Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Windshield Replacement Auto Glass Repair Los Angeles Orange County


ZipGlass.com, headquartered in Orange County CA, has completed the second phase in its shop acquisition and expansion program by consolidating more than 70 mobile auto glass shops under the control of a single entity.

Now covering the California South Coast area from Ventura to San Clemente, ZipGlass.com provides mobile auto glass replacement and windshield repair to a market of 10 million consumers and businesses.

According to owner Rob Houglum, "The ZipGlass.com model is the future of auto glass replacement. Instead of waiting for our customers to come to us, we go to our customers. They appreciate the convenience and time savings in their busy lives and we like the overhead structure".

By drawing auto glass parts from regional distribution warehouses, ZipGlass.com is able to maximize value to its customers by obtaining volume pricing and timely delivery of its services to an increasingly busy consumer and business base.

"Not having to take my car to a glass shop and dropping it off for the day and then finding a ride to work and back was a blessing", says ZipGlass.com customer Miranda Garcia. "By having them come to my office and finishing the work in time for me to pick up my daughter at the baby sitter, it saved me a lot of time and hassle".

While the overhead structure is different from a fixed-location facility, the cost is about the same. "Where we pick up an advantage", says Mr. Houglum,"is in the efficiency of a constant workflow versus having a glass installation crew sitting around waiting for a customer to drive up to a shop on Main Street".

"Because our system provides our customers more flexibility in their scheduling, it also gives us more flexibility in ours and that translates into higher efficiency in our operation".

Another advantage is the ability to grow the auto glass business geographically. "Our expansion plans include San Francisco and the entire West Coast up through Seattle. With fixed locations there are logistical problems such as rising rents, property taxes, utilities, and maintenance to deal with. Our mobile ZipGlass.com model reduces all of that to vehicle maintenance issues and fuel prices", Mr. Houglum explained. "And that makes it easier for us to build our presence in strategic auto glass markets with the highest potential return on investment".

Mr. Houglum says the first leg of the expansion plan has already begun, with initial glass service now being provided in and around San Francisco. That rollout is expected to take approximately twelve months to complete.

"After we've reached equilibrium in the Bay Area, we'll continue our march northward through Portland and into Seattle. Our timetable will depend on how fast the economy recovers and how soon we feel comfortable with the next leg of the expansion project. We're not rushing this and will take it one step at a time", said Mr. Houglum.

Staffing each area with qualified technicians is the biggest challenge, according to Mr. Houglum. "We welcome resumes from certified technicians who want to be a part of a growing operation based on superior customer service. Our technicians are carefully selected to be the very best in every respect, especially in the area of consumer safety. After all, they're the first and last person our customer sees and we believe this will put the very best face on our business and that is terribly important to us”.

Contact information:
Rob Houglum, CEO
ZipGlass.com
27702 Crown Valley Pkwy
Ladera Ranch CA 92694
800-927-2882
www.zipglass.com
robh ( @ ) zipglass dot com

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ZipGlass Currently Serves These Locations:

Los Angeles County

Agoura Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5827 Kanan Road
Agoura, CA 91301
818-364-1946
Website


Alhambra Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
101 W. Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
626-915-7209
Website


Arcadia Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
300 E Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91006
626-915-7209
Website


Artesia Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
11809 Artesia Blvd
Artesia, CA 90701
562-622-9344
Website


Azusa Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
118 W. Foothill Blvd
Azusa, CA 91702
626-915-7209
Website


Baldwin Park Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3133 Baldwin Park Blvd
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
626-915-7209
Website


Bell Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
7121 Atlantic Blvd
Bell, CA 90201
562-622-9344
Website


Bellflower Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
14301 Bellflower Blvd
Bellflower, CA 90706
562-622-9344
Website


Bell Gardens Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
7000-F Eastern Avenue
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
800-927-2882
Website


Beverly Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
9844 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310-395-1995
Website


Bradbury Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1155 Huntington Drive
Duarte, CA
626-915-7209
Website


Burbank Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
300 N. San Fernando Road
Burbank, CA 91502
818-364-1946
Website


Calabasas Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
4776 Commons Way
Calabasas, CA 91302
818-364-1946
Website


Carson Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
20240 Avalon Blvd
Carson, CA 90746
310-395-1995
Website


Century City Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1875 Century Park East
Century City, CA 90067
310-395-1995
Website


