As discussed in a previous essay, what auto glass you put into your car matters. However, that’s only part of the equation. The best glass in the world is only as good as its installation. Since the hazards of an improperly installed windshield are severe but difficult for the average consumer to spot …it’s worth taking a bit of time to familiarize yourself with the basics.
The recent history of the auto glass industry has been one of drastic change. Many of the larger companies have moved to increase profit by focusing on quantity rather than quality. As in many industries, this has been done by first buying up locally owned businesses and then attempting to turn the product and service offered into a commodity. In other words, attempting to convince the consumer that the product is a standard, one-size fits all item in which one supplier is just as good as the other. They cut corners, lower their price and then try to convince you that price should be the only criteria. It isn’t.
We recommend finding a locally-owned glass shop that focuses on quality and customer service… and also has some of the most competitive pricing in the St Charles / St Louis area. As luck would have it, you are on the website of just such a company.
The major risks of improperly installed auto glass fall into 3 main categories.
- Damage to your vehicle: Make no mistake; the glass technician who will be replacing your windshield will be using power tools, knives, urethanes / primers and other items that can damage your vehicle.
- Rust from unprimed scratches in the pinch weld. Paint inside the pinch weld (the recessed area the windshield sets in) will almost certainly get scratched during replacement. It’s nearly inevitable. Nicks that are properly primed will not rust…nicks that are overlooked or ignored can lead directly to rust spreading from behind the windshield. We’ve all seen it, an otherwise rust-free vehicle with corrosion blooming from behind the windshield. That’s the sign of un-primed scratch from a windshield replacement…and it is incredibly expensive to repair.
- Leaks can damage your car’s interior. Your windshield must serve as an air and water tight barrier between the elements and your car’s interior. Incorrectly applied urethane sealant can lead directly to water damage.
The urethane and primer used in the auto glass industry will stain your interior. Make sure that you have both a) glass technicians that are conscientious of that risk and skilled enough to avoid it and b) a company that will take care of the issue should human error creep into the equation.
• Safety: As mentioned in my essay on windshield quality, auto engineers rely on the structural integrity of the windshield to work in conjunction with the frame of the vehicle to ensure safety in the event of a crash. If the windshield is not properly attached to the vehicle, it is not supplying the support the engineers assumed would be there for you.
• Annoyance: Even if your vehicle isn’t damaged, improper install can lead to wasted time and annoyance. Wind noise from a failed seal. Time wasted tracking down your installer to get a problem fixed.
Given the stakes, don’t assume that you can just pick an auto glass installer at random and have the job turn out properly. Here at Floyd Auto Glass to Go, we avoid the problems mentioned above with attention to detail and years of experience.