What if Sticks and Stones Damage Your Windshield?
If flying stones from summer road construction damage your windshield, how will you find the right glass shop to replace it? Paul Rice, director of PPG PROSTARS, a national alliance of automotive replacement glass shops, advises fleet managers to select certified professional installers, since a vehicle's continue safe performance depends on proper installation of the replacement windshield.
"The windshield is a critical component of your car's safety system in an accident," said Rice. "It reduced the likelihood of people being ejected from the car in a collision, and helps support the roof from a complete crush if the car rolls over. The windshield is necessary for proper deflection of the passenger-side airbag, as it deploys in the event of an accident."
Rice says there are four elements to qualify the windshield replacement:
- A professional installer.
- The right glass
- The right adhesive
- A warranty.
A professional installer has the training and experience to know how to replace windshields on a wide variety of vehicles.
"A professional installer will take the time and use the right materials - glass and urethane - to make sure the replacement is done correctly," Rice said.
The right glass is auto replacement glass made by a reputable company that also makes original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windshields. While all automotive glass must meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, not all companies make glass for both new vehicles and replacement.
OEM glass companies typically use the same quality systems to manufacture windshields for replacement or original equipment, assuring optical quality. They use the same tooling to manufacture both, so a replacement windshield will fit the frame much like the original part, making wind noise and water leaks less likely, said Rice. Plus, the windshield maintains the solar performance characteristics that were originally designed for the vehicle, Rice added.
The right adhesive is urethane. Windshields are held in place by specially designed urethane adhesives that bond them to the car frame. Two-component urethanes should be used when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, or when a shorter cure time is desired.
It is recommended not to drive a vehicle until the urethane cures. A quality installer should explain the cure time needed before beginning work.
Because good auto glass shops stand behind their work, Rice said, customers should ask for a warranty.
"Make sure it is at least a one-year, written warranty that covers water and air leaks," he advised, adding that many shops offer a limited warranty.
If you do experience any problems, go back to the glass shop to have them corrected.