Cerritos Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
12751 Towne Center Drive
Cerritos, CA 90703
562-622-9344
Website


Claremont Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
665 E Foothill Blvd
Claremont, CA 91711
800-927-2882
Website


Commerce Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5201 E. Washington Blvd
City of Commerce, CA 90040
800-927-2882
Website


Compton Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
162 E. Compton
Compton, CA 90220
310-395-1995
Website


Covina Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
145 N. Citrus Avenue
Covina, CA 91723
626-915-7209
Website


Cudahy Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
7000-F Eastern Avenue
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
626-915-7209
Website


Culver City Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
9718 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
310-395-1995
Website


Diamond Bar Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1194 Grand Avenue
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
800-927-2882
Website


Downey Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
8801 Lakewood Blvd
Downey, CA 90240
562-622-9344
Website


Duarte Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1155 Huntington Drive
Duarte, CA 91010
626-915-7209
Website


El Monte Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
11979 E. Garvey Avenue
El Monte, CA 91732
626-915-7209
Website


El Segundo Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2263 E. Maple Avenue
El Segundo, CA 90245
310-395-1995
Website


Gardena Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2169 W Redono Beach Blvd
Gardena, CA 90247
310-395-1995
Website


Glendale Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
203-A North Glendale Avenue
Glendale, CA 91206
818-364-1946
Website


Glendora Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
459 W. Foothill Blvd
Glendora, CA 91741
626-915-7209
Website


Granada Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
11850 Balboa Boulevard
Granada Hills, CA 91344
818-206-0279
Website


Harbor City Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
898 Sepulveda Blvd
Harbor City, CA 90710
310-395-1995
Website


Hawaiian Gardens Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5373 Katella Avenue
Cypress, CA 90630
714-895-8866
Website


Hawthorne Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5030 W. Rosecrans Ave
Hawthorne, CA 90250
310-395-1995
Website


Hermosa Beach Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1100 Pacific Coast Highway
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
310-395-1995
Website


Hidden Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
26531 Agoura Road
Calabasas, CA 91301
818-206-0279
Website


Huntington Park Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
6021 Pacific Blvd
Huntington Park, CA 90255
800-927-2882
Website


Industry Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
18248 Gale Avenue
City of Industry, CA 91748
626-915-7209
Website


Inglewood Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
941 N. La Brea Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90302
310-395-1995
Website

Irwindale Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
15700 Arrow Highway
Irwindale, CA 91706
626-915-7209
Website


La Canada Flintridge Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
475 Foothill Blvd
La Canada, CA 91011
818-206-0279
Website


La Crescenta Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3747 Foothill Boulevard
La Crescenta, CA 91214
818-206-0279
Website


La Habra Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1950 W Whittier Rd
La Habra, CA 90631
562-622-9344
Website


La Habra Heights Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1201 E. La Habra Blvd
La Habra, CA 90631
562-622-93442
Website


Lakewood Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5500 Woodruff Ave
Lakewood, CA 90713
562-622-9344
Website


La Mirada Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
14946 Imperial Hwy
La Mirada, CA 90638
714-895-8866
Website


Lancaster Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
805 E. Avenue K
Lancaster, CA 93535
800-927-2882
Website


La Puente Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2122 S Hacienda Blvd
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
626-915-7209
Website


La Verne Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2145 Foothill Blvd
La Verne, CA 91750
800-927-2882
Website


Lawndale Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5378 W. Rosecrans Avenue
Hawthorne, CA 90250
800-927-2882
Website


Lomita Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2104 Pacific Coast Highway
Lomita, CA 90717
310-394-7530
Website


Long Beach Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
7565 Carson Blvd
Long Beach CA 90808
562-622-9344
Website


Los Angeles Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
333 South Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
310-394-7530
Website


Lynwood Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
10925 Atlantic Avenue
Lynwood, CA 90262
310-394-7530
Website


Malibu Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3900 Cross Creek Road
Malibu, CA 90265
310-394-7530
Website


Manhattan Beach Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
233 Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach, CA 310-394-7530
Website


Maywood Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
7121 Atlantic Blvd.
Bell, CA 90201
800-927-2882
Website


Mission Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
15501 Devonshire Blvd
Mission Hills, CA 91345
818-206-0279
Website


Monrovia Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
140 Foothill Blvd
Monrovia, CA 91016
626-915-7209
Website


Montebello Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
800 W. Beverly Blvd
Montebello, CA 90640
800-927-2882
Website


Monterey Park Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2100 South Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754
626-915-7209
Website


