Volume 13, Issue 2 - March/April 2011
To drill or not to drill: that is the question. Well, that’s one of the
questions. What about moisture? And does windshield temperature really
matter? There’s so much to learn and so many windshields to repair.
1. Beware of moisture. Of all the comments I received, this one
was repeated most often. “The chip needs to be clean of debris and moisture,”
says Andy Mitchell of Andy’s Glass in Belgrade, Mont.
“Have you ever
3. But be sure the windshield is not too warm. “Be careful of a hot windshield or those suckers will run to the edge,” warns Gerald Zwart of Clearview Windshields in Inwood, Iowa. “Use a thicker resin when the glass is hot and be careful of using too much pressure, otherwise you might damage the lamination and end up with a daisy.”
4. To drill or not to drill? Maybe. McDonald says the need to
drill is rare. “In most cases, there is no need to drill,” he says.
However, Zwart disagrees. “Drill and tap everything,” he says. “Drilling
and tapping is the secret to getting a good repair. The breaks will fill
easier and every leg will fill completely.”
6. Cap a pit. If the impacted area is larger than the seal on your injector, cover the area with pit filler and cure it. Then drill through the cured pit filler and treat it like a normal chip.
7. Repair the chip as soon as possible. “The main thing is to get them sooner than later,” says Kent Solomon of Stockton Auto Glass in Stockton, Calif. This helps keep dirt and moisture out of the chip, and the chip can be repaired before it has a chance to spread.
8. Practice good customer service. “The number-one thing is dealing with customers,” says Brian Forcier of JN Phillips Auto Glass of Newburyport, Mass. “The customer’s expectations are sky-high.” Forcier trains his company’s technicians to ask customers what their expectations are, and to advise them upfront that the chip is not going to disappear completely.
9. Exercise patience. “Be patient,” says Robert Dent of Smail Auto Glass in Greensburg, Pa. Every rock chip is different and environmental conditions can vary dramatically. There are so many variables to rock chip repair that, “it can take up to five years to learn,” he adds. With time, your knowledge will grow.
10. Be professional. “Try and promote professionalism,” suggests Joe Frazee of Glass Technology in Durango, Colo. “Take pride in your appearance, clean and maintain your repair equipment, treat your customers with respect, get National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA)-certified, and back it all up by performing quality repairs. This will have a huge impact on the success of your business.”
There you have it—everything (almost) a person needs to know to have 100 percent success with rock chip and crack repairs. If you’re having problems, contact a repair kit supplier or visit one of their websites. Many of them have instructional videos and other information that is very helpful. If you’re still having problems, keep your eyes open for imps.
Loren Buettner is the director of operations for Andy’s Glass in Belgrade, Mont. Mr. Buettner’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.