A car is no stranger to being broken into.
It’s also no stranger when the glass is so rotten that it literally falls apart and leaves you without your car.
That’s the predicament faced by a lot of people in Alberta, where a car is often broken into and stolen from, and the result is some of the most expensive repairs in Canada.
“I’m just really upset about it, and I’m trying to figure out what to do to fix it,” said Car Glass Repair owner Rob Creswell.
The damage in his store is not unique to Alberta. “
So it’s been a big, big challenge.”
The damage in his store is not unique to Alberta.
Across Canada, car glass is broken into every day.
Some of the glass can’t be fixed, others can, but many are left in the state of disrepair.
But Cressel’s repair business is different from most.
“Our business model is to do a lot to keep our vehicles in working condition,” he said.
“We can replace most of the body panels.
We can take apart the windshield.
And most importantly, our customers can pay for the repair themselves.”
For Cressell, his shop is the only place in Alberta where he can do these repairs without having to call in an experienced mechanic.
“They’ve been doing it for the last 10 years,” he explained.
“And they’ve done it so well that it’s just been a really big hassle.”
The problems started in the 1970s, when the first cars were introduced to Alberta, and Cressels started doing repairs.
He said most of his customers were from the west.
“The majority of the time, they’ve been older women, who probably would have been the ones who would have gotten the damage done,” he added.
The damage Creshel is repairing is almost certainly the result of the use of “hot-shoeing,” or welding a hole in the glass, then covering it with metal plates and using the hot air from the welding to blow the hot glue out of the damaged area.
“What we’ve seen over the years is that hot-shoes tend to break more easily, and it also tends to spread a lot, so it spreads up through the entire body of the vehicle,” said Creshell.
“When that happens, you have to have a lot different solutions.”
A typical car is only a couple of centimetres thick, so Creshere’s not exactly looking to blow out the body of a car with his own hands.
He also doesn’t need a car shop.
“My garage is a pretty small garage, so I don’t have a huge number of parts, and a lot is just left to me to do it,” he noted.
“But we’ve done a lot with hot-shinging and the glue, and we’ve also been able to weld a lot out of it.”
A repair done by Cresboroughs team of two is more than $10,000, so they often have to use specialized equipment to help them get the job done.
“There’s also a lot that goes into the assembly,” he continued.
“Once it’s welded, it can be a little difficult to remove the glue.
We have to remove it by hand.
And there are parts that need to go back and be replaced.” “
Sometimes, the parts will need to be replaced.
And there are parts that need to go back and be replaced.”
That can be expensive.
“Usually the costs are in the millions of dollars,” Cresill said.
For some of his clients, it’s a matter of just waiting it out.
“For some of our clients, they’re very, very upset, because they’ve just had their cars stolen,” he remarked.
“Some of the guys we’ve had to do this repair on have had their vehicles stolen, and their vehicles are sitting there with no warranty.”
Cresswell also has had a couple customers who were charged $1,000 to have their vehicles replaced, even though the damage is clearly not worth the money.
That is not unusual for Cresills shop, but he said he also has people who paid upwards of $25,000.
Creswes repair business, called Cresworks, specializes in the repair of damaged or broken parts, including aero body panels, rear window frames, and windshield panels.
He has even been able have cars repaired with a broken brake line.
“Most people are pretty surprised by it, because it’s such a big deal,” Cleswell said.
Clesworths repair shop, also called Creworks, is a few doors down from Creswood’s.
“People come in, they tell us how much they’d like to have the car fixed, and they have their whole house to fix,” Cheswell said, adding that some of them