I have spent over 20 yrs in the auto glass business and as you can imagine I have seen and heard many things over that time. Some things you brush off or roll your eyes at while others make you shake your head and pull your hair out.
Recently I have had a couple of experiences I would like to share with you.
A few days ago while picking up some parts from the local supplier I overheard an “installer” ask another “installer” how to install a back glass he had just purchased. The answer he got was to “LOOK IT UP ON YOUTUBE, THAT IS HOW I LEARNED”. Now you my think to yourself I look stuff up all the time on youtube, whats wrong with that? A lot.
I decided to visit youtube and see what kind of instructions they provided for auto glass installations. While many of the videos did “show” you how to do the replacements, few showed the proper steps and none that I watched addressed the safety aspect of the installations, proper cure times, proper steps for using primers or most importantly addressing the Safe Drive Away Time (SDAT) which can vary from 1 hr to as much as 72 hours depending on which urethane you use and/or temp and humidity.
Another situation is something that I am continually fighting, and will continue to fight, and that is the lack of knowledge among people outside of the industry regarding the function and importance of your windshield. I am constantly asking people on my sales calls if they are aware of the Safe Drive Away Times or if anyone has ever mentioned this to them. The overwhelming answer I hear is “No, no-one has ever told me that” or “The last installer told me I could drive as soon as he was done”.
Let me ask you a few questions:
Did you know your windshield is a vital part of your vehicle structure?
It effects your airbag deployment
It effects your roof strength
It keeps people in the vehicle and foreign items out
Your windshield does a lot more than keep the wind and bugs out of your face and teeth
Did you know you CANNOT drive your vehicle right away after a replacement?
EVERY urethane has a Safe Drive Away Time — Time a vehicle CANNOT be moved
Not every Urethane has the same cure time or requirements
Tape on your windshield DOES NOT hold your windshield in the vehicle
Lastly, lets think for a moment….. If you call around to different glass shops and several of them say it will take 2-3 hrs. (for argument sake here) to do the replacement and release the vehicle, what makes you think that someone who says it will take 30 minutes and you can drive right away is doing the job correctly and not putting your safety and life at risk??