Is Mobile Windshield Installation Safe?
Unfortunately, mobile windshield installation is not safe. Although it is convenient, it does not offer the same resources, equipment, and most importantly – time – for the installation to be completed properly. It is better to go to a specialized auto glass repair shop to have your repairs completed because the shop will be able to correctly remove your existing windshield, repair any damage, and install your new windshield in a controlled environment. In the field, you are subject to any disruptions that might occur, such as unexpected issues with the parts, damage to the vehicle, and weather. It’s not possible for mobile installers to react to these obstacles without affecting the quality of the work.
The auto glass industry is not regulated, meaning any person with a truck can start a windshield installation business. While mobile windshield installation is convenient for drivers with a busy schedule, it can be disastrous for your safety. Ultimately, there are several issues with mobile installation that make it unsafe. Without proper installation, a windshield can pop out at any time, let water or wind into your vehicle, and not protect you properly in case of an accident. Here are 7 signs that your mobile windshield installation was not completed correctly:
- Only One Person
A true quality windshield replacement will require at least two experienced auto glass technicians to complete. If there is only one person in the mobile service, this is a red flag. One person simply cannot ensure the windshield glass is aligned with the vehicle correctly before installing it.
- No Gloves
If you watch the installer handle your windshield, and the technicians are not wearing gloves, this is a major problem. New windshield glass is covered with urethane, which is necessary for the glass to be secured properly. However, without gloves technicians can transfer oils from their hands to the glass. This reduces the adhesive strength and can result in leaks. When replacing a windshield, your auto glass technicians should be wearing proper gloves.
- Unclear Glass Origins
With thousands of different vehicles on the road and millions of different glass options, it is possible that even if the installer orders the correct windshield for your vehicle, the wrong one is delivered. An experienced professional in a auto glass repair shop will double-check to ensure that the glass is correct from the manufacturer. However, an installer in the field doesn’t have the advantage of time or space to keep your vehicle, they may use the incorrect part. Some installers also use after-market glass to cut costs. A reputable auto glass shop will let you know where the windshield is from and ensure it is the correct glass for your vehicle.
- Glass is Wavy
This is another sign of inferior quality glass. If your installer used cut-rate glass to replace your windshield, it may appear wavy or bumpy in the sunlight. A windshield should appear consistent and smooth.
- Whistling Noise While Driving
When you take your car on the freeway and accelerate, do you hear a whistling or whooshing sound? An improperly sealed windshield could be letting wind into the crevices between the vehicle and the glass. A common shortcut that causes this is called stuffing. It can be identified if you see a windshield replaced and the windshield wipers aren’t removed.
- Leaks in Your Windshield
Does moisture seep through your vehicle when it’s raining or when you go through the car wash? If any water gets into your vehicle from the outside through your windshield, that is a sign that the glass was improperly installed. A perfect seal ensures no moisture or wind can enter the car.
- You Drove Your Car Right After Replacement
If your mobile windshield installer gave you the go-ahead to drive your car immediately after your windshield replacement, this is a major issue. The adhesives used to properly secure the new glass require time to harden and cure. If you drive your car before the adhesive sets, the glass can shift while you drive. You may not think this is a big deal, but the smallest bump can cause your glass to move. If you drove your car within a few hours of installation, the glass might not be sitting right. We use a urethane that allows a 1 hour safe driveaway time, from the time the glass is set in the vehicle. Some adhesives take as long as 12 hours to cure!
What do you do if you have had mobile windshield installation and are concerned that your windshield is unsafe? Call the professionals at Lucky Dog Auto Glass! We can inspect, repair, and replace your vehicle’s auto glass.