Norwalk Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
11739 Rosecrans Avenue
Norwalk, CA 90650
562-622-9344
Website


Oak Park Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
706 Lindero Canyon
Oak Park, CA 91377
818-206-0279
Website


Palmdale Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
39904 10th Street West
Palmdale, CA 93551
800-927-2882
Website


Palos Verdes Estates Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1749 S. Elena
310-394-7530
Website


Paramount Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
8819 Alondra Blvd
Paramount, CA 90723
562-622-9344
Website


Pasadena Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
408 E. Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91101
626-915-7209
Website


Pico Rivera Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
8754 Washington Blvd
Pico Rivera, CA 90660
562-622-9344
Website


Pomona Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3044 Temple Avenue
Pomona CA
626-915-7209
Website


Rancho Palos Verdes Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
46 A Peninsula Center
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
310-394-7530
Website


Redondo Beach Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
4001 Inglewood Ave
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
310-394-7530
Website


Rolling Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
550 Deep Valley Drive
Rolling Hills, CA 90274
310-394-7530
Website


Rolling Hills Estates Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
46 A Peninsula Center
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
310-394-7530
Website


Rosemead Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3000 San Gabriel Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770
626-915-7209
Website


Rowland Heights Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
19759 E. Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
626-915-7209
Website


San Dimas Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
114 E. Bonita Avenue
San Dimas, CA 91773
800-927-2882
Website


San Fernando Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1135 Truman Street
San Fernando, CA 91340
818-206-0279
Website


San Gabriel Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
810 E VALLEY BLVD
Alhambra, CA 91801
626-915-7209
Website


San Marino Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2265 Huntington Drive
San Marino, CA 91108
626-915-7209
Website


Santa Clarita Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
25912 McBean Parkway
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
800-927-2882
Website


Santa Fe Springs Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
12215 Telegraph Road
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
562-622-9344
Website


Santa Monica Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2671 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
310-606-2046
Website


Sepulveda Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
898 Sepulveda Blvd
Harbor City, CA 90710
310-606-2046
Website


Sierra Madre Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1 Kersting Court
Sierra Madre, CA 90124
626-915-7209
Website


Signal Hill Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1788 E. Willow Street
Signal Hill, CA 90755
562-622-9344
Website

South El Monte Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
11979 E. Garvey Avenue
El Monte, CA 91732
626-915-7209
Website


South Gate Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
8620 Garfield Ave
Southgate, CA 90280
800-927-2882
Website


South Pasadena Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
454 North Fair Oaks Ave
South Pasadena, CA 91030
626-915-7209
Website


Temple City Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5705 Rosemead Blvd
Temple City, CA 91780
626-915-7209
Website


Thousand Oaks Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
33 N. Moorpark Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
800-927-2882
Website


Torrance Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1171 W. Carson Street
Torrance, CA 90502
310-606-2046
Website


Valencia Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
25349 Wayne Mills Place
Valencia, CA 91355
800-927-2882
Website


Vernon Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3060 E. Slauson Ave
Huntington Park, CA 90255
800-927-2882
Website


Walnut Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
505-A Grand Avenue
Walnut, CA 91789
626-915-7209
Website


Walnut Park Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2110 E. Florence Avenue
Walnut Park, CA 90255
800-927-2882
Website


West Covina Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1155 Huntington Drive
Duarte, CA 91010
626-915-7209
Website


West Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
6516 Platt Avenue
West Hills, CA 91307
818-364-1946
Website


West Hollywood Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
8949 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
800-927-2882
Website


Westlake Village Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2755 Agoura Rd
Westlake, CA 91361
800-927-2882
Website


Westlake Village Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5770 Lindero Canyon Road
Westlake Village, CA 91362
800-927-2882
Website


Westchester Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
8844 S. Sepulveda Blvd
Westchester, CA 90045
310-606-2046
Website


Whittier Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
12376 Washington Blvd
Whittier, CA 90606
562-622-9344
Website


Woodland Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
22435 Ventura Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
818-206-0279
Website



Orange County

Aliso Viejo Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
23411 Aliso Viejo Pkwy
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
949-480-9509
Website


Anaheim Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
110 West Lincoln Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92805
714-895-8866
Website


Brea Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
101 West Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821
714-895-8866
Website


Buena Park Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
8231 La Palma Avenue
Buena Park CA
714-895-8866
Website


Costa Mesa Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2300 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
949-480-9509
Website


Cypress Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5373 Katella Avenue
Cypress, CA 90630
714-895-8866
Website


