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:
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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