Q.What is the most important step in the repair process?
A.Obviously, they are all important, but if you do not start by thoroughly and expertly prepping the break, the following steps, no matter how well they are done, cannot produce a good repair.
Prepping the break consists of:
• Adjusting the temperature of the glass. In the summer cool it and in the winter warm it. The ideal range is between 40 and 85 degrees;
• Decontaminate the break by removing the glass bits and dust with your probe or drill. Do not blow it out with your breath; and
• Most importantly, vacuum out all of the moisture. Do not rush this step.
Q.What is the best way to cool a windshield?
I heard a number of different suggestions.
A.Any, or a combination of these procedures will work:
• Have the owner move the vehicle into the shade.
• Open all the doors and windows.
• Cover the windshield with a dry towel to keep the direct sunlight off the glass
• Use the vehicle’s air conditioner.
• Spray water or alcohol on the glass while keeping the break covered.
• Cover the dashboard with a towel to reduce heat radiating up from it.
To protect yourself from liability claims, have the owner move the vehicle and start the engine to turn on the air conditioner. If you can have the vehicle owner do these things before you get there it will save you a lot of time.
Q.What is your opinion of the drive to require windshield repair techs to be licensed? I do excellent repairs and cannot see how having a license would help.
A.I am all for it. You may be a great technician, but there many people in the field who have poor, if any, skills who give our profession a bad name. Licensing helps establish standards of experience and training which will, inevitably, improve our image or, in many cases cause the “fly by nights” to leave the business.
We operate in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island and are required to carry high limits of liability and be licensed as a company in both states. This, alone, keeps the “here today and gone tomorrow” repairers away. Individual licensing can only help more.
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