Top Five Questions to Ask a Glass Replacement Company

By Jenna Reed

A proper windshield replacement depends on your technicians training. Ask questions to learn more before selecting a shop.


Given the importance a windshield plays in the structural integrity of your vehicle, it is vital to ask these five questions when selecting an auto glass replacement company.

  1. How have your technicians been trained and certified to install windshields?

When shopping around for an auto glass replacement company, this is one of the first questions you should ask: How long have your technicians been on the job? How have they been trained? And are they certified by an independent certification organization? Some companies say their technicians are certified, but in reality, they are “certified” by the company itself. Look for an independent certified tech. Have the company owners sent their technicians to classes, such as to become certified by the adhesive (or glue) manufacturer? Do they have plenty of on the job training and continuing education?

Some technicians apprentice with a company for a certain period of time before they are sent out to do installations alone.

  1. Do all the materials you use meet or exceed ANSI Z 26.1 and all pertinent Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards?

The purpose of the ANSI Z 26.1 standard is to reduce driver and passenger injuries resulting from impact to glass surfaces, to ensure a necessary degree of transparency in motor vehicle windows for driver visibility, and to minimize the possibility of occupants being thrown through the vehicle windows in collisions.

It lays out government guidelines for glazing materials. Glazing materials include your laminated windshield, as well as the glass used in your side windows. The standards ensure all glass manufacturers meet federal requirements, including passing specific glazing tests.

By ensuring the company you select adheres to these standards, you are helping to ensure your safety.

  1. Were the technicians also trained on the adhesive they use?

Adhesive is the material used to ensure your replacement windshield stays in place after an installation is performed. It is basically the glue that bonds the windshield to the body of the vehicle.

Most adhesive manufacturers encourage technicians to become certified on their products, meaning technicians are using them accurately and safely. For example, some adhesives can only be used in certain temperatures. By becoming accredited, a technician knows this and can ensure the environment is optimal to ensure a safe auto glass replacement.

Adhesive manufacturers offer special classes throughout the country for technicians to attend to become certified. Some may even bring the class to the replacement company so all technicians can participate at one time.

Summer tends to bring warmer temperatures and higher humidity, which means faster curing times for adhesives. Quicker cure times means faster safe drive-away times. However, this also means the technician must work more quickly to replacement your windshield before the adhesive cures.

The opposite can be true in the winter. Adhesives, may not cure as quickly below 40 degrees, so technicians must follow certain written procedures for cold weather installations.

Technicians and automotive glass company owners working in bitter temperatures, may use different products and procedures than in warmer temperatures.

Ensuring your technician is certified by the adhesive manufacturer can help you maintain your peace of mind.

  1. What type of warranty can I expect?

Many glass companies offer some form of guarantee or warranty of coverage on their work. Be sure you ask what a company’s warranty or workmanship guarantee is before selecting them to do the replacement.

A warranty provides you with assurance that the workmanship of the automotive glass replacement is done well, and, and if it’s not, it will be corrected.

This means that if a water or air leak occurs, the customer can return to the replacement company and have the issue corrected.

  1. How soon after my glass is replaced will I be able to use my vehicle?

Ask the company what minimum safe drive-away time is for your vehicle. This is the time period necessary for the adhesive used to install the windshield to cure. If the adhesive is not properly cured before you drive the vehicle and you get into a crash, the windshield may not stay in place, causing bodily harm.

The minimum drive-away time for your vehicle is based on the type of adhesive the technician uses to install your windshield. While a number of adhesives offer a drive-away time as low as 30 minutes, others require that the vehicle be parked for several hours after the windshield is replaced.

The time needed is determined by a variety of factors, including the type of adhesive, temperature, humidity and other factors.

If the technician is accredited by the adhesive manufacturer, he will most definitely know how long before it is safe for you to drive your vehicle.

Recently, the term “minimum drive-away time,” has made its way into the auto glass industry vocabulary. Some adhesives companies have switched from using safe drive-away time to minimum drive-away time.

This is just a terminology change. If your auto glass company refers to it as minimum drive-away time, they are referring to the same thing as safe drive-away time.

Some technicians may go further and add more time on top of that minimum safe drive-away time to ensure your safety, but you should always know how long you have to wait to drive the vehicle. Be wary of windshield replacement representatives who say you can drive your car immediately after an installation.

All these questions can provide you a good way to gauge how experienced and knowledgeable an automotive glass replacement company is.

A great source to find a reputable installer is Glass.com.

11 responses to “Top Five Questions to Ask a Glass Replacement Company”

  1. I have another question question is is it possible for the windshield to crack again sometime after it has already been replaced.
    This particular windshield in question my feeling is that the windshield was not installed correctly.
    Why I think that. …. 1. The edge of the driver’s door hitting the edge of the left front fender and housing for the driver side mirror making a loud noise every time you open the door.
    2. Also the rubber gasket that goes around the windshield the top corner on the driver’s side does not fit flush around the windshield leaving an open space.
    3. The passenger side windshield. Starting from the far right edge of the windshield there is a horizontal crack working its way toward Center of the windshield. The crack is only about 6 inches Long so far

    • There is always the possibility that a windshield was not installed properly, which is why it is so critical to use a highly qualified and reputable shop. I will address your concerns as listed:
      1. This sounds like it may be an issue with body panel alignment, which would need to be addressed by a body shop.
      2. The gasket often plays an important role in sealing out water, air, and debris and should have a flush fit. You may want to consider taking the vehicle back to the shop that did the replacement and ask that they fix this.
      3. Unfortunately this crack is not repairable because it reaches to the outer edge of the windshield. For safety reasons you will want to have the windshield replaced ASAP.

    • Hi Edward, unfortunately new windshields are succeptable to damage in the same ways that older windshields are. We have heard cases of customers with bad luck (or driving on bad roads) having their windshields replaced multiple times in the same year.

  2. I’ve been looking for a good windshield replacement company, and I think that getting some tips would be good. I’m glad you talked about looking for a warranty, which I think would be good. I think that being able to find a windshield replacement company who offers a good warranty would be good. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Your advice to ask about the training that the technicians have received as well as the number of years they’ve been on the job would be useful. This could help you find professionals who have the skills and experience to provide you with quality glass replacement. In order to ask these questions, you’d probably want to research the different glass replacement companies and meet with them so that you can talk about their experience as well as the job that you need them to do.

  4. I like how you say that you need to check the training of a glass technician before you choose them. It would be good to consider this because it would show that they are qualified. My brother needs a glass technician to fix his chipped windshield, so he’ll have to consider their training.

  5. I didn’t know that some technicians apprentice with a company for a certain period of time before they are sent out to do installations alone. The glass in our house was broken because some kids were playing baseball and hit our windows. My dad suggested having a glass company come over and shared this article with us.

  6. I have a giant crack in my windshield and I have been wondering how to find a good glass replacement company. I think that would be a good idea to ask about their warranty before selecting them for the job. I would want to know if I can get a replacement if anything goes wrong later on. Thank you for the tips!

  7. I like that you mentioned to ask a repair shop what the safe drive-away time is after a repair. It makes sense you would want to make sure you could get your car back on the road as quickly as possible. I recently broke my windshield, and I need to find the right place to replace it ASAP. I will definitely ask these questions as I search, thanks!

  8. I really like that you provided a list of ways to tell if you are picking the best company to do your glass repair. Your point about making sure that you are dealing with an experienced company was insightful. My fiance and I will keep this in mind as we look for this service.

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