Windshield Replacement Service in Aspen-Basalt Area

In the past few posts we covered a few stories on windshield replacement, how important the windshield is in the structural integrity of your vehicle, and how many windshield replacement services to a sub-standard replacement job.

As we outsource our windshield replacement services to specialized workshops, it is our responsibility to make sure that every single vehicle that we handle gets factory-level quality of windshield replacement. For this reason, we often times monitor the replacement procedure. Most of the times windshield replacement technicians do an excellent job, but in rare occasions, some technicians skip a step or two in the industry-dictated replacement procedure.

The windshield replacement procedure requires that the windshield gets treated with chemical solvents to clean up the contacting surface where the urethane glue goes. After cleanup, this surface must not be touched with bare hands so technicians must use medical gloves. Some technicians have windshield carrying techniques that allows them to lift the glass without toughing the treated surface, but in some rare cases, the mind wonders off only for a second and technicians grip the glass without even realizing it. Unfortunately, this is all it takes to contaminate the contacting surface.

Here’s one example of how we noticed a procedure breach that may have resulted in a faulty installation of the windshield:

caught red-handed, procedure breach in windshield replacement
Notice that the technician has gripped the windshield and touches the primed surface with bare hands.

The black lining of each windshield is the contacting area where the windshield is glued onto the chassis with a urethane glue. As you can see on the image above, this technician seems to have forgotten to keep his fingers off the primed surface. A bare-skin contact contaminates the primed surface and the dew and grease will prevent the urethane glue to form a solid bond with the new windshield. As the windshield carries almost 30% of the structural integrity during crashes or airbag activation, poor adhesion can result in blowing the windshield off the vehicle so the airbags will have nothing to bounce off and brace your face in a collision.

The good thing is that we noticed this and stopped the technician. Since he was a certified technician there was no need of debating the issue. All that was necessary was a “Hey, the primed surface…your hand…”. His response was “Oh man… good eye!” He cleaned up the entire contacting surface, re-primed it and installed the windshield by the book.

Most of the times, it’s the little things that make or break a solid windshield replacement. In this case, a drop in concentration could have resulted in a sub-standard windshield replacement service. Thanks to our strong attention to detail, we pointed the technician of this unintentional error and our client got a factory-level quality of windshield replacement.

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Pickup Truck Windshield Replacement By The Book

Windshield replacement is a critical fix for your vehicle because the windshield is an integral part of the vehicle safety systems. Performing a windshield replacement by the book, by a certified shop and technicians will ensure that your vehicle can protect your life. Here at High Tone Auto Body we take windshield replacement services very seriously and follow the industry standards.

Why Worry About Windshield Replacement

Driving down our Colorado roads is fun with all the beautiful scenery, but our roads hide a big hazard to our vehicles’ windshields.

It’s very easy to get a rock chip bounce off a windshield and leave a dent, or if it’s a larger rock chip it can even crack the windshield. When the windshield is damaged you have two options:

  • repair the windshield, or
  • opt for a windshield replacement.

In either case, you want a professional to do the repair/replacement. Windshield repair with various dent removal techniques is not a critical job and there are even DIY kits on the market with simple instructions to follow. For small dents this is a solid option. But if the windshield damage is larger than 5 inches (length of a dollar bill) the windshield is due for replacement because this fracture may severely influence the windshield’s ability to handle mechanical loads.

However, windshield replacement is categorically different because this process is actually altering the vehicle’s mechanical rigidity and therefore, altering it’s potential to act as a shield for your life on the road.

The windshield is responsible for almost 20% of the vehicle’s structural integrity. It is an integral part of the car body and is the key factor that keeps roofs from buckling during car accidents.

Proper Pickup Truck Windshield Replacement

Here is a perfect case-study of proper windshield replacement service and we take pride in this because not many repair shops in the Basalt-Aspen area take such good care.

A client drove in with a pickup truck with a cracked windshield that was too damaged to be repaired and the only option was a windshield replacement service. Our technician told the client to come back the next day because proper windshield replacement means leaving the vehicle still for about 10 hours, giving enough time for the glue to chemically react with the primer and stiffen properly.

