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Old 10-02-2006, 08:44 AM   #1
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New Windshield (Safelite) bad experience

Had my windshield replaced Saturday by Safelite (national chain). We agreed to a fee of $505. The price seems to fluctuate by region for instance in Conneticut one 911 owner (same glass) on Rennlist had the job done with OEM glass for $400.
The shop was only 15 minutes from where I live so I agreed to a 9:00 am appointment. They'll come to you for another $100. I inspected the glass and sure enough the OEM triangle was on the corner and it was imported glass from Sekurit. I beleive the retail at the dealer for this part is $450. I heard that a TSB was put out to advise that a rope insert should be placed between the windshield glass and the channel to avoid squeaks often reported by Boxster and 911 owners. I told the installer about this and he said he had never heard of such a thing in doing the job for 17 years. They took the keys after I lowered the top and they told me it would take about an hour (its now 9:30)

The job was completed at 11:30 and now I'm running late for other errands and appointments. I did a quick inspection and the job looked first rate, no visual distortion in the glass either. They put in a new outside moulding between the glass and the windshield header. Car looks brand new. The installer (I think he was a supervisor and not the actual installer) said not to wash it for 48 hours.

Sped off to make the trek into NYC for my appointment. I hit some traffic (as usual) going into the tunnel so I glance over to my right and I see a two inch scratch on the dash board (just below the speaker grill). look over to the middle another scratch. The trim near the A Pillar is also not seated properly.

I have to make an immediate U turn out of all this traffick and go directly back to the Safelite shop. I hit another bunch of traffic on a single lane road. Grrr...
An hour and a half later I'm back at the shop just as they are closing. Point out the damage to the shop manager and also notice that in removing the winshield wiper trim they nicked the paint using a srewdriver or something. Guess they didn't think to just raise the hood for more working space. I asked if the trim needed to be removed to do the job and they said yes. Strike two.

Amazingly after sitting in two hours of traffic and seeing this damage, I'm not at all that mad. The manager says "ok I'll file the casualty claim and someone will be in touch with you".
Back in the car and yes I hit traffic again it now 4pm.
A whole day affair and it was only supposed to be an hour and half task

I'll called Safelite's 1-800 to report the incident just as a follow up today and they couldn't find me in their computer they put me on hold. They called the shop directly, Shop manager says he's already faxed over the claim.

If you have your glass replaced bring a beach towel and cover your dash and center console. Point out to the supervisor that there is not damage to your paint or dash before the job is started. I did this beach towel thing when I had my GT3 seats put in by some friends at an autobody shop. I thought a professional shop that have probably worked on numerous expensive cars in the past would know to put down a drop cloth before getting to work. Guess not, these guys did more $$$$$ damage then they made money doing the job just because they were sloppy. I think they have no idea what a new dashboard and repainting my fender is going to run them. I'm guessing at least $1500-$2000

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Last edited by Perfectlap; 10-02-2006 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:09 AM   #2
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PL, sorry to hear about the ordeal. And yes, driving in/around NYC can be hell. Pls let me know which shop that was so I know to avoid it in the future (post it here or PM me, whichever works).
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:53 AM   #3
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I went to a SafeLite store in Northern NJ to get a small star fixed in my windshield a few months ago. The did a pretty good job, and it's held up perfectly, but I don't think I'd go to them for an entire replacement. I asked the shop manager if he's done any Boxsters before, and he indicated that he did, but not many. That's all I needed to know.

I think if I had to do a replacement, I'd either have it done at the dealer or have them come to my place so that I could watch him closely so that he doesn't get sloppy in the process. Hope they get your car back to perfection soon.
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:02 AM   #4
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If my Boxster was still under warranty I wouldn't go to these guys either. But they must have some kind of deal with manufacturer of the glass because they had the OEM glass in stock and did the job for roughly what the dealership charges for the glass itself. A two hour job at the dealer rate (if they don't farm it out) of $140 an hour and it's an $800 job out of pocket with a high probability of it having to be done again. I asked my insurance company if they offered a windshield glass option and they said no dice. I opted for the $1000 deductible on my insurance to bring down these ridiculously high rates here in Jersey.

