OF cOrrect ANd QuAlitY wiNdscreeN replAcemeNt
( “ t h e N At i O N A l A u tO g l A s s wAY ” ) .
required activator or primer to the windscreen and the vehicle’s
body. He must then apply the polyurethane to the windscreen or
body prior to installing the replacement windscreen.
It is these specific factors one has to consider in the windshield
“SAFE DRIVE-AWAY TIME”
Probably most important is the “SAFE DRIVE-AWAY TIME”. This is
the time for the polyurethane glue to set such that the passenger-
side airbag in the vehicle, which relies on the windscreen to support
its deployment, will operate correctly.
“SAFE DRIVE-AWAY TIME” can vary from one to four hours,
depending on the type of polyurethane used. Luyt cannot stress
the importance of the “SAFE DRIVE-AWAY TIME” enough.
“The danger of driving away too early after fitment is, if you were
Last month, Automotive Business Review brought you an in-depth
to have a head-on collision and the polyurethane hasn’t set, the
look at the importance of the windscreen in the modern automobile,
windscreen could well be blown out the vehicle by the exploding
thanks to the wisdom and long-time experience of National Auto
passenger-side airbag thus rendering the airbag useless. The
Glass MD Keith Luyt. Having discussed the windscreen’s history
customer must always be informed by the Technician of the “SAFE
and the many important roles it plays (particularly in safety) we wish
DRIVE-AWAY TIME” before the installation starts. The biggest
to scratch beneath the surface to bring you the next concept in
problem is the impatient customer who insists on driving away the
our National Auto Glass series: windscreen replacement.
minute the installation is complete.”
Windshield replacement, needless to say, is a delicate process
that involves patience, perfection and pride on the Technician’s
part to get it one hundred percent right. Here is how windscreen Upon completion of the fitment, a post-inspection must be
replacement is done the “National Auto Glass Way”. conducted between the customer and the Technician, for the benefit
of both the customer and the Technician, and the Vehicle Inspection
PRE-INSPECTION Sheet must be signed off by both.
“Always inspect the vehicle, together with the technician for pre- MOBILE FITMENT
existing damage before starting on the replacement,” says Luyt,
Windscreen replacement need not necessarily take place at a
“So make sure the technician has got a Vehicle Inspection Sheet. A
National Auto Glass fitment centre. The global trend is towards
Technician may for example, accidently scratch the car or damage
mobile fitment where the Technician comes to you and does the
the dashboard whilst carrying out the replacement, so you are able
replacement in the convenience of your home or workplace. This is
to say that that scratch or damage wasn’t there before. A well-
particularly useful for professionals who cannot afford the time to sit
trained Technician will point out any pre-existing damages to you.”
at a fitment centre waiting for the replacement to be completed and
Another important point of pre-inspection by the Technician is the polyurethane to set.
to check if the rain and light sensors are working. A sensor that CHIP REPAIR
does not operate correctly on the original windscreen will not work
In conclusion Keith Luyt also finds the necessity of emphasising
correctly on the newly installed windscreen.
the role and importance of chip repairs, “A properly repaired chip
FITMENT or crack on your windscreen restores the windscreen to its original
When it comes to the fitment, the Technician needs to review the manufactured strength. What is important is to get the chip repaired
job before the process of removal and replacement, and ask: What’s as soon as possible to reduce the amount of moisture and dirt
the weather like? Is it likely to rain, am I under cover? Is the vehicle entering the chip or the crack lengthening. Chip or crack repair
on a flat surface and not on a curb (a flat surface prevents the body plays an important role in reducing the cost to the customer and the
from twisting), is there enough surrounding space (the technician insurance companies of windscreen replacement.”
will need to open the vehicle’s front doors to get inside to carry out
National Auto Glass will therefore
always assess whether a chip or
Just as significant, is that the Technician must thoroughly clean crack can be repaired, possibly
the replacement windshield inside and out using the polyurethane preventing the need for a windshield
manufacturer’s recommended cleaning agent, and must apply the replacement in the first place.
52 september 2011