Dana Point Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
34122 South Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629
949-480-9509
Website


Fountain Valley Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
17850 Newhope St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
714-895-8866
Website


Fullerton Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1137 S. Harbor Blvd
Fullerton CA
714-265-7084
Website


Garden Grove Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
13411 Euclid St
Garden Grove, CA 9284
714-265-7084
Website


Huntington Beach Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
7862 Warner Avenue
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
714-265-7084
Website


Huntington Park Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3060 E. Slauson Ave
Huntington Park, CA 90255
800-927-2882
Website


Irvine Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3995 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92606
800-927-2882
Website


Laguna Beach Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
184 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
800-927-2882
Website


Laguna Hills Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
25912 La Paz Road
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
800-927-2882
Website


Laguna Niguel Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
30211 Golden Lantern
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
800-927-2882
Website


Laguna Woods Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
24100 El Toro Road
Laguna Woods, CA 92653
800-927-2882
Website


Lake Forest Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
24301 Muirlands Blvd
Lake Forest, CA 92630
800-927-2882
Website

La Mirada Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
15220 Rosecrans Avenue
La Mirada, CA 90638
562-622-9344
Website


La Palma Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
5897 Lincoln Ave
Buena Park, CA 90620
714-265-7084
Website


Los Alamitos Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3575 Katella Avenue
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
800-927-2882
Website


Mission Viejo Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
24012 Alicia Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
800-927-2882
Website


Newport Beach Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
377 East Pacific Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663
800-927-2882
Website


Orange Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
130 S. Main Street
Orange, CA 92868
714-265-7084
Website


Placentia Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
3362 Yorba Linda Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92831
714-265-7084
Website


Santa Margarita Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair Rancho
31437 Santa Margarita Parkway
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
800-927-2882
Website


San Clemente Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1001 Avenida Pico
San Clemente, CA 92673
800-927-2882
Website


San Juan Capistrano Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
32022 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
800-927-2882
Website


Santa Ana Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1248 East 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701
714-265-7084
Website


Seal Beach Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
2311 Seal Beach Blvd
Seal Beach, CA 90740
562-622-9344
Website


Stanton Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
11931 Beach Blvd
Stanton, CA 90680
714-265-7084
Website


Tustin Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
14001 Newport Ave
Tustin, CA 92780
714-265-7084
Website


Villa Park Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
1627 West Katella Avenue
Orange, CA 92867
714-895-8866
Website


Westminster Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
16302 Beach Blvd
Westminster, CA 92683
714-895-8866
Website


Yorba Linda Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
17474 Yorba Linda Boulevard
Yorba Linda, CA 92827
714-895-8866
Website


Ventura County

Ventura Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
Website

Oxnard Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
Website

Port Hueneme Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
Website

Camarillo Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
Website

Moorpark Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
Website

Simi Valley Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
Website

Thousand Oaks Windshield Replacement and Auto Glass Repair
Website

Friday, February 6, 2009

Will Your Windshield Absorb the Impact?



"Not So Clearly Dangerous." Do those words catch the attention of you, the law enforcement people of Nebraska? Would they catch the average consumer’s attention? What you’re about to read isn’t about a dangerous criminal, or a dangerous operation, either of which you’re likely familiar with.

It is about a dangerous situation—one, you may not see coming. In your careers in law enforcement, you have trained extensively to deal with dangerous circumstances to serve and protect the public. You have hours of education in procedures, practices, and protocols to prepare for any situation. You rely on your knowledge, experience and your equipment to do, quickly and decisively, what you’re trained to do. That’s what this is about.

Your work vehicle is one of your most important pieces of equipment, yet you may have not given it a second thought except for basic maintenance. Be it a car, truck, or SUV, all have carefully designed and engineered passenger restraint and crash management safety systems.

I want to draw your attention to something most people don’t think about. This story is based on a conversation I had with a Nebraska State Trooper on a Saturday morning in my shop, while I was repairing a stone chip in his windshield.

Your Windshield Matters

He was telling me he’d recently had the windshield in his patrol car replaced, and how he’d already been struck by a rock, causing a nasty little bull’s-eye. I couldn’t resist asking a few questions while I worked.

"Just had it changed recently?" I inquired.

"Yes" he replied, "very recently."

Within the next few minutes, I had obtained enough information to be sure this trooper had been driving his patrol car in a totally unsafe condition for at least a few hours and possibly a few days or even a week after the installation.

