You in need of a windscreen replacement in Tweed Heads for your vehicle and like the majority you don’t know much about it. Are all windscreen companies the same? Should I purchase the most expensive, or the cheapest? Should I use a local company?
Shopping for a windscreen replacement can be confusing. By following this simple advice you will armed with enough information to obtain a fair priced windscreen installed with high quality products.
It’s important to understand that in Australia the Auto Glass Industry is unregulated. This means anyone can open up a windscreen repair business. As a result, many windscreen companies in Australia operate with very little experience, equipment and ethics.
Hidden Camera Investigation
Service 8® Auto Glass was involved in two Channel Nine hidden camera investigations in which we observed the practices of eight windscreen repair companies in Brisbane and Tweed Heads. Of the eight windscreen repairers, not a single company installed the windscreen correctly. In addition all but one practiced short cuts compromising the installation. The one company that did not take a short cut installed the incorrect glass for a different model by mistake. Needles to say they had to come back to install it again.
The Windscreen Is A Safety Device
The windscreen in the modern vehicle is a safety device. It supports the Passenger Air Bag System and creates an anti crumple zone designed to save a life in a collision or roll over. With this in mind, it is critical that your windscreen is installed correctly using high quality adhesives that have been thoroughly crash tested.
It may come as a surprise that the majority of windscreen repairers do not install auto glass to basic Australian Standards. Worse still, procedures are often skipped to speed up the installation, this is designed to increase productivity and save costs. This is especially so with insurance claims, as “insurance network repairs” operate on very small profit margins.
So how do you know if your windscreen will be installed correctly? The quick honest answer is, you don’t. When a windscreen has been installed it will appear fine to the untrained eye. The short cuts and skipped procedures that may have been taken will not be visible when the job is complete.
Tips On Selecting A Repairer
Here are a few tips on how to shop for a windscreen and what to look for when the technician comes over to install your windscreen.
There is little point in asking the company if they perform quality work, as its unlikely they will say, “no we do not”. Trust your instinct, observe the technician on the day. Is he/she well groomed, professional, have a clean well organised vehicle. Do they have plenty of tools for the job.
Appearance and organisation are important, if they care little for their own upkeep and appearance then its likely they will not care too much about yours. A messy un-kept technician, often means, a messy careless installation.
Also, try not to be mesmerised by marketing from national brands, often these companies are top heavy with management, office staff, buildings and fancy advertising. All these expenses are built into the cost of your windscreen replacement. This is why paying more will not assure you get more for your money. Expect to pay more with a corporation simply because they have more costs and real estate (Overheads).
Important! Ask the company what adhesives and products they will be using to install your windscreen. Sika Adhesives set the standards. Sika are thoroughly tested and trusted and no, we do not get paid to say this.
Cheaper brands of adhesive may not be tested to the same standards and in the same conditions. This may not be of concern now, however, if you are involved in a collision, the Passenger Airbag could eject your Windscreen, rendering a lifesaving device useless. Even if you plan on selling the vehicle in the future, a good ethical person will do the right thing in terms of obtaining a quality installation.
Be wary of extremely cheap pricing, if you insist on obtaining the absolute cheapest don’t be surprised if corners are cut and substandard materials are used. If fact, you can almost always count on it.
You don’t have to pay the highest either, many companies such as Service 8® Tweed Heads and Townsville use the best quality products available and charge a mid range price. We use the highest quality adhesives (SIKA) and install Australian Standard glass to manufactures specifications.
Ask if the technician will remove the “cowl” panel to install your windscreen. The cowl panel is a plastic trim that is positioned at the bottom of your windscreen. Your windscreen wipers will have to be removed as well.
The most common windscreen short cut is not remove the cowl panel. This saves the technician time. The problem with this is that if not removed, the windscreen has to be installed by sliding it down behind the small gap behind the cowl and car body. This often leads to the adhesive being dragged dragged off the body and not forming a proper seal.
This leads to wind noise and worse, the windscreen may not bond correctly to the vehicle body. If this happens your windscreen could be ejected in a collision by the passenger air bag. Since the passenger air bag uses the windscreen as a back board, this then renders a life saving device useless.
Observe your windscreen technician and if he does not remove the cowl, ask why. This is very important, as not removing the cowl can lead to the windscreen not correctly bonding to the vehicle body. This may lead to the passenger air bag system being ineffective and could risk a life in a collision.
Check Google Reviews. Google is a complex and very fair review platform that cannot be manipulated. Simply Google the company you are thinking of working with, for example. XYZ Windscreen Reviews. This quickly gives you a list of results of that company and what customers think.
A bad review does not always mean the company is a poor performer. Everybody makes errors from time to time, its how the error is rectified is what matters. That said, many poor reviews for unresolved problems does tell a story of how the business operates.
So there you have it, by now you should have an idea of how a windscreen is installed and how companies operate in this space. Just by following a few of these few step you should be in a better position to select a quality windscreen repairer.