Special feature – car inSurance
of correct and quality windscreen
In the August 2011 issue of aBr, Keith Luyt, managing director of
National Auto Glass South Africa, wrote about the importance of the
windscreen in a car, not just to prevent wind and dirt flying into the
face of the driver, but to maintain the structural integrity of the vehicle.
In this issue where we look at the importance of car insurance, the
quality of repair takes on an added significance. Keith emphasises the
importance of the windscreen replacement process.
indshield replacement is a delicate process that involves body. He must then apply the polyurethane to the windscreen or
patience, perfection and pride on the technician’s part to body prior to installing the replacement windscreen. It is these
get it one hundred percent right. Here is how windscreen specific factors one has to consider in the windshield replacement
replacement is done The National Auto Glass Way. process.
PRe-InsPeCtIon ‘saFe DRIVe-away tIme’
We always encourage the client to inspect the vehicle together Probably most important is the ‘safe drive-away time’. This is the
with the technician for pre-existing damage before we start on the time for the polyurethane glue to set such that the passenger-side
replacement. During this process, we make sure the technician airbag in the vehicle, which relies on the windscreen to support its
has the vehicle inspection sheet. A well-trained technician will deployment, will operate correctly.
point out any pre-existing damages to the client. A client then ‘Safe drive-away time’ can vary from one to four hours, depending
has the assurance that, should a technician accidently scratch on the type of polyurethane used. Luyt stresses the importance of
or damage the vehicle or dashboard when carrying out the the ‘safe drive-away time’. If you drive away too early after fitment,
replacement that it was not previously there. in the event of a head-on collision without the polyurethane having
set properly, the danger is that the windscreen could be blown
Another important point of pre-inspection by the technician is
out of the vehicle by the exploding passenger-side airbag, thereby
the checking if the rain and light sensors are working. A sensor
rendering the airbag useless.
that does not operate correctly on the original windscreen will not
work correctly on the newly installed windscreen. The customer must always be informed by the technician of ‘safe
drive-away time’ before the installation starts. The challenge is
persuading the impatient customer who insists on driving away
When it comes to the fitment, the technician needs to review the the minute the installation is completed, to allow the necessary
job before the process of removal and replacement, and ask the time to ensure his or her safety.
• What’s the weather like - is it likely to rain? Upon completion of the fitment, a post-inspection must be
• Am I under cover? conducted between the customer and the technician, for the
benefit of both the customer and the technician, and the vehicle
• Is the vehicle on a flat surface and not on a curb (a flat
inspection sheet must be signed off by both.
surface prevents the body from twisting)?
• Is there enough surrounding space (the technician will need
to open the vehicle’s front doors to get inside to carry out Windscreen replacement need not necessarily take place at a
the replacement)? National Auto Glass fitment centre. The global trend is towards
mobile fitment where the technician comes to you and does the
More importantly the technician must thoroughly clean the replacement in the convenience of your home or workplace.
replacement windshield inside and out using the polyurethane This is particularly useful for professionals who cannot afford the
manufacturer’s recommended cleaning agent, and must apply the time to sit at a fitment centre waiting for the replacement to be
required activator or primer to the windscreen and the vehicle’s completed and the polyurethane to set.
28 | may 2012