Windshield repair service comes to the customer
Darrick Chavez has a fairly simple business plan: Help car and truck owners save money, and make it convenient for them to do it.
Chavez is the owner-operator and sole employee of Mobile Windshield Repair, which is based in Rio Communities, but services customers throughout Valencia County and the four adjacent counties.
He started the business here about 11 years ago, went inactive for a while as he pursued other business interests, and recently reactivated the service.
Chavez believes the mobile windshield repair business is a natural in the current economy.
“Repairing your windshield saves so much more money (over replacement),” he said. “It prolongs the life of the windshield and you don’t break the factory seal around the windshield, which can cause problems sometimes.”
While auto insurance will replace a cracked or broken windshield, he said, a lot of people don’t carry that kind of insurance because they can’t afford it, and even with insurance, the vehicle owner still has to pay a deductible that is usually more than the cost of repair.
“I can repair stars, bullseyes and cracks up to about 15 inches,” he said. “I’m probably the only one doing them (cracks) that long.”
Stars are cracks that have a center point with cracks radiating out from that point. In some cases, the individual cracks will “run,” or gradually increase in length. Bullseyes are circular divots in the glass that have circles of shallower depth radiating out from them, much like the circles on a bullseye.
Chavez won’t divulge his repair method other than to say he fills and seals the damage with an acrylic that bonds with the windshield.
“We do some things different from the competition,” he said, “so we keep our techniques to ourselves.”
Once repaired, however, the damaged area is permanently repaired.
“Once it’s sealed, it’s fixed,” he said, and although he provides a one-year warranty, “it should last the life of the windshield.”
Chavez, who came to Valencia County in 1984, has been doing windshield repair for about 16 years, he said.
“I worked for Novus in Albuquerque,” he said. “Novus is basically the founder of mobile windshield repair.”
Chavez doesn’t work with insurance companies.
“I’m not opposed to working with insurance companies,” he said, but hasn’t pursued it because of the paperwork and the length of time it takes to process claims and get paid. At this point it’s strictly payment at the time of service.
That payment, he said, “is usually $35 for the first repair and $10 for the second (at the same time). I don’t usually charge for the rest of them. A crack repair is usually $45.”
With Chavez, mobile means mobile.
“I’ll go wherever they need me to go,” he said, “their house, their workplace, wherever.”
He said the typical repair takes 20 minutes to an hour depending on the complexity of the damage.
Windshield repair does have it’s limits, though, he said.
“I had a woman call me once, and when I got there the windshield just had cracks all over it. It was practically smashed. I had to tell her there was nothing I could do.
“If I know it’s beyond repairing, I won’t do it.”
Chavez only does repairs, not windshield replacements. He can be reached at 505-304-4184. His service area includes Valencia, Bernalillo, Cibola, Socorro and Torrance counties.
Contact Dana Bowley