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Tip 5. How to increase your body shop revenue by replacing or repairing windscreens.

 

Image 2

In this
post I want to talk about another useful service, which a body shop craftsman
could offer to their customers, this of windscreen replacement or repair.

Statistics

 Even if there is no accurate statistics of how
much of the overall number of crashes involve windscreen damages, we can surely
say that it is quite sizable number. Besides collision accidents, car’s
windscreen may be damaged by bird or flying stone from a vehicle moving in
front of us.  From 5 to 10% of the total
number of vehicles on the road replace windscreens every year. Another 5% of
the total vehicles are driving with damaged windshields, which should have been
repaired or replaced. The vast majority of the modern vehicles are fitted with
airbags, and the windscreen also serves as a support against which the
passenger air bag inflates. Needless to say, integrity and strength of bonding
of a windshield is vitally important for safety on the road.


Frond image

Repair or Replace?

In case of
the heavily damaged vehicle with front windscreen smashed, the answer to this
question is easy. Windscreen must be removed and replaced by a new one. Body
shop manager has to options, either to ask external professional to take care
of the damage or to perform the job by the shop itself. The second solution
evidently is more profitable.

However,
let’s imagine that we have a customer who came to us to paint her car. After
careful examination of the vehicle, you notice that the front windshield has a
crack or small dent. What shall we do in this case?  Obviously we must inform the customer about
safety issues involved and to offer your services to deal with the problem.


Chip

 

Types of minor damages on a windshield

Generally
we can distinguish two major types of small damages on car windscreen: chips
and cracks.

Chips are
mainly divided on three types: bull’s
eye, star or half-moon.


Types of chips

Crack is typically a line-like damage.


Crack

 

In order to
take the right decision whether to repair or replace the damaged windshield and
to communicate your offer to the customer, we should follow easy rules as
below, based on which section of the windscreen the damage occurred.

On the
chart below you can see that typical windscreen is divided on 4 sections.
Depending on where the damage is, we decide how to proceed.


Screen_repair

                                                                
Chip                                           Crack

Zone A *                                               
Replace                                    Replace

Zone B                                     repair if Ø up to 15mm                 length up to 5cm

Zone C                                     repair if Ø up to
25mm                 length up to 10cm

Zone D**                                 repair if Ø up to
45mm                 length up to 15cm

*Even if some
companies claim that damages in zone A, which have size up to 10mm could be
repaired, I believe that even slight discoloration or unevenness would decrease
clarity and reduce visibility for driver. In such case, it is better not to
compromise safety and replace the windscreen.

**Chips and especially
cracks near the edge of the windshield can diminish the strength and integrity
of the windscreen and its bonding to the metal frame, which in turn may put
passengers at risk.  Windshield
replacement is also highly advised.

Replacement procedure

Replacement
of a windscreen can easily take place in car paint shop. There is no
significant investment needed, nor expensive nor long training procedure.
However, it is crucial to follow exactly the steps required by windscreen
adhesive supplier. An average curing time for windscreen replacement vary from
1.5 hour up to 8 hours, yet the difference in time depends mainly on the
technical characteristics of the product. Nowadays one can find a windscreen
adhesive with safe drive away time from 1 hour with 2 airbags installed up to
adhesives with 6-8 hours drive away time. I strongly recommend car body shop
professional to use quick adhesives in order to save time.


Windscreen replacement

Important aspects,
which could undermine the quality of the windshield replacement:

  1. Not cleaning the new windscreen properly
    before the application. Use a degreaser or antisilicon cleaner, especially
    on the windshield’s edges is recommended.
  2. Not wearing disposable gloves, when
    handling a windscreen, allowing oil and dirt from their hands to impair
    bonding process.
  3. Skipping primer application. It is one of
    the biggest problems from my experience. Primer has two major functions:
    to serve as adhesion intermediate layer and to protect sensible to UV rays
    adhesive.
  4. Not using the right adhesive.
    Unfortunately, there are still some brainless “professionals” who use
    simple PU sealant as adhesive for windshield. This is totally unacceptable
    and dangerous practice.

 

 

Repair procedure

According
to statistics, about 30% of all damaged windscreens could be repaired. In
addition, the repair process costs less, and only takes about 30-40 minutes.
Repair methods have advanced for the last decade, so more and more car
windscreens are repaired rather than replaced. Repaired windscreen maintains
its OEM structural strength, and it must be preferred solution, when possible.


Repair 1

There is
big number of various windshield repair kits in the market. I will not go in
depth of the process, since this information is available widely in internet.
More or less all systems use a special transparent resin injected with pressure
to the damaged area of windshield. This resin spread inside the crack or chip,
filling it up and bonding together. Usually the injecting equipment could be
either manual or air pressure assisted.


Repair 2

Note that
typical repair may still leave some minor sign on the surface.


Before-after

To
conclude, I would like to stress that replacing or repairing vehicle windscreen
can be a very good way to increase your body shop’s profits, to add extra
service for your customers and to grow your business. Nevertheless, you must be
professional, accurate and responsible, because, as we mentioned above,
windscreen is an integral part of a modern vehicle and safety of your customer
should be in no way compromised.

 

One Response to Tip 5. How to increase your body shop revenue by replacing or repairing windscreens.

  1. Thanx for sharing this post. Your services is very interesting and higest Quality. We are also dealing in windscreen repair and windscreen replacement.

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