Collision Repair

OK. Here I go again about the clean windshield issue.

If you read this blog regularly (Terry and I call it the LABS project), maybe you’ve read a few posts I made about windshields and Aquapel by PPG.  And you would also know that my ’94 740 BMW (with over 230K miles … paid fo’) got smacked by a flying shock absorber a few weeks ago and I had to come off the hip for $635.00 + change for a new windshield. No tears, please. S–t happens. Stay with me, I’m almost there.

Anyway, since I had to replace the windshield, this meant I needed to re-apply the Aquapel rain repellant to my new windshield. Why? Because, as I posted before, the stuff works. And it works like magic. Ergo, I was not going to drive around for long with a new windshield and no Aquapel protection. I got around to doing this two weekends ago (Why am I just now writing about it? I don’t know – and who cares!). I also bought enough to re-apply my wife’s Explorer since it had been close to a year since I did both vehicles. See loves it, too. While I was at it, I put on some new wiper blades for her (she loves me!).

Anyway, it rained the following week … all day. To work and from work. Lots of rain. First time out with a fresh Aquapel application … awesome. This is the truth. I’m 1 mile from the interstate. Take it for about 13 miles then a couple of miles to the office on surface roads. For those 13 freeway miles, at 70 mph, I never used the wipers … NEVER. Rain just blows off the windshield at this speed. Unbelievable. You got to get this stuff – it’s magic. And you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to use it. Until next time.


PS – I do not work for PPG and no one paid me to say these nice things about Aquapel. It’s just good stuff that works!

UPDATE: 14 Mar 07 … I have discovered you can purchase Aquapel on the Amazon store – just search Aquapel.

Back on October 18th, I wrote a post entitled Blinded By The Light. It was about using sunglasses and keeping your windshield clean – inside and out – so you reduce your odds of having a wreck (and maybe getting killed) and creating hassles in your life. And if you’ve ever had a car wreck in your life (the average is once every 7 years for most Americans), you know that it causes hassels in your life. And Terry and I are ALL about eliminating hassles. Now THAT ain’t brain surgery.

I want to bring something else to your attention that involves clean windshields. It’s about a simple and easy-to-use product on the market that you have probably never heard of before. It’s called Aquapel by PPG (you know, the paint and glass people). Disclaimer …. I have no connection to PPG or Aquapel – I just think it is way too cool and I use it and I tell everyone about it. Aquapel is a rain repellent glass treatment. And it works. For about a year. Then you do it again. Not brain surgery.

This from the Aquapel website:

Using technology innovated for the aviation industry, PPG’s Aquapel® Glass Treatment forms a chemical bond with the glass which increases water repellency, causing it to bead and easily shed off the glass. These fluorinated compounds apply in just minutes to a clean, dry windshield or any exterior glass surface, and last up to six times longer than silicon-based products.

Additionally, Aquapel® Glass Treatment remains highly effective after months of normal use, including driving in rain and snow, car washing, and glass cleaning.

Look, Terry and I work in and around the automotive aftermarket. When I discovered this product about three years ago, I tried to get body shops, mechanical shops, and windshield replacement people to take this product and create an added-value service to offer their customers. None did. Why? I don’t know – lazy I guess. They could get at least $19.95 per treatment for this. I know I would have gladly paid someone to do it if they had only asked at the QuickLube place or when I took my car in for service …. but “NO”. Once again, it ain’t brain surgery.

So, find Aquapel on your own. Visit the website. Buy it. You may have to go to your local professioanl shop supplier. Ask for it. They can get it. They may have to order it, but they can get it. PPG is a BIG company.

Apply it yourself. It is very easy. Takes no time. You won’t believe how well this stuff repels water and helps keep your windshield clean. For a clean windshield fanatic, it is awesome. Give it a try.


UPDATE: 14 Mar 07 … I have discovered you can purchase Aquapel on the Amazon store – just search Aquapel.

Regardless of how well we drive and watch out for the other guy the chances are you will make a visit to a collision repair facility every 7 years.  The good news in the last statement would be the fact that you make the visit to the collision center rather than the hospital or worse yet the morgue.

Most individuals have no idea what to do or how to react once an accident has taken place.  Sure most of us realize we should call law enforcement and medical care if needed but what next?  Do we call a repair facility, do we let the insurance company tell us where to take the vehicle or do we leave it up to the tow truck?

We suggest you locate the most reputable shop in your local area and let them create you an estimate.  The vast majority of all estimates are created using similar software (3 major estiamting software programs are used).  The differences in any estimate should be very slight unless your estimator is experienced and knows to look for hidden damage on the vehicle.  The most common practice is to look over the vehicle, assess the damage and submit an estimate to you or your insurance carrier.  Typically the carrier will have one of their field personnel go to the shop and look over the vehicle with the shop estimator. (Negotiations usually take place at this juncture)

Experienced shops and insurance field adjustors will know to look for hidden damage behind the main panels and underneath.  Sometimes a supplemental claim will be filed once the hidden damage is discovered.

One important factor when deciding on a repair facility is the method in which you are treated at the shop.  Were you greeted by friendly employees who were dressed properly for the job?  (Example: clean polo or button up shirt with the facilities name embroidered on the left or a dirty t-shirt extolling the virtues of street pharmaceuticals or beer)  One can generally tell the quality of the repair by the quality of the outer office and employees.  Collision repair is a very professional and highly skilled job which requires a lot of capital investment and investment in human relations.  Well run shops will often have a waiting room resembling a Dr’s office and there is good reason for this.

The vast majority of individuals involved in a motor vehicle accident have collision insurance.  The insurance company by default is involved in our repair just as they are with our hospitalization.  We have to make a co-pay (deductible) just like medical insurance and we expect the shop to eat the charges that exceed the allowable amount determined by the insurance carrier.   The major difference would be that the shop has to repair the vehicle to our liking and keep it within the allowable amount of money as suggested by the insurance carrier.

Often there is much disagreement between the two parties as to what actually constitutes a quality repair.  That is when we, as consumers, must get involved and demand a complete quality job.  Again, choose the repair facility wisely and if there are discrepancies between what the shop wants to do versus what will be paid for by your insurance carrier you must get involved and demand a quality repair.  You car is one of the largest investments you will make in your entire life. And your life depends on this vehicle performing properly and safely to protect you in case of an accident. It’s your car and your choice where you get it repaired. Don’t let any one tell you different.

Richard & Terry