but Safelite is a chain so I doubt one shop will do a better job than another. But this one was in Bergen County (Hasbrouck Heights route 17 North). I don't want to bad mouth the operation because the shop was very clean, the customer service was fine and the job itself (minus the glaring lack of precautions) was also fine (so far). The work is guaranteed against stress fractures or any other defects so unless a truck kicks back that rock causing the glass to crack, you're covered for the lifetime of the glass. But with 1 hour installations its a volume business and like any in and out type business they don't monitor their employees as closely as they should.
p.s.
Initially I thought this was an 'internal' stress crack because I couldn't feel a break in the glass on either the outside or inside. What started out as a small 3 inch split (anything bigger than a small coin can't be fixed) at the top of the header quickly made its way down to the wipers in almost a straight vertical line.
The installer pointed out where the crack started, a very very tiny chip on the outside near the top header, wish I would have caught it sooner it could have been repaired and avoided a $500 expense. A good idea to inspect your glass
regularly. You can get a clear bra for the windshield to avoid pitting from these other guys:

sales@premiermobilegroup.com
B: 510-623-1308
B: 510-406-1500


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Last edited by Perfectlap; 10-02-2006 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:14 AM   #5
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That's the same SafeLite shop I went to to have my star fixed. I am surprised they had the OEM glass in stock. When I was there, he told me he didn't stock these, and would probably have to order them from the dealer if I needed a replacement.

Good luck with the repairs.
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:06 PM   #6
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Well this goes to anyone reading this in the future or present:
are you sure it was OEM? Can you see Sekurit in the bottom corner on driver's side? Sometimes they say OEM and its made by others like PPG or Pilkington, if they didn't use OEM and charged you for OEM you need to get an explanation and a possible adjustement/refund.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:10 PM   #7
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Let me confess at the outset that I don't know squat about installing a windshield, but I'll tell you what an installer did installing a new windshield on my Honda Odyssey, and maybe that will (partially) explain why one guy charges practically nothing to put it in, while another will charge hundreds of dollars.

When the guy took the old windshield out, he pulls out a big linoleum knife thing
and cuts the gasket off the windshield. He then pulls the glass out, lays the new glass in the hole, and GLUES the old gasket back onto the windshield. At least he glues the top half of the gasket, the part that he cut off, onto the glass. The bottom half of the gasket is still laying in the windshield hole, so he doesn't have to do anything with it. All this takes less time to do than it takes me to describe it.
Gone in 60 Seconds, practically.

Maybe I'm nuts and that's the way it's supposed to be done, but it seems to me that the gasket probably is actually one piece of extruded rubber with a channel in it that fits snugly around the edge on both the top and the bottom of the glass. And it's probably a blue ******************** to fit to the glass. Which is why the guys that do it in your driveway don't do it that way.

Nevertheless, the new windshield hasn't leaked a drop, but I have had to re-glue it in both of the upper corners.
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:57 PM   #8
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Terms like OE or OEM have no set meaning.

I have had 3 windshields on the Box in the 7 plus years that I have owned it.

Thank god the windshield is not a mirror.

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=10360

I have watched several other 996/986 windshield replacements. There is no magic. It is just like any other glued-in windshield.

Ronzi's story is funny, and true. The older guys use a long handled tool thing with a blade on the end to cut the glue at the bottom. I have seen it done this way. This makes owners nervous, more so when you have an expensive leather dash like I do.

I told the installer this story when I saw him reach for a modern version of this tool thing, so he switched to a piano wire thing that cuts the glue without a blade. This ended up taking forever so I told him to use the blade. All went well.

I had never used this shop before. All I can tell you for sure is that they had done at least 1 Boxster - mine.

Picture is cutting the glue at the top and sides with yet another tool, but it will not do the bottom or bottom corners.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:54 PM   #9
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Four guys to replce a windshield? Must be all those tips....

One guy is enough. And 3 others to supervise.
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:54 AM   #10
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There are two, barely noticable, circular marks (shadows) on my windshield that, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out where they had come from, and they wouldn't just wash away. Now I saw Tool Pant's photo above and -- BINGO: they must have come from those gadgets during the windshield installation. Two questions:
1.Does Porsche use those in the factory or this means the windshield has been replaced at some point before I bought it (brand new)? The marks are on two symetrical spots on each side of he windsheld, so perhaps they DO use them in the factory.
2. How can I get rid of those marks?
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Old 10-06-2006, 03:24 AM   #11
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Installers use suction cups to move the glass around. No clue how it is done at the factory.

I do not see how a suction cup could leave a permanent mark.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:26 AM   #12
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p.s.
I heard back from Safelite regarding my repairs. A vinyl repairman is going to do the dash fix or at least take a look at it. And the chip on my fender is going to get an estimate from the bodyshop my local dealer uses. Oh boy I'm sure those guys are expensive and I'm not taking any chances with mismatched silver by giving it to a 2nd rate shop. Neither am I just going to be ok with a chip in my paint.
I'm guessing these guys are going to charge at least $600 to reshoot the fender.


We'll see what Safelit have to say about that.
By the way those of you in NJ Ray Catena Porsche uses Quality Auto Body in Rahway, NJ. 1st rate work from what I hear from Rennlist 911 owners.
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:16 AM   #13
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"Installers use suction cups to move the glass around. No clue how it is done at the factory."

Yep, that's exactly where the shadows are.

Perfectlap, good luck with the repairs. What a mess that could have been avoided simply with a little more attention during installation.

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