Its been well documented that Service 8® has commented many times on the quality of windscreen installations and how the vast majority of lazy technicians simply refuse to use the correct fitting procedures.
|Holden Commodore Cowl Panel
We understand that every technician has his/her own methods, however there are some critical parts of a windscreen installation that simply cannot be skipped or short cut.
One such procedure is not removing the Cowl Panel/Grill. For DIYs and customers reading this article the Cowl Panel is the plastic grill that sits at the bottom of your windscreen. Often the windscreen wipers come though it, see image on the left.
Now many technicians truly believe that the removal of this grill is a optional part of a windscreen installation and that is incorrect, its not. In defending this statement most technicians will say they can “get away” without removing it and they have little problems when they don’t, so all must be well.
This kind of attitude may have been so 20 years ago when a good windscreen installation was gauged by whether it leaked water or not. However, today things are very much different.
In modern cars the windscreen is structural component of the vehicle. The front passenger air bag system relays on the windscreen to act as a back board to direct a deployed air bag in the correct position to save a passenger.
In a collision air bags are deployed with an incredible amount of force. If a short cut has been taken and a windscreen has been installed without removing the Cowl Panel, a good sound adhesive seal cannot be assured at the bottom of the windscreen. As a result in the event of a collision the windscreen could be dislodged or worse ejected by the air bag. This could then render a life saving device useless.
|VZ Commodore with Cowl Panel Removed
Removing a panel takes about 5 minutes and the same to put back, so why would a windscreen technician not remove it? Is it for the benefit of the customer or the technician? Well as we have explained above it’s not to the advantage of the customer, so it must benefit the technician some how.
Technicians that take short cuts can save 10 minutes on each job. With 5 installations per day thats a saving of 50 minutes, therefor gain enough time to perform another job on the day, its as simple as that.
This kind of short cut is used to increase productivity. Imagine if you were a large corporation with 100 technicians and each technician could install an extra windscreen each day. Thats 100 extra windscreens per day and with 250 working days in a year, thats 25000 extra jobs per year. At $300 per job, thats $750k in extra revenue.
In addition technicians can gain incentive bonuses based on their productivity. You can quickly see what takes priority and many managers will look the other way if it means more money in their pocket.
For a smaller business taking short cuts can increase productivity and in turn enable the company to quote your a cheaper price. This keeps them in business.
So how can you tell if your windscreen will be installed correctly? Well, you can be armed with this information and during your quote process tell the company you know about short cut methods and will you be assured a correct installation from them. When the technician arrives also tell them you know about short cuts and watch the installation if you want.
|Cleaning Commodore Air Vents
At Service 8® Windscreens we encourage people to watch us work and explain what we are doing, we always follow the correct procedures. These are not our procedures so much as the vehicle manufactures, so who better to listen too. After all, they do the crash testing.
Be very aware that if you are making an insurance claim your insurance company will be contracting the work out to a “recommended repairer”, (a contractor that works for them based on price) quality is not assured, so don’t take their word for it. Insurance company staff are trained to read off a flow chart and you will be told a generic answer to any technical questions.
So if you are one of the those technicians that refused to remove panels and you still believe there is no problem in doing so, then feel free to post your comments below. However, don’t forget to use business name, after all if there is nothing wrong with short cut methods then I am sure you would not mind revealing your identity.We welcome mature debate on the Windscreen Blog.
So come on guys stop short changing your customers and putting them at risk. Quote the correct price and do the proper installation. Hey, you could even blow out the air vents for your customer as a courtesy service.