To ensure proper windshield replacement, or technicians go by the book and follow a carefully outlined windshield replacement procedure:

  1. remove the old windshield
  2. remove all the old glue from the car body (windshield frame)
  3. clean up the adhesion surface and surroundings from any dust, dew or other potential surface contaminants
  4. clean up the new windshield from dust, wrappings or other particles using special glass cleaner (we use SprayWay Glass Cleaner)
  5. prime the adhesion surface of the windshield and frame with special priming solution (or use the BetaSeal U-418 Primerless Urethane Adhesive)
  6. place urethane glue on the windshield frame ensuring continuous thickness of the adhesive (we use BetaSeal Express adhesive)
  7. position the windshield into its car frame without touching the contacting surfaces with bare hands (usually handle with medical thin gloves)
  8. secure the windshield in its position and leave the adhesive to cure for at least 10 hours before vehicle can be driven off.

Positioning the windshield is a crucial step. Trained and certified technicians know that they must not touch the windshield’s inner side where it will be in contact with the glue. Any dirt, dew or other surface contaminants will compromise the integrity of the glue healing process which will in turn compromise the windshield’s ability to properly adhere to the car body.

Once the windshield was properly positioned and secured technicians left the vehicle to sit for at least 10 hours before it was released to the client.


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Questions To Ask Your Windshield Replacement Service Provider

Replacing windshields is a standardized servicing procedure and is regulated by several certification agencies in the US. But many car repair shops cut corners hard-pressed to service more clients and raise profitability. Here’s a short list of things to ask the repair technicians before you entrust your vehicle for windshield replacement.


Are You A Certified Windshield Replacement Technician?

There are about 11 million windshield replacement procedures in USA every year. But very few of these replacement jobs are done properly and by certified windshield replacement technicians.

As the windshield is responsible for about 20% of the vehicle’s structural integrity, cutting corners or doing a sub-standard windshield replacement job is a serious safety hazard. Proper windshield installment is crucial for reliable airbag functionality because when the airbag goes off, it needs a solid windshield to bounce off and absorb the passenger’s body impact.

Certified windshield replacement technicians know the proper installment procedure as well as all the preparatory steps prior to installing the new windshield. If the repair technician does not follow through all the required preparatory steps the vehicle will have a severely reduced potential to keep passenger safe inside the passenger compartment.


Do You Use All The Right Adhesion Materials?

Car manufacturers rely on precision robots to install windshields in order to avoid any surface contaminants like skin grease or dust particles. When you look for a windshield replacement service, you need to make sure that technicians know what they’re doing and that they use all the proper materials and replacement procedures. We already talked about the replacement procedures, and now it’s time to cover the windshield replacement materials:

  1. Glass cleaner/degreaser that leaves no film on the surface (Sprayway or Betaclean GS-800)
  2. Glass primer (we use Betaprime Clear SA)
  3. Glass urethane glue (eg. Betaseal Express or Betaseal One, depending on the type of windshield eg. with or without on-screen functions)

These three chemical solvents are extremely important and their proper use insures strong adhesion between the new windshield and the auto body. If the repair technician tries to convince you that there’s no need of a glass cleaner/degreaser, or that the urethane glue is enough in itself and there’s no need to use a primer coat, walk away from the shop. Properly installed windshield is your guardian on the road, and you don’t want it installed unprofessionally.

At High Tone Auto Body we take great care to use the right toolset and the right procedures to ensure proper windshield replacement so that your vehicle will be structurally sound and keep you safe on the road.

Glass Repair at High Tone Auto Body

Many people do not know that the glass in your vehicle is part of your vehicles safety and structural integrity. Glass is getting bigger and is covering more areas of the vehicles nowadays. All glass including the windshield, back glass and side glass are all important for keeping you safe in the event of an accident.

Do not ever assume that all glass installers are alike or use the same quality products and procedures. For example an improperly installed windshield may not be able to withstand the blow of an airbag or it may have air or water leaks.

Once the old windshield is out of the metal frame which holds the glass in place it must be properly prepped and treated before the urethane is put in. Not only is the preparation of the metal important to prevent rust from forming and potentially spreading into the roof but the products used are equally important.

Some vehicles have electronics embedded in the glass, especially high end vehicles, if the installer uses the wrong urethane it can interfere with the vehicles electronics! A urethane that is non-conductive is a necessity when windshields or other glass contains radio technology, satellite navigation, heads-up display, rain sensor, heating and demisting, or even an electro chromatic system.


Rust is much like cancer, once it starts it’s hard and sometimes impossible to stop. Attached are some photos of what can happen with a poor windshield installation. After many months or several years the rust will spread into the roof and cause the paint to crack, lift and chip off. This happens because of poor extraction practices, metal preparation, installation practices and poor adhesive products being used or a combination thereof.