– Before you jump into your car for that long-planned road trip,
there are a few things you need to take care of to make sure your
trip will be a safe one.
“Get an oil change, have your belts and engine checked, and
if your windshield has ever been replaced, make sure the job was
done right,” says Leo Cyr, vice president of NOVUS Auto Glass.
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety
Administration (NHTSA), 82 people are either killed or injured in
accidents every day after being ejected from their vehicles.
There’s no breakdown of how many of those people went through
windshields, but Cyr figures the number is high.
“Laws exist that require seatbelt use. Laws exist to prohibit
tampering with or disabling airbags. However, there are no laws
that govern how a windshield is replaced once the vehicle leaves
the factory. An improperly replaced windshield could -- and
sometimes does -- become detached from the vehicle during airbag
deployment, from the force of a collision, or when the car rolls
or flips over. With the windshield disabled, the effectiveness of
the vehicle’s safety restraint system (SRS) is seriously
“The tragedy of the situation,” explains Cyr, “is the
average person will not realize their windshield was improperly
replaced until it is too late. There are literally thousands of
responsible auto glass companies in the United States that perform
high-quality, safe windshield replacement. However, the way to
locate and select such a company comes from knowing what questions
to ask before making a commitment.”
The first question to ask is if the windshield really needs to
be replaced, or if dings in the glass can be repaired. Chips or
dings that are small enough to be covered by a credit card or
cracks that will fit under a dollar bill are typically repairable
without having to remove the factory seal of the original glass.
If you do decide to go through with a repair, ask if the
technician will take the following steps when making the repair:
* Remove the old sealant leaving approximately 1/16 inch
* Clean and prime the glass and the vehicle pinchweld.
* Wear gloves so as not to contaminate the clean glass.
* Use urethane adhesive (not butyl tape or silicone).
* Check for a passenger side airbag and, if present, use
urethane rated for that type of installation.
* Discuss how long before the vehicle can be driven.
* Tell you the “do’s and don’ts” of operation during
Afterwar the job is done, inspect the work carefully. You do
not need to be an auto glass expert to identify the “tell
tale” signs of improper installation. From outside the vehicle,
see if the windshield is perfectly centered on the car. Is the
distance the same between the left side and the right side of the
windshield and the auto body?
Finally, inspect the molding that fits around the entire
circumference of the windshield. Is the molding broken or are
there visible gaps? Is the molding flat or does it look like a
roller coaster? Most importantly, is the glass flush with the
vehicle’s body? If any of these conditions are present, the
installation should be considered suspect.
“When shopping for auto glass repair and/or replacement
services, people need to be quality conscious to a fault,” says
Cyr. “Discounts, coupons and sales incentives are fine when
shopping for ‘brand’ name products at competing retailers.
Auto glass repair/replacement is not a product. It is a service --
a safety service -- requiring the use of the best materials
technology has to offer.”
For more information or to locate the NOVUS Service Center
nearest you, call (800) 77-NOVUS (800-776-6887) or visit
Courtesy of ARA Content
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information, contact Leo Cyr at (850)
932-1405, Novus Franchising Inc.,10425 Hampshire Avenue South,
Minneapolis, Minn., 55438.