The Auto Glass Repair Industry Is Unregulated: What Does This Mean?

image of a smashed windshield

When you discover a crack, chip, or ding in your car’s windshield, it is tempting to ignore it. You may reason that a small imperfection appears harmless enough, but it is actually one issue that you should never neglect. It is critical to fix any problem with your car’s windshield in order to maintain the integrity of the vehicle and to keep you and other passengers safe. Windshields play a major role in safety, including keeping occupants inside the vehicle, aiding in smooth airbag deployment, and maintaining vehicle structure. Since these factors are extremely important, it is vital to ensure that whoever fixes your windshield has the skills to do it rather than anyone who says he can. Unfortunately, the auto glass repair industry is unregulated. This means that consumers have to be extremely conscientious about who they trust to work on their vehicles. Find a reputable professional to tend to your vehicle and make sure it is fixed right the first time.

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How Your Windshield Contributes To Your Safety

Your car’s windshield is the only thing shielding the top half of your body from outside forces like debris, rain, and wind — hence the name windshield. Although that is the most obvious role of the windshield, it is not even close to being its main purpose. Windshields do many other things, from being a barrier to absorbing impact. Here are some other ways your windshield contributes to your safety:

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1. Restraining The Vehicle’s Occupants

image of a driver with safety belt depicting safe driving distance.jpg

In combination with seat belts and airbags, windshields assist in keeping everything meant to be inside the car from flying out of the car in the event of a crash or other sudden stop, like slamming on the brakes.

2. Protecting The Riders In A Rollover

In the terrifying but possible event of a vehicle rollover, your windshield works as a pillar, which makes it more difficult for the roof of the car to collapse.

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3. Cushioning The Blow From Air Bag Deployment

There is a ton of force behind the deployment of airbags, but windshields are specifically designed to aid in this. Airbags are intended to hit windshields at a specific angle before a person’s head comes in contact with the airbag. When the airbag hits the windshield, the glass absorbs the most forceful blow behind the deployment.

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4. Reinforcing The Vehicle’s Structure

Different from the glass in the rest of the vehicle, the windshield glass is designed and produced to be strong, flexible, and better overall. It prevents any chips or cracks from penetrating the glass and causing it to shatter as normal glass would. In addition, the glass is created to handle a ton of force in the event of a crash or collision. In fact, your windshield can absorb 45 percent of the force in a direct, head-on crash and 60 percent of the force in a rollover.


Types Of Windshield Glass

There are three types of glass that can be used in windshields. Dealer glass comes directly from the manufacturer and is the same as what comes with the vehicle. OEM glass may be made by a different company, but it meets the same specifications as the dealer glass. Therefore, it offers the same safety features. Aftermarket glass, or OEE, is the least expensive option, but it is produced by companies that have no ties to vehicle manufacturers. This glass may not hold up as well.

Windshield Adhesive

image of windshield replacement adhesive

When it comes to the adhesive that holds the windshield in place, there are 22 steps to applying it properly and in accordance with safety standards. If even a single step is skipped, the result could be a poor or unsafe seal. In addition, all adhesives take time to completely set, meaning they are not ready to offer full protection right after they have been applied. If you were to crash your vehicle right after the glass is installed but before the adhesive is set, the windshield would offer little to no protection.

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Auto Glass Worker Requirements

There is a general expectation for auto glass workers, which is that they know how to quickly and correctly   and repair windshields. Employers usually prefer applicants who have experience doing this on different makes and models of vehicles, but this is not a requirement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers prefer applicants who have at least finished an automotive glass repair training program. Sadly, this is all that is necessary or preferred for a person who works on one of the most crucial safety components in a vehicle.

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The Unregulated Industry

Considering the importance of windshields, it seems like this would be one area that is closely monitored. However, the auto glass industry does not have any regulations in place, which makes it a tricky field to navigate. An industry without regulations means that anyone with any amount of experience can work on your vehicle. There are no departments determining specific qualifications, checking to make sure professionals have any credentials or ensuring companies adhere to specific compliance. Unfortunately, this also means that should an auto glass worker do a poor job that does not meet your standards, there would be no recourse or penalty from the industry.

How To Avoid Low-Quality Repairs

Liberty AutoGlass' owner, Chuck

With a little bit of research, it is not too difficult to avoid becoming a victim of someone who is not qualified. Investigate company websites, call to ask questions, and read the reviews left by previous customers. If you have to leave a message, consider how fast your call is returned. See if there is any kind of warranty that comes with the parts or the work provided. Consider calling a company that is local, even if they are not as well known. Locally-owned companies have a lot to lose by providing services that do not meet expectations, so they often go above and beyond to ensure customers are satisfied. Finally, see if the company has any optional certifications, such as one from the National Glass Association or the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

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Just because the auto glass industry is unregulated, it does not mean that it is impossible to get good service. Recognize the importance of a quality windshield that is properly installed and put in the leg work to ensure your vehicle is as safe as it should be. After all, your life may depend on it.

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For Superior Auto Glass Repairs, Call Liberty AutoGlass


Liberty AutoGlass offers auto glass repair using the highest quality materials and the most advanced auto glass technology to repair your auto glass correctly and quickly. We offer mobile services so we can repair your damaged auto glass at the convenience of your home or office. This means that we come to wherever your vehicle is parked, and you can go about your day as you would normally. We fix windshields, back glass, door glass, vent glass, and quarter glass. We also can handle your insurance claim from start to finish, making the process easier for you! Call Liberty AutoGlass today to find out more!

Contact us today or give us a call at (610) 377-7787 or (877) 90-GLASS if you have any questions. Click here to view our complete mobile auto glass service area in Pennsylvania.

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