Some 1314 million windshields are repaired or replaced every year in the United States, seven out of ten of these windshields are not properly installed. A poorly installed windshield can impair your ability to see clearly when driving, compromising your safety and putting you at great risk of sustaining serious injuries in a collision. A good auto glass replacement and repair technician can help you gain a sense of relief on a wide variety of auto-related matters including, but not limited to, helping you avoid windshield-related police fines, potential accidents, further damages to your windshield, or expensive windshield replacement.
When considering an auto glass replacement and repair technician near you, it is always a good idea to make sure that they are qualified to provide the specific types of services that you need, such as installing new auto glass, priming scratches, installing back glass heating elements, fixing moldings and windshield wipers, and removing foreign matter from damaged areas. Given this, you should also ask the following questions before concluding on hiring a qualified auto glass replacement and repair technician nearby:
Are You Licensed, Registered, or Certified?
Most states, including New York, Florida, and California generally require auto repair shops to register or obtain operational licenses from relevant state authorities. However, some states like Connecticut and Rhode Island may also issue specific licenses to auto replacement and repair technicians. Therefore, you should always find out what is obtainable in your locality before hiring an auto glass replacement and repair technician near you. You can do this by contacting your state's consumer protection agency.
In addition to obtaining occupational or operational licenses, auto glass replacement and repair technicians may voluntarily enroll in different certification programs such as Auto Glass Safety Council Certification Program and National Windshield Repair Division Certification Program. Likewise, it is also common for auto glass replacement and repair technicians to belong to at least one professional association. While membership in a trade association is not compulsory, it is always a good idea to hire an auto glass replacement and repair technician that belongs to one and is also certified. This is because these associations have established codes of conduct that ensure that members are honest and very professional in discharging their duties.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Auto Glass Replacement and Repair Technician?
The cost of hiring an auto glass replacement and repair technician is influenced by the type of auto glass repair, the type of vehicle and number of advanced driver assistance systems, the position of the glass that was affected, the size of the crack, and the technician's billing structure. Auto glass replacement and repair technicians typically charge $17 - $100 per hour for their services. Most auto glass replacement and repair technicians may request a down payment before they commence work, especially for auto glass replacement, while others will require you to pay once the repair is completed.
When you have to hire an auto glass replacement and repair technician near you, there are certain steps that you can take to ensure that the cost of doing this does not exceed your budget. These steps include:
- Research windshield repair prices in your area: Before you hire an auto glass replacement and repair technician, it is always a good idea to find out the prices to expect based on your vehicle type. You can ask two to three technicians in your locality to give you a quotation for the repair so that you know what to expect from the auto glass replacement and repair technician you finally hire.
- Choose a local repair shop: When you have to hire an auto glass replacement and repair technician, it is always a good idea to try a local repair shop near you. Hiring a technician near you means you do not have to spend so much on transportation costs to get to the repair shop.
- Do not delay repair: It is always a good idea to have an auto glass replacement and repair technician inspect your windshield when you spot a crack on it. This helps you prevent further damage to your windshield and more expensive repairs eventually.
What Are Common Auto Glass Replacement and Repair Expenses?
When you hire an auto replacement and repair technician, there is always a possibility that you will incur some additional expenses. Some of these expenses include:
- Towing expenses: Driving with a broken windshield or any other auto glass may attract a fine and you do not want to be stopped by the police. When you hire an auto glass replacement and repair technician near you, there is always the possibility that your vehicle will be towed to the repairer's shop. The average estimated cost of towing a vehicle is $1 - $7 per mile.
- Trip fees: Instead of towing your vehicle, you may also have your auto glass replacement and repair technician come to you. Most mobile and onsite services require you to pay trip fees. The average estimated rate collected as a trip fee is $1 - $5 per mile.
- Parts purchase: When you hire an auto glass replacement and repair technician near you, there is always a possibility that you might end up replacing some parts in your vehicle. For instance, vehicles that have advanced driver assistance systems installed in their windshield may require the replacement of any of these technologies. In many cases, you are required to purchase these technologies from your car's manufacturer.
These expenses can either be included in your total repair price or the technician may bill you separately for them. It is always important to discuss all costs before work commences. You should also make sure that a suitable payment structure is in place to avoid disputes over how and when you ought to make payment. Finally, you should always ask for receipts, invoices, or any other form of documentation for these expenses for record-keeping purposes.
Who Will Do the Work?
