Proper Windshield Replacements Essential for Safety

April 28, 2008 // // WACO, Texas – A cracked windshield is not a cosmetic problem. It is a safety problem that should be corrected as soon as possible. National Car Care Month is a good time to take a new look at windshield damage and consider a replacement.

"Most car and truck owners do not realize how important the windshield is to safety. They would have the air bags fixed if they knew the air bags wouldn't work 100 percent in a wreck. They know air bags are essential to their safety. If the windshield is cracked, then consider the air bags broken," Mark Dawson, president of Glass Doctor, said.

If a vehicle with a cracked windshield is in a wreck, the air bag may fail to deploy properly because the windshield is not strong enough to withstand the air bag's force. Even worse, the windshield could completely break or pop out during a wreck, which would weaken the roof support. The roof could crush the vehicle's occupants.

"The real travesty is that even if the owner gets the windshield replaced, the replacement windshield may be just as unsafe as the cracked windshield if the installation is flawed," Dawson said. "The glass, adhesive and molding should be appropriate for industry standards."

Often the primary safety issue is not the quality of the windshield glass, but the quality of the windshield installation. When considering a windshield replacement, ask the glass service technician some basic questions before the installation:

  • Will the old adhesive sealant be removed from the vehicle frame? If the sealant is not removed the fit will not be tight and the new sealant will not bond correctly.
  • Will the technician wear gloves to keep from contaminating the glass? If oil and dirt get on the edges the adhesive may not bond correctly.
  • Will the urethane adhesive sealant stand up to the pressure of airbags? The best urethane should be used, not butyl tape.
  • How long does the adhesive need to set until the vehicle can be driven? Every urethane type has a "safe drive-away time." Most adhesives should be allowed to cure for at least two hours.

After the new windshield is installed be sure to inspect it before you drive the vehicle. Every windshield adhesive has a "safe drive-away time," which is the time the vehicle must sit without movement while the adhesive cures. Do not drive the vehicle before the curing time is completed. Here are the signs of a proper installation:

  • See if the windshield is perfectly centered on the vehicle. The glass should have a smooth curve, not waves or bows.
  • Look at the molding around the edge of the windshield. It should be flat and unbroken. If it is wavy or has gaps, it should be re-done.
  • Make sure the glass is flush with the vehicle's frame. If the glass is not flush with the frame, a salvage windshield or a defective windshield may have been installed. A salvage windshield is taken from another similar vehicle, but the adhesive may not bond properly. A defective windshield may not be the exact dimensions to fit in the vehicle's frame.

Glass Doctor uses OE (original equipment manufactured by a company that supplies the auto makers) quality glass windshields and guarantees its windshields for 12 full months against breakage and for a lifetime against leaks. Ask a local Glass Doctor shop for details. Glass Doctor supports the glass replacement procedures approved by AGRSS, the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council. AGRSS is the only auto glass replacement safety standard. More than 110 of the 370 Glass Doctor independently owned and operated locations nationwide are accredited by AGRSS, and more will be accredited throughout the coming months. Consumers can find AGRSS-approved locations at

About Glass Doctor®:

Established in 1962, Glass Doctor is the largest chain of full-service glass replacement providers in the nation. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine among its "Franchise 500," Glass Doctor franchisees offer complete glass replacement, service and repairs to the automotive, residential and commercial markets at more than 360 locations in the United States. Glass Doctor is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For further information or to find the location nearest you, visit

About The Dwyer Group, Inc.:

Based in Waco, Texas, The Dwyer Group, Inc. is a holding company of six service-based franchise companies – Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter®, Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning®, Glass Doctor® and Rainbow International Restoration and Cleaning®. The franchise network of The Dwyer Group, Inc. consists of more than 1,400 independently owned and operated franchises. Each company provides high-quality residential and light commercial services to customers worldwide. The Dwyer Group, Inc. is a portfolio company of the Riverside Company. For more information, visit


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