When it comes to car window replacement there is more to it than just getting 3 estimates for replacement. You see, unlike a mechanic shop there is no definitive governing body regulating auto glass replacement. Nobody to make sure that an auto glass business has certifications, qualifications, or licenses. Basically, anybody out there can buy a piece of glass, advertise a phone number and install a piece of glass in your car. Kind of scary when you are dealing with the most important piece of glass in your life, your windshield. It does more than just keep bugs and wind out of your face.
Did you know that your windshield is a primary structural support for the roof of your car? It’s true. The windshield is estimated to support up to 70% of the roof strength in a rollover! Have you ever tried to squeeze a raw egg until it breaks in your hand? It is almost impossible because the oval shape of the egg is very strong yet thin. Your windshield is the same way, very thin yet very strong.
So whether it is a busted windshield or a shattered door glass keep these 5 things in mind before you schedule and appointment.
#1 There are so many guys out there driving around in a truck and installing glass that it can be hard to be certain who you are really dealing with. The best way to weed out the Joes from the Pros is by going to safewindshields.com. This website has a plethora of knowledge and is the only agency that can certify an auto glass shop. Here you can type in the zip code you are in and find a list of certified shops in your area.
#2 Ask them what brand of auto glass they use. If you have a nice car you want a quality piece of auto glass put back in there. The reputable shops will clearly explain the difference between a generic piece of glass and an OE glass (original equipment). You want the OE or the equivalent OEE (original equipment equivalent).
#3 Okay, so you found the shop you want to use, they should be AGRSS certified and utilize OE or OEE glass. Now it is time to let them know that you know what’s up. Ask them about the urethane they use. Does it meet or exceed all pertinent Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards? What is the brand of urethane? What is the cure time for the urethane? Are they certified by the urethane manufacturer? This is what holds your windshield in place so you have to make sure it is the good stuff, and cures in 1-3 hours.
#4 At this point you have weeded out the flakes, snakes and janks, and made sure you are using the best glass and urethane. Now time to figure out what the warranty covers. Ask them what their procedure is for warranty work. Any good shop should have at least a 1 year warranty on parts and labor (breakage not included). Usually a warranty covers any defects in the glass and leaking of any kind.
#5 This may sound silly but I judge people on the phone by the tone of their voice. Is the person you are speaking wtih friendly and calm? Do they sound like they enjoy their job? Or are they rude, rushed and unclear? If the latter is true go with someone else. Everyone at our shop is happy to be here and it shows. If you feel pushed or put down or just don’t like the tone of their voice, go elsewhere.
#6 Tip your tech. Most people think they only need to tip waiters and bel boys, but it is proper to tip the tech a small amount so he can buy lunch or grab a soda. These guys work very hard and really do care about your car. They are using great care not to damage anything and put you back on the road safe and sound.