has decided to make our readers "AWARE of businesses with slightly
less than scrupulous motives. We do not need to name a company, for there are
many companies that "bend the rules" to get ahead. Instead,
we want our readers to be educated consumers.
This is the season for fairs, festivals and carnivals across the United
States. There are conmen running con-games, taking your money, making you
believe you are truly going to win that elusive prize. There are
vendors who will try to sell you everything from soup to nuts. You can
purchase things you'll probably never use, and you can also Beware!
One of the catch phrases people have become attuned to as they
wander the endless mazes of fair and festival madness are the carnival
callers, the men and women who taunt you to stop, look at their product, hear
their pitch, play their game, see their atrocity, walking away is sometimes
difficult. One of the pitches that is becoming all too familiar is: "Got
any windshield damage?" Is it a con? No! Is it an
insurance fraud hoax? No! Then why be educated? Because answering yes without
the facts, is not beneficial to you. What you do not know about auto glass can
make a difference to your safety and that of your family. Auto
glass, seatbelts and air bags are the most important, life-saving equipment in
American motorists replace nearly 15 million windshields and windows in
their vehicles each year, unfortunately far too many have no idea about
to their safety of a quality installation.
Let's discuss auto glass, there are two types of auto glass, tempered and
laminated. Laminated glass, is generally found only in your windshield,
although newer vehicles are using laminated glass for side windows as well. It
is constructed by bonding a tough polyvinyl butyral (PVB) plastic interlayer
between two pieces of glass under heat and pressure to form a single piece.
Fully tempered glass, which makes up mainly the side and rear windows in
vehicles is used because of its safety characteristics, due to its
strength and unique fracture pattern. Tempered glass strength,
effectively resists wind pressure and impact, and when broken, the glass
fractures into small, relatively harmless fragments. Laminated glass will also
chip, while tempered glass will not.
Windshields are a structural component of today’s vehicles,
providing support to the roof in a rollover as well as aiding in proper
deployment of the passenger-side airbag in the event of an accident.
Federal windshield glazing standards, providing for penetration
resistance, and installation standards providing for occupant protection and
windshield retention in a collision have been enacted in more recent
years. It is always best to request
original equipment when having a windshield replaced. OEM (original
equipment manufacturer) glass is clearly the best choice for the consumer, it
assures a more proper fit. However, requesting OEM glass is only a portion of
the problem. If you drive a Ford, your OEM glass would be Ford or Ford Carlite,
not PPG or LOF which is normally found in General Motors products.
Make sure the windshield is installed with a urethane adhesive system that
meets the original-equipment standards specified for the vehicle. Urethane has
been designed and tested to provide proper adhesion of the glass to the
vehicle. Urethane must be properly applied and cured to hold the windshield in
place should the passenger-side airbag deploy. Proper curing time could mean
up to 24 hours. A poor-fitting, poorly installed replacement windshield can
result in anything from minor annoyances such as air whistles and water leaks
to stress cracks and the windshield installation no longer meeting
federal safety standards.
Who is actually doing the work on your vehicle? Ask questions! Many
qualified auto glass shops with certified technicians exist. Many market their
service via solicitation, there are also, however, marketing companies posing
as glass shops. What does this mean? It means that the person who is taking
your insurance information is no more than a salesmen. The company he works
for will then subcontract the work to another glass installation shop, while
charging your insurance company, or you, for the work. It is a perfectly legal
maneuver, but what happens if you have problems with the installation? Who
will be responsible? Is the company solicitating your business local, or
are they located elsewhere? How much of the installation process does the
salesman actually know?
Question a glass installation shop that offers to waive your entire
deductible, make sure that you are getting quality parts and service. Use a we
can waive your deductible pitch as a warning.
Repairs: be aware that the resin used to repair your windshield is actually
110% stronger than the actual glass. There are instances when a repair should
not be completed, such as if the repair would be in your direct line of
vision, or if there are more than three chips that need repair. Repairs do not
compromise the safety of your windshield as is the case with improperly
installed windshields, they are however, noticeable and in time can
Do not rely on your insurance agent or insurance company for advice,
remember, your agent and/or company is in this to make money, if your agent /
company tells you not to worry about a chip or crack in your windshield,
he/she is not interested in your safety, they are interested in a bonus. If
he/she requests you use a specific replacement center, question the motive.
Most insurance companies will waive any deductible you have if you choose a
repair over a replacement. Some insurance companies even offer a cash bonus to
their customers for choosing a repair over a replacement.
Be prepared. Know what you do and don't need. Know that a chip and/ or
crack in your windshield will compromise the safety of your vehicle, do not
allow anyone to tell you differently. Do not fear your insurance company, do
not let your company/agent intimidate you; you pay for protection, use it if
it is necessary. Always ask questions of auto glass shops, especially the
ones soliciting you! What type of guarantee do they offer? Are the
replacements guaranteed against stress cracks or will your insurance company
be charged again? Will they give you the guarantee in writing before pulling
your windshield out? Will they be using not only OEM glass, but glass specific
to the vehicle you drive, such as Ford glass for Ford vehicles? Ask what type
of urethane they will be using, if they say butyl, run don't walk, away. Ask
how long it will take, if they say a short time, question them further. Ask
about curing time (cold whether requires a longer cure time). Ask about
molding, will it be replaced? Ask where they are located? Do they have local
shops or are they transient salesmen? Ask for references? Are they registered
to do business in your state? Questions can help you determine the transient
from the legitimate, it may also save your life.
As always......I wish each and every one
of you a life filled with dreams and void of ISSUES! I
appreciate your patience and patronage.