FAQ > Mobile Onsite Service Windshield, Door, Vent, Quarter and Rear Back Window Glass Replacement Questions
•How long will it take to replace my windshield or other auto glass?What we would call a normal mobile auto glass installation usually takes from 45 to 90 minutes. Installations that take longer than 90 minutes are what we classify as difficult installations. For obvious reasons it is not practical for us to do these types of installations in the field so they do not qualify for our mobile On site service. As a rule they require that the installation be performed and monitored for a period of time in our facility. Some of these types of installations are timely because they are done in stages, some of which cannot be accomplished until the adhesive has cured for a minimal amount of time.
Most vertical set windowssuch as a pickup truck back glass may require being held in place by different manners and for many reasons (paint damage being the main one) need to be done in and remain in our service centers controlled environment until the adhesive cures for a certain amount of time.
•Will you vacuum up the broken glass?Absolutely! Don't touch that mess and risk getting hurt. We'll do our very best to vacuum up the broken glass to make your vehicle the best we possibly can.
•Is it ok to have my windshield installed in cold weather?The answer to your question varies greatly depending on the vehicle in question but cold weather is a definite game changer for the majority of today’s vehicles as they contain several plastic components such as cowls, moldings and fasteners that become extremely delicate and difficult to work with below 50F (10C).
•If the vehicle has a cable type manual or power window regulator the only sure way to remove all the broken tempered glass fragments is with compressed air. These types of door, quarter, or back glass window regulators have several places that the tiny pieces of broken tempered glass can fall into as well as grease points that lubricate the moving parts. When the glass is broken the falling broken tempered glass fragments will adhere to these grease points like a magnet and it only takes one tiny piece of glass to get caught and jam up the mechanism causing the window regulator to break. We have seen some of these cable door glass regulator units cost as much as $600 dollars to replace so taking an unnecessary chance with these fragile cable type window regulators just isn’t a good way to go.
•Some hatch type back glass installations such as the GM vehicle pictured to your right have an inner skeleton that fills with broken tempered glass fragments and absolutely cannot be removed without the use of compressed air.
•Some doors do not have large enough access holes to the interior area of the door that will allow a vacuum hose to pass through the entire range of the door. In many cases the only access is through the speaker opening and the only method of removing all the broken tempered glass is with the use of compressed air.
•When the door or rear window back glass breaks the tempered glass fragments inside the door fall and are captured within the rails of the vehicle's inner guard beam and can not be accessed directly by the vacuum and absolutely cannot be removed without the use of compressed air.
•After I have my windshield replaced, how do I know if it was done right?You don't! Without removing the windshield, it's impossible to tell if the windshield was prepped correctly, if critical primers and proper flash times were used, or even if the proper amount and type of urethane was used. Once a windshield is installed all the critical installation preparation steps are hidden under the moldings and black ceramic band. If it looks like a clean windshield, back glass or other type of auto glass installation and the moldings are lying correctly you can only guess it was done right and in reality those things are only cosmetic, it's what is underneath and when and how it was done during the replacement installation process that counts. The only sure way to tell if a windshield or other type of auto glass is properly installed is to crash test it, but we sure don't recommend it.
Another major problem would be a windshield glass with an encapsulated molding, or just about any molding that is attached to the windshield for that matter, installed in cold weather is that it would “most likely” not be able to seat down properly into the vehicles pinchweld which would elevate the glass high above it’s intended position resulting in a poor bond (likely a leak) and at the very least cosmetic problems. The typical auto glass installers solution in that situation is to combat it by applying an oversized bead of urethane to insure that it makes full contact which in turn opens the installation up for several other problems such as the molding not laying flat as well as being able to slip off the windshield. Another reason this should never be done is that a much larger bead of urethane will require a significantly longer amount of time for the urethane adhesive to cure which will have a major affect on the occupants safety.
Some windshield companies or installers may tell you that they use a fast cure urethane that has a one hour drive away time. In our real world experience the one hour drive away time is only true when the adhesive is applied as the manufacturer intended it to be. All the figures stated by the manufacturers of urethane adhesive products are typically based on a 6mm x 12mm bead or a 1/4 by 1/2 inch bead. The larger the bead of adhesive is, the longer the curing time will be unless there is a 2 part chemically induced curing urethane adhesive used which is very seldom, if ever, used in the mobile on site auto glass windshield replacement industry.
Another sales pitch myth that goes around in the wild world of windshield and auto glass replacement is that an installer can use a heat box to maintain the urethane adhesive used for cold weather installations at the proper temperature so installing your windshield in cold weather won’t be an issue. The Urethane adhesive used in the automotive industry to bond your windshield and other auto glass installations like door glass side windows, quarter glass windows and rear back glass windows to your vehicle is an extremely thick material in its uncured state. The real truth and reason for the heat box is to keep the urethane at a temperature that makes the urethane adhesive what is referred to as gun-able which simply means thinner thus more usable. What that means in the real world is that by keeping the adhesive warm it can be easily pumped from a hand or power caulking gun with a lot less effort. It does without a doubt make the urethane adhesive much easier to apply but by the time you finish applying it on the vehicles cold steel metal pinchweld opening “on average some fourteen or more feet in circumference” and try to place the cold windshield in position, the urethane will be at ambient temperature making the windshield extremely difficult to press down into the proper depth defeating the whole purpose. At the critical moment when the windshield, back glass or other type of auto glass is set into place it requires warm adhesive, a warm molding typically at or better then 70 degrees. With cold metal, adhesive, windshield and a cold molding, to top it all off it really isn’t likely it’s going to be what’s referred to as a good set or installation. Also typically the complete operation from the first inch of the application of the urethane adhesive must be accomplished within an 8 to 10 minute time frame before the urethane begins to skin over or harden and thats with a preprepared windshield or other type of glass that was previously primed at or above 40 degrees and stored in a way that it would keep it free from any and all contamination hazards on the bonding surface of the glass.