There are two ways to get your auto glass replaced or repaired. These include hiring a self-employed auto glass replacement and repair technician or visiting an auto glass repair shop. Whatever the case may be, it is always important to find out who will do the actual job, as it is not unusual to see that your vehicle is assigned to another technician that you did not contact directly. Always find out if the technician assigned to fix your auto glass is qualified and experienced. In addition to this, also ask if the technician is a certified auto glass replacement and repair technician. Doing this helps you identify whether the technician assigned to fix your car can be trusted. It is also important to find out where you can report unprofessional behavior on the part of the auto glass replacement and repair technician.
What Qualifications Should an Auto Glass Replacement and Repair Have?
Auto glass replacement and repair technicians are required to have a high school certificate or its equivalent. These individuals acquire most of their work-related skills and experience through on-the-job learning from more experienced auto glass replacement and repair technicians. Some auto glass replacement and repair technicians also enroll in vocational training and certification programs to gain expertise in the profession.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are over 19,600 auto glass replacement and repair technicians in the country. Auto glass replacement and repair technicians may also obtain certification from professional bodies like Windshield Repair Division Certification Program. While certification is not mandatory for becoming an auto glass replacement and repair technician, certified auto glass replacement and repair technicians are usually more competent when compared to their uncertified colleagues.
Will You Provide References?
Before you hire an auto glass replacement and repair technician near you, it is always important that you ask for references. Ask the technician to provide you with details of past clients if necessary, and make sure that you contact them. Doing this will help you determine if the technician is fit to do your job and also help you avoid falling into the hands of unscrupulous individuals. Another way you can avoid making a mistake is by getting recommendations on auto glass replacement and repair technicians from family and friends.
In addition to this, you can find qualified auto glass replacement and repair technicians on online business review platforms such as the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. These platforms provide a way of sharing customers' experience with a particular technician, including whether they are satisfied with the services of the technician or not.
Quick Facts about Auto Glass Replacement and Repair Technicians
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Expert Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Auto Glass Replacement and Repair Technicians
Does My Windshield Need to Be Repaired or Replaced?
Whether you need to repair or replace your windshield depends on the extent of damage the windshield has sustained. A crack in your windshield does not necessarily mean you have to replace the windshield and in some cases, a repair is all you need to get your windshield back in shape. However, you may need to replace your windshield when the crack extends to the outside edge of the windshield and when the crack is longer than 6 inches long.
What Should I Look for When Replacing a Windshield?
When replacing a windshield, it is always important to look out for a few things such as the manufacturer and type of the new windshield, if it is the same specification as the old windshield, whether the windshield has a third visor, tint, and rain sensor or not, if the technician is using a high-quality urethane adhesive, the sealant is OEM certified, and if the technician is offering a warranty for the repair.
What Can You Not Do after Windshield Replacement?
After replacing your windshield, there are certain things that you must avoid doing so that you do not compromise the quality and safety of the new windshield, and they include:
- Do not drive the vehicle immediately after the repair. Windshields are held together by an adhesive and you must allow them to dry very well before hitting the road. Many auto glass replacement and repair technicians recommend that you wait at least an hour before driving.
- Do not put any kind of cover on the vehicle exterior as the adhesive used to hold the windshield together may still be active.
- Do not drive with your windows completely closed on the first day after installing a new windshield. This is because air pressure may put extra stress on your windshield, causing some of the adhesive used to hold the windshield together to roll down.
- Do not remove the retention tape that holds the windshield moldings together. Do not slam your doors immediately after installing a new windshield.
- Do not have your vehicle go through an automatic or high-pressure car wash immediately after installing a new windshield.
How Long Does a Windshield Repair or Replace Take?
A windshield repair may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, while a windshield replacement can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. However, you may have to wait for at least an hour before you can drive your vehicle.
How Long Does a Chip Repair Take?
A windshield chip repair may take anywhere from ten minutes to one hour depending on the vehicle type, and the area of the windshield that was affected.
Do You Warranty Your Work?
Yes, many auto glass replacement and repair technicians provide warranties for their services. You can ask any auto glass replacement and repair shop you visit if they offer a warranty when they repair a crack or chip on your windshield. It is a good idea to request a written copy of any warranty that you are offered so that you can properly read and understand its terms and conditions.
Do I Need to Recalibrate My ADAS If I Replace My Windshield?
Yes, many auto glass replacement and repair technicians will have your ADAS recalibrated after replacing your windshield. It is always important to do this because your new windshield may not likely be the same specification as the old windshield. You may also need to recalibrate your ADAS after a fault code, wheel alignment, or change of suspension.