Proudly serving NJ, NY, & PA with quality glass since 1982
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Below is a listing of the most frequently asked questions we encounter. Please click the specific question to see the answer.
1. Can my windshield be repaired or do I need to replace it? The National Glass Association recommends that any windshield damage be fixed as soon as possible. Most ‘dings’ or ‘chips’ can be repaired if the damage is not in the driver’s line of vision and is smaller than the size of a 50 cent piece, including any cracks. This could save you or your insurance company hundreds of dollars. If the break is larger or in the drivers line of vision, most insurance companies recommend replacement. American Mobile Auto Glass provides both services for your convenience.
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2. Does my windshield really protect me? Yes. Your windshield was designed as the number one safety restraint system in your vehicle. Auto manufacturers say your windshield provides up to 60 percent of the roof crush protection in a rollover accident. It also provides the backstop support for your passenger-side airbag in a front-end collision. If your windshield pops out in a collision or rollover, you could be ejected or crushed. It’s important to know who’s replacing your windshield. Your life could depend on it.
3. What is OEM glass? OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacture. OEM glass is produced from original equipment-style tooling and meets the manufacturer specifications for safety and quality. Only OEM glass can insure proper fit and finish which greatly reduces the possibility of air or water leaks. Most importantly, only OEM glass is designed specifically to meet the safety standards necessary for your protection in an accident. You should always use OEM glass to insure your safety. If you are making an insurance claim to pay for your windshield replacement, you are most likely entitled to OEM glass. You’ve paid for it in your policy.
4. What are FMVSS and why are they important to me? FMVSS stands for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. They are standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association relating to vehicle safety. A number of these standards set minimum requirements for windshield retention in vehicle accidents. Because the windshield is the most important safety restraint system in a vehicle, it’s critical that the windshield not come out in an accident. If that were to occur, the passenger compartment would be compromised, occupants could be ejected and the roof could collapse. Any of these scenarios would result in serious injury and possibly death. As a result, FMVSS must be adhered to with every windshield installation. The only way to meet these standards is by strictly following the vehicle manufacturers’ preferred installation methods. These include, performing full cutout procedures, utilizing OEM glass, applying the necessary primers and using only the approved adhesives that provide the proper safe drive-away times. FMVSS were created and are in place to save your life. Unfortunately, not all glass companies comply. It’s up to you to make sure your glass replacement company adheres to them. No one else will.
5. How long will it take to replace my windshield? That depends on the make and model of your vehicle. Because of the complexity of some vehicles, it could take as long as 3 hours. Most vehicles, however, require about an hour to an hour and a half to properly install the windshield. Auto manufacturers recommend a full cutout method when replacing a windshield. This method takes a little longer than what has been popular with most technicians in the past. As with most things worth having, quality takes time. If an installer claims he can install your windshield in 30 minutes or less, it’s a sure bet it won’t be done right and certainly not safe.
6. What should I look for when my windshield is replaced? The first thing to look for is a company that has a good reputation and a proven service record. Next make sure they are using OEM glass and have certified technicians. If you start with the right company, you’re half way there. When the installer comes out, ask questions. Questions about when you’ll be able to safely drive your vehicle and what kind of urethane he’ll be using. He should be knowledgeable enough to answer any questions you may have. Make sure that he’ll do a factory recommended full cutout instead of the quicker short-cut method. The installer should carefully clean and always prime the windshield before installation. He should also use suction cups or at least disposable gloves while installing the windshield to insure that the adhesive surface of the glass does not become contaminated. Missing any of these steps could result in an improper or unsafe installation. After an accident is the wrong time to find out your windshield was improperly installed.
7. What kind of warranty should I expect? You should expect to get a written warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship including water and air leaks. American Mobile Glass offers a warranty against any leaks or defects for as long as you own the vehicle. If you have a problem after their installation, a phone call to the shop should be all that’s needed to have someone take care of the problem. Don’t be shy about asking for a warranty. Your safety and peace of mind are worth it.
8. How soon can I drive my car after my glass is replaced? This will depend on the type of urethane adhesive used to install the glass in your vehicle. While most automotive grade urethanes rely on temperature and humidity to cure, the time required varies widely depending on the manufacturer. This time frame can range from 3 hours up to 24 hours before your vehicle will meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and is considered safe to drive. If you need to drive your vehicle sooner, a chemically cured urethane can be used that will allow a 1 hour drive-away time. In either case, it’s imperative that you follow the manufacturers’ instructions regarding safe drive-away times. Not adhering to those instructions could result in your injury or even death. It is extremely important that the technician replacing your automotive glass explain to you when you are able to SAFELY drive your car.
