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Old 10-11-2006, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Bubbaville
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Car question - Safelite Auto Glass?

Car people, what is the general consensus about Safelite glass?

I need a windshield, and most quotes are coming in at around $200-250. Safelite quoted a windshield at alittle over $100 less than the other guys. The catch is that they are the manufacturer, so it won't be PPG or LOF glass. Is the glass as good as the name brand stuff (is there such a thing as bad glass?) I'd assume that the work will be done in a reasonably workmanlike manner.
Old 10-11-2006, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 14,283
1) Yup, there is such a thing as bad glass. It's got waves and ripples...sometimes even very faint holograms of Jack Palance embedded in them. Can be quite a distraction. Just like making jeans or appliances, there are "irregulars" that don't pass inspection and can find themselves in the hands of cheap aftermarket firms.

2) It has been my understanding for some time that there are only a couple of auto glass manufacturers in the US, and that those are the sources for domestic manufacturers as well as aftermarket vendors. In any event, Safelite Glass Corp is the largest producer of aftermarket auto glass. As a large-scale producer, they would be able to offer substantially lower prices than someone who had to first buy the product from them.

I am not in a position to endorse or disparage Safelite products or services, but they are an old and large firm. In a capitalist soceity you typically need to earn those kinds of stripes.
Old 10-11-2006, 12:07 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA
Posts: 10,546
Looking over certain data that I have access to, it looks like it's common for auto dealers to send this work out to Safelite. On the other hand, some improvement test data I see indicates that Safelite is the most improved using certain technology, which makes me think mostly that it's the most substandard to begin with.

So being unable to offer anything substantive, I'd suggest trauling through Google groups.

Another possibility is to ask your auto insurance carrier if you have any type of windshield coverage. Then you can insist on OEM glass.

Given all that, I had good experience with "cheap glass" on a 2000 Ranger a few years ago. I'd probably step up to something better for a Lincoln. What kind of car are you thinking about fixing?
Old 10-11-2006, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Van Nuys, CA
Posts: 11,663
I worked for Safelite for a few months in their insurance processing department. We nearly always were able to schedule repair or replacement of glass within one day (including weekends) and quite often same day. The glass they manufacture meets the same quality standards as the OEM manufacturers.

Nearly every insurance company in the US uses Safelite for their glass claims. Knowing that insurance companies are all about saving money, they wouldn't use a company that did shoddy work since they would have to pay for the work again if there was a problem.

All that being said, I have used Safelite myself and found the work to be well done and very professional. I have no qualms in recommending them.
Old 10-11-2006, 12:18 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Akron, OH
Posts: 5,484
Google "safelite quality". Skim the message board hits on about the second page of hits.
Old 10-11-2006, 12:26 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 3,879
As Balthisar indicated, the dealers have Safelite do a lot of their work. Take your busted windshield into a [insert name] dealer and they are not going to have a new piece of glass shipped to them from halfway around the world when they can get it intalled on their premisis by Safelite in a day.

The new windshield my be missing the car manufacturer's logo but otherwise you won't be able to tell the difference. The dealer will probably upcharge the Safelite price (unless they are billing the insurance company) so you might as well go to the Safelite shop.
Old 10-11-2006, 01:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Bubbaville
Posts: 4,884
Thanks all.

I didn't think about calling my insurance agent. I just did, and they said that they were a preferred vendor.
Old 10-11-2006, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: yoo-sah
Posts: 159
Geico Insurance uses Safelite to repair and replace windshields. Safelite replaced the windshield of my car at my mechanic's workplace. They were proud of the fact that the glass they used had a rubber border that channels water away from my face if I rolled down the windows with the wipers running.

Why I would roll down my window when it's raining is another matter, but Safelite made sure my mechanic understood this feature. Otherwise, at first glance, it looks as though the windshield was installed backwards.
Old 10-11-2006, 09:41 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 14,570
Quote: is the site dedicated to providing information about proper auto glass replacements and is owned and managed by the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council, Inc. (AGRSS).

-- snip --

The Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council Inc. (AGRSS) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the safe replacement of auto glass. AGRSS was founded and is supported by companies in the auto glass replacement industry that keep safe installation as their primary goal.

AGRSS is an accredited American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards development organziation. It has developed the North America's only auto glass replacement standard, the AGRSS standard (ANSI/AGRSS 002-2002 Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard). The AGRSS Standard addresses procedures, education and product performance.

Looks like a good source to help make a decision.
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