The next best way to know is to know the reputation of the company that installed it. Make sure the company has an actual address complete with an actual store front as there are many gypsy type auto glass companies operating in and around Knoxville as well as it’s surrounding areas. No store front usually goes hand in hand with a pick up truck and a cell phone. You can easily accomplish this using Google Maps Street View. Google allows you to see if the company your considering using for the installation of your new replacement windshield turns out to be a home, an apartment complex or even an empty lot. With the power of the internet anyone can make a attractive website to lure you in. They typically have no liability insurance and when something goes wrong you are on your own since they are very difficult to track down and with the power of Caller ID they stop answering your repeated phone calls. Due to poor workmanshipduring the average month here at Phoenix Glass we re-do auto glass in about 6 vehicles per month from this type of so called auto glass company. By the time you add up the expenses of a new glass, mouldings and repairing the body damage that was done to the pinchweld the price for repairing a vehicle in this type of situation is usually 3 to 4 times what it would have cost if it were done right in the first place. Unfortunately most of these installers are or were employed and trained by some of the major chain outfits where they learned these corner cutting traits to make more money and actually have convinced their selves to believe that they are doing the work properly. Typically these employees are paid by salary plus commission. In slow times the employee gets the minimum pay to save the company money but when times are busy as an added incentive the employee is given a commission based on production. The more jobs completed the more pay received and the only way that can happen is by speeding up the installation process which is where something has to suffer in order to make that happen and it’s usually you and your vehicle. In the event these short cuts lead to a problem at the very least your going to loose some valuable time having your vehicle redone and at the very worst it can lead to serious injury or the loss of your life or that of someone you love so be very careful when choosing who you let install your windshield or other glass in your vehicle.
With all the different variables of windshields, side door, quarter and rear back glass windows and other types of auto glass parts that are involved in the many makes and models of cars, trucks and SUV’s, fifty degrees “in our experience” is pushing it all toward the red line about as far as one can go with out having any drama or incidences such as parts breaking, cracking or seating properly and get anywhere close to a good windshield or any other type of auto glass installation if you take everything thing thats involved into consideration. All thats left to add to the equation is the picture of the cold installer with the frozen fingers and it pretty much ends up with the word Fail in the end.
Most door glassesthat operate in an up and down manner average 45 to 90 minutes to install and in most instances you will be able to operate them immediately. In the event that there is a urethane bonding system involved you may not be able too operate your new window until the adhesive cures after a minimum of 24 hours.
•Can Phoenix Glass set an appointment time for my mobile on site windshield replacement?We would really like to be able to do that for you but the best we can honestly do is a four hour window. Almost every auto glass company gives you a 4 hour window of the time that they will arrive at your location. If they don't it's because you are the only one they are working for that day which should light a pretty bright light bulb in your mind. In reality a 4 hour window is about as precise as scheduling gets for an honest auto glass windshield replacement company that offers mobile auto glass service. Mobile auto glass replacement is a service industry trade where a technician often encounters unexpected situations not only with the vehicle involved but traffic and weather related items as well. Some jobs are easy and some are very difficult. Some customers are easy and some have lots of questions. Some insurance companies we do work for have extensive before and after on site paperwork involved which can add quite a bit more time to a particular job. At least once, if not more, on a busy mobile auto glass technicians day a customer will cancel or not be there or may not answer their phone to verify that they are there. Many times while on site at a body shop our auto glass technicians will have an unplanned job added or postponed because it isn’t ready to be installed which changes the entire daily job plan. Please keep in mind that we aren't trying to make excuses here, we're just being honest and pointing out some of the pitfalls of our average day so you can have an understanding of some of the reasons why we can't give you an honest appointment time. The reasons go on and on but the bottom line here is that the technician will do his or her very best but some things are just not in their control.
•How do I know your installers are qualified?Your Phoenix Glass Auto Glass Technician keeps up with the times and have a high degree of understanding of the ins and outs of rear back glass window replacements. They are familiar with the proper tools, methods of removal, preparation of the pinchweld and possess the knowledge of the many different adhesives available that will provide the strength to hold the back glass in your vehicle. Along with all that they also understand and use the proper methods that prevent leakage and rust around the pinchweld where the auto glass bonds to the vehicle.Phoenix Glass technicians have as much as 42 and none less than 15 years of auto glass experience and have literally installed thousands of rear window back glass windshields. You can rest assured that your new replacement back glass will be properly installed to meet both FMVSS and AGRSS standards so that your vehicle will be restored to the factory specifications or better.
This is a Chevrolet Monte Carlo that had a previous windshield installation done in cold weathertaken from 1 of our poor workmanship pages.You can plainly see that the flange of the windshield molding held the windshield from being allowed to sink down to the correct hight within the vehicles pinchweld flange causing the windshield to sit extremely elevated above the vehicles body. The thick lines at the top of the moldings in photos 1 and 2 are the cut off top flange edge of the molding that lap over the cars body. We cut them off to show exactly where it is in elevation above the car body. The molding should be sitting down just barely above the level of the body the thickness of the top flange edge of molding. In photo 3 you can actually see the massively tall bead of urethane adhesive that was applied to compensate for the situation. The Monte Carlo is one the most popular vehicles in America at the time of this writing and the windshield molding on this car and many makes and models of vehicles just like it are very rigid when they are cold. They should never be done in cold weather because without an extremely warm windshield, molding, adhesive and vehicle the windshield absolutely will not seat properly.
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A real world example of what happens in this type of cold weather windshield installation: