelts and airbags. Laws require seatbelt use and prevent tampering with airbags, but there are no laws that govern replacement windshield installation.
The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council (AGRSS) promotes safe auto glass industry standards, which an auto glass technician should follow. Consumers should ask these questions before a replacement windshield installation:
- Will the old adhesive be removed from the vehicle frame? If the adhesive isn't removed down to the adhesive manufacturer's recommended level, the fit may not be tight and the new adhesive won't bond correctly.
- Will the technician wear gloves to keep from contaminating the glass? If oil and dirt get on the edges, the new adhesive (called urethane) may not bond correctly.
- Will the new urethane adhesive stand up to the high deployment pressure of airbags? The best available manufacturer equivalent urethane adhesive should be used, not butyl tape. Ask for adhesive made by Dow, Sika or the original car maker's adhesive supplier.
- How long does the urethane adhesive need to set until the vehicle can be driven? Every urethane has a "safe drive-away time."
Glass Doctor voluntarily supports the standard glass replacement procedures approved by AGRSS, and Glass Doctor shops offer original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windshields. Only OEM glass can provide the quality necessary to ensure a proper fit, which greatly reduces the safety risks.
For more information, visit www.glassdoctor.com.