There are many factors at play when it comes to your vehicle’s safety – too many for the average car owner to be able to keep up with. Of course, you want to make sure that you and your family are safe…but, if we are being realistic, we have no choice but to leave some of this to the mechanics and repair shops. And, when it comes to windshield replacement, safety is critical. Your windshield is what keeps you inside your vehicle in the event of a collision, helps to anchor your passenger side airbag and keep your roof from caving in if your car rolls.
You may not realize it but, right now, there are no enforced safety standards for windshield repair. That means that each and every auto glass repair shop can make their own decisions about what materials they choose to use for the repair as well as the installation process. If you are in a situation where you need to have your windshield replaced, you should always push to have it fixed to the exact same manufacturer standard as it came off of the car lot at purchase. If you are not sure that is happening, you should consider finding another shop that can answer your questions and fix your windshield right. The best way to do this is to look for an AGRSS certified auto glass repair shop.
Certification by the Auto Glass Safety Council is entirely voluntary, but the organization is committed to “developing and maintaining standards for the replacement of auto glass, educating and accrediting the industry, as well as promoting awareness of the Auto Glass Safety Council Standard (AGRSS) to the insurance industry and driving public at large”.
Adhesives are not all created equal…
One of the most important elements to a windshield replacement is the adhesive used to keep it in place. Without this, your windshield cannot stay in place and keep you safe. When your car goes into the shop to have the windshield replaced, the auto glass repair professional should be able to take you through the adhesion process in advance. He/she should describe how they will remove the old adhesive, install a primer and then use urethane for the new installation. The urethane must then sit after it is applied in order to cure properly and create a seal. This is very important to a successful and safe installation. A full 24 hour cure time is usually recommended.
Some auto glass repair shops cut corners when it comes to windshield installation. This can lead to major problems and even injury/death if a serious accident occurs. One way that some shops cut corners is by using butyl instead of urethane for an adhesive. Butyl is not actually even an adhesive, but a sealant. It does not cure, or get hard after an installation, so it does not create the hard bond with the vehicle that urethane does. It was widely used until the 1970s and is about one half the price of urethane. So, many installers continue to use it despite the fact that it is not as safe.
Be an informed consumer
So, if you have a chipped or cracked windshield that you need to get replaced – ask your shop if they replace it based on the manufacturer standards and whether they are AGRSS certified. Also ask if they use urethane as the adhesive and talk to them about how long they recommend the car (for curing) before it is driven. If the answers to these questions do not meet the standards outlined here, we recommend you consider finding another shop to install your windshield. Safety is the most important thing when it comes to your vehicle. Do not let your repair shop cut corners and roll the dice with your safety!
If you happen to live in the Las Vegas area and are looking for windshield repair, you are in luck…Team Acme one of the only AGRSS certified auto glass repair shops in the area and is also home to the only master certified tech in Nevada. We are committed to using only the safest products during installation and making sure that when your car leaves our job, it is just as safe as when it left the manufacturer. Contact us for more information about AGRSS Certification or request a quote for windshield repair today!