9. How soon can I wash my vehicle? It is recommended that you wait 24 hours before washing your vehicle. There are 2 reasons for this. First, the high pressure from automatic car washes can damage the seal and outer moldings before the urethane has a chance to cure sufficiently. Secondly, it’s important to leave at least one of the windows open at least an inch to reduce the pressurization in the vehicle when the doors are shut. This prevents the pressure inside the cabin from blowing a hole in the urethane seal, causing an air or water leak. Water on the windshield is not the concern. In fact, if it should rain, don’t fear. The moisture actually helps the curing process of the urethane sealant.
10. I just had my windshield replaced. How do I know if it was done right? You don’t. That’s the problem. Without removing the windshield, it’s impossible to tell if the windshield was prepped correctly, if critical primers were used, or if the proper amount and type of urethane was used. Once a windshield is installed, all the critical installation steps are hidden under the moldings and ceramic band. If it looks clean and the moldings are lying flat, you can only guess it was done right. But those things are only cosmetic. It’s what is underneath that counts. The only sure way to tell if a windshield is properly installed is to crash test it, but we don’t recommend it. The next best way is to know the reputation of the company that installed it.
11. I called around and got cash prices on my windshield. Why is there such a big difference in price? There could be a lot of reasons. Some companies are famous for quoting incredibly low prices on the telephone, but when the customer goes in for service they find out that other parts are required and that tax and labor was not included. Some companies quote low prices because they use inferior after-market Chinese glass and cheap inexperienced labor. Unfortunately, most people don’t know the difference or don’t understand the safety implications and they make their decision solely on price. Don’t be fooled by the quick buck hucksters. The old adage applies: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
12. How can some companies afford to waive my deductible, give me free dinners and still do quality work? Chances are, they can’t. A lot of advertising today is deceptive and sometimes even fraudulent. In most cases, the costs of giveaways are commonly billed to your insurance company. Since insurance companies are unwilling to pay more than “usual and customary” charges, you wind up being stuck with the cost of the free-bees. The biggest concern, of course, is what kind of work will they do? Will they use Original Equipment parts and procedures to insure your safety? Always check with the Better Business Bureau before doing business with a company that sounds too good to be true. Most companies with reputations for doing quality work don’t need to make wild offers to attract business. And remember what your grandfather told you: “There ain’t no free lunch.”
13. This is my third broken windshield. Will my insurance rates go up if I get it replaced? No, your insurance rates should not increase due to auto glass replacement. Insurance companies do not factor glass claims by themselves into the equation when determining your risk assignment or your insurance rates. Unlike accidents, windshield replacements are comprehensive claims that you have no control over. To be sure, however, check your policy or call your agent.
14. What is the Consumers Right to Choose? Quite simply most states grant you the consumer the Right to Choose which company repairs your car. You may find that your insurance company tries to direct you to a shop that they have cut a special deal with to save money on the claim. Since not all shops follow safe installation procedures, your insurance company has no way of knowing what kind of job will be done on your car. You do not have to go where your insurance company tries to steer you. If you do decide to go where your insurance company wants you to go, make sure you ask about OEM parts, urethane sealants, safe drive-away times, and written warranties. The Better Business Bureau should also be called before doing business with any glass replacement company.
15. What is safety glass and why do I need it in my home or office? “Safety glass” is a term given to specific types of glass that when broken will break in such a way as to minimize potential injury to people. This is in contrast to standard “plate glass” which can be deadly due to the large sharp spear-like pieces that are created when broken. Safety glass comes in all types, sizes, colors and shapes depending on the application. The most common types of safety glass are Tempered, Laminated, Acrylic and Polycarbonate. Uniform building codes have been created that address specific applications for residential and commercial buildings and assure the public’s safety when followed. Be sure to use a licensed contractor who is aware of all building codes when having glass replaced in your home or office.
16. What are dual pane/insulated units? Most new homes being built today are built with dual pane or insulated windows. These terms are typically used interchangeably. Dual pane windows are composed of 2 pieces of glass joined by a spacer, which creates an “air-space” between the two panes. It’s this air-space that creates the insulating properties that makes these units so energy efficient. The size of the air-space determines for the most part how efficient the window will be. For instance, a unit with a 1″ air-space will be much more efficient than a unit with a ½” air space. Other factors like “Low-E” or tinted glass can also increase efficiency.
17. Only 1 side of my dual pane window broke, so why do I have to replace both pieces? Dual pane windows are manufactured as airtight units that are able to resist fogging due to a material in the spacer called desiccant. When either the inner or outer piece of glass breaks, the desiccant becomes saturated and ineffective which requires replacement of the whole unit. Although insulated units are more expensive to replace than single pane windows, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Besides the obvious energy savings benefits, insulated units also provide some important security benefits. Usually when a dual pane window breaks, one side stays in tact keeping air conditioning or heat from escaping. Unlike single pane windows, it also keeps your home secure until the new window can be installed.
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