The $11,000 Reason Not to Break the Glass

Replacing the windshield in a half-a-million-dollar car might sound intimidating but head auto glass technician Gary Blakely says the key is to just, “get out of your head.”

“At the end of the day it’s four wheels, some sort of propulsion system and the glass is glued to it somehow. If you can get that through your head then you’re fine,” explained Blakely, who works for Quackt Glass in South Carolina. He and fellow technician Brad Jenkins undertake jobs like the 2015 Lamborghini Murcielago they worked on this summer at the North Carolina based auto glass repair shop like they do any others.

That is not to say that doing a high-end car like this does not need to be approached a little differently than your standard automobile. From the value of the car to the value of the glass, doing a job like this can present some challenges and requires a keen attention to detail, Blakely says.

“If you mess up, it’s not just a Honda Accord where you can just paint a fender,” Blakely says. “It can be a very costly venture if you’re not paying attention to what you are doing.”

The windshield for Murcielago job cost $11,000 and Blakely remarked on how you have to be gentle and light with the decking or the glass could just snap. And having to tell someone, whether car- or shop-owner that the new windshield broke well, “that is not a phone call you want to have to make,” he says.

In order to be precise, Blakely and his team take about two hours to work on projects such as this when compared to the usual 45-minute time frame in which they can have most cars finished.

Another challenge Blakely mentions with the Murcielago in particular, is that the cowl of the car has to be replaced entirely. And the cowl with this windshield is extremely thin and is attached to the body, glass and fenders of the vehicle. He also noted that a new cowl can be around $1,800 at cost (not list price) and can take up to three weeks to be delivered, maybe longer with current COVID-19 related delays.

Blakely also said that, with this model car, they had to take the hood off what he calls the “frunk,” which is a trunk area in the front of the car.

“Needless to say, we try to take our time to make sure we get all the details right,” Blakely says.

They used an Orange Bat, which is a braided nylon fiber-line system, to remove the glass emphasizing the importance of not using a cold-knife on a higher-end vehicle. For adhesives, they use a standard Dow Express 30, high viscosity urethane.

At the end of the day, Blakely says that the most important thing that he tells all his technicians, regardless of the car they are working on, is that safety is the number one priority.

“You may not always think of it, but it’s somebody’s life in your hands,” Blakely says.

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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