Knowing this man had been trained to observe detail, I asked the trooper pointed and detailed questions about the installation he’d stood and witnessed. As I did, I began to explain the reasons for my interest, and why he should be equally interested, since he likely pushes his vehicle to the edge of the safety envelope frequently. He was interested, and was notably irritated to say the least, when he learned what had happened to him.

I explained that the windshield in today’s vehicles is a major component of a highly engineered crash management system. During roof crush and rollover, it contributes as much as an extra 60% to roof support. In frontal collisions, the windshield is the backboard for the passenger-side airbag. A deploying passenger-side airbag strikes the windshield at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

Next, the windshield must also absorb the impact of the occupant and the airbag as they both strike the windshield again in the following split second. The windshield must absorb this incredible force if the airbag is to cushion and retain the occupants in a collision. The means to achieve this structural integrity is bonding the glass to the body of the car, with automotive urethane auto glass adhesives.

Cure Time Matters

In the trooper’s case, the installer released the car to him in the time it took him to reassemble the car, wipers, cowling, radio antennae, and others small items, and the time it took him to complete the paperwork. This took, in the trooper’s best estimate, 20 minutes at most.

Two-Part Urethanes

The only fast-cure urethane auto glass adhesive approved for use by the manufacturer of the trooper’s car, Ford Motor Co, is Essex Beta-Seal U216; it is the only fast-cure urethane to pass Ford’s crash testing. Beta-Seal is a two-component urethane adhesive. This means it cures chemically, independent of and almost indifferent to, temperature and humidity present. The "Safe Drive Away Time," time for proper cure for Essex Beta-Seal is one hour.

Beta-Seal has a unique packaging system and dispensing gun, seeming to some akin to what you might see in a Star Wars movie. I showed the trooper a Beta-Seal adhesive package, and our Beta-Seal applicator gun. With wide eyes at such a device, he stated emphatically that this wasn’t used on his car. From what he could tell me about the package, container colors, dispensing system and other details, I surmised the installer had used a one-part urethane adhesive system.

One-Part Urethanes

One-part urethane systems depend on moisture and warmth, above freezing temperatures to cure. Generally, the colder the temperature, the lower the humidity; and, therefore, the lower the oxygen level available for cure. Lower temperatures also slow the chemical reaction required for curing to take place. In essence, many one-part urethanes stop curing below freezing and just sit there. Until temperatures warm above freezing, they can’t, and given enough time frozen, may not ever, cure properly.

I also showed the trooper the curing times recommended for Essex U400 urethane, the one-part urethane Ford also approves. Knowing that even this product hadn’t been used on his patrol car, he was shocked to learn that his vehicle hadn’t been safe to drive for a substantial amount of time after it had been returned to him—a fact that the installer hadn’t told him. With the temperature only above freezing for short periods over the next few days, we can only guess when the vehicle became safe to drive (if we correctly identified the adhesives used). The curing problem could have been avoided by following the adhesive manufacturer’s recommended cure times, listed with its products. However, that wouldn’t have let the installer give the trooper his car back quickly.

Improper Repairs

I further encroached upon the Saturday morning off-duty time of this officer to show him photographs we’re compiling and documenting with the results of improper and poor windshield installations that my staff and I witness regularly when we remove cracked windshields from customers’ cars before we replace them. I showed him pictures of improper, unacceptable installation materials, methods, and significant rust resulting from installers’ lack of knowledge or lack of caring. (Several of these photos accompany this article.)

When my staff and I find results such as these in a customer’s car, we immediately photograph and document what we’ve found for the customer. In order to perform a proper installation to return the car to its original structural design, we explain why we must have added time and procedures to "clean up the mess" caused by the poor previous installation. Federal regulations strongly discourage knowingly changing or rendering inoperative any safety element designed into a motor vehicle. We can’t ignore "changes" made by a poor previous installation. With many manufacturers’ standards, specifications, and requirements being higher than those of the government, the only safe approach is to adhere strictly to the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) specifications. I hope that someday, our photo archive of poor installations will help the proper people, when it is realized that consumers too often receiving poor quality repairs without even realizing it until they have that fateful crash, but by then it’s too late.

In February, 2000, ABC News 20/20 did a segment on poor windshield installation. It focused on how the result could threaten your life because the highly engineered rolling safety capsules we call motor vehicles depend so heavily on the windshield to keep the occupants in the car so the rest of the life-saving systems can do their jobs. Alas, to my disappointment, it hasn’t left a lasting impression on consumers, which is why ACR Glass devotes its advertising effort to consumer education on safety and quality.

HMOs and TPAs

In light of insurance companies implementation of "HMO" type managed care packages for vehicles, and the formation of "approved" installers who meet the insurers requirements, consumer education has become crucial to our business. Insurers rarely, if ever, do quality post-repair inspections of work performed by their "approved" affiliate shops. In fact, it seems that all the insurer ever checks is whether the shop is installing glass at the insurer’s "pre-approved" prices. Consumers don’t know if they received a quality installation that they can, and may have to, bet their lives on. "Managed Care" type plans without any real verification of quality workmanship have become "Managed Price" plans for insurers.

After ABC’s 20/20 segment on poor windshield installation (February 2000), you’d expect to find insurers looking hard for providers who do quality work. You’d also expect systematic post-repair inspections to ensure that insureds’ vehicle safety systems are absolutely returned to original structure and design. Finally, you’d expect extra effort to retain repairers who consistently provide quality installations. After all, safe repairs that keep customers and their offspring alive to become insurers’ future market share seem only logical.

Unfortunately, what we have is insurer-hired Third Party Administrators (TPAs) who "help" insureds go to "approved" shops ("approved" shops being any that have agreed in advance with insurers’ desired pricing). Consumers don’t realize there’s no such thing in Nebraska as an HMO for your car. Moreover, some TPAs tell consumers they may have to pay a difference for choosing a shop that’s not an insurer’s affiliate. Nebraska law guarantees consumers the right to choose (Chapter 44-1540), and often "non-approved" shops charge less than insurer-approved prices, while still excelling in quality. Consumers aren’t told of this.

In "Around the Industry" from the September/October 2000 issue of AutoGlass Magazine, Leo Cyr, a veteran of the auto glass industry, and past vice president of Member Services for the National Glass Association, speaking of some insurer ‘agreements’ with repairers, said,

All [windshield] installations are not equal as was so graphically shown by ABC’s 20/20 news program in its recent expose on windshield installation. The program conclusively demonstrated what the AGR [Auto Glass Replacement] industry has maintained all along—there are right ways and wrong ways to install windshields. If we were discussing proper hubcap installation, this discussion would be moot. Who cares? Slap the darn thing in place and move on. A windshield can’t be so easily dismissed. Windshields are an integral part of a vehicle’s structural integrity. If the windshield dislodges in a collision or roll-over, the safety envelope designed to protect vehicle occupants will be compromised. [The rest of Cyr’s and other related articles can be viewed from links at our website: www.acrglass.com.]

So where does this leave all of you reading this? I hope it leaves you with a handful of simple questions to ask the next person who installs a windshield in your vehicle, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve chosen a professional who views you as the customer, not a cost-saving program mainly serving something other than your safety and your family’s.

Next time you need a windshield, will you, like that state trooper, ask questions and demand the quality your car manufacturer designed into it’s crash management and safety restraint systems? If so, I’ve done my job, and we’ll both sleep better tonight.

Five Items

Ask Your Auto Glass Installer:

1. What brand of glass will you install in my vehicle, and is it approved by my car manufacturer as an authorized replacement to retain my warranty, and maintain/restore my car’s structural integrity?

2. What urethane adhesive will you use to install the new glass, and is it approved by my car maker to retain my warranty, and maintain/restore my car’s structural integrity?

3. What recommended procedures will you use, and are they approved by my car manufacturer to retain my warranty, and maintain/restore my car’s structural integrity?

4. What is the recommended "Safe Drive-Away Time" for the urethane adhesive you’re using, and please show me the urethane manufacturer’s data on how you calculated it?

5. Do you document data on the installation you will perform in my car, including glass installed, lot numbers of urethane adhesives/primers used, Safe Drive Away Time, and other such data? How long do you keep those records?

"Approved Installers" Probably Won’t Tell you:

1. We agreed to the price with your insurer before you ever called us.

2. Your insurer/claims administrator has inspected our work. [It likely hasn’t].

3. We signed an agreement with your insurer and/or its claims administrator assuming any of their liability and damages, including punitive damages they may be liable for, if we do poor repairs to your car.

4. We view your insurer as our customer.

5. We agreed to drop our prices whenever your insurer tells us to.