Your car service or repair: what you need to be asking

For most of us, the easing of travel restrictions signals a return to a normal of sorts, and for many that means a return to gain employment for that car which has been in the driveway since early March. That in turn will turn our attention to our annual car service which we may have put off over the crisis.

While cars have been sitting idle, workshops and service centres across the world have been changing their practices to keep step with Covid 19 protocols surrounding how your car is cleaned after servicing or repair. Indeed, some insurers have put the sanitisation of serviced and repaired vehicles at the top of their priority lists.

So what exactly do you need to be asking as you hand over your car to your local garage?

You should check with your workshop or service centre that their car cleaning teams are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) as well as using disposable gloves. You might also enquire as to processes when it comes to washing hands in between cleaning shifts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US even recommend that vehicle cleaning teams use disposable gowns.

Scientists are still learning a lot about COVID-19, but the likes of the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that the virus can live on surfaces for several hours and even days. You want your workshop or service centre to use a product that kills viruses and germs on surfaces, and a solution that contains 70% alcohol is typically fit for this purpose.

But even here, it’s important to bear in mind that many products contain additional substances, such as glycerin, which can damage the interior of your car.

You should also ask your service centre or workshop to make sure that they are using an approved product. There are already many antimicrobial products for use against SARS-CoV-2 that are in circulation around the world and which can be used to disinfect vehicles.

There is a general absence of legislation surrounding sanitising products, with many foggers and spray cans out there not fully disclosing all their ingredients.

Expect this to change.

In reality, it’s not easy for Joe Public to ascertain the safety levels prevailing in any workshop, or indeed even to ask questions about something he or she typically knows precious little about. This is about trust, and this is a time where a body like the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (or SIMI for short) comes into its own as a mark of trust. They’ve been doing good work to ensure their members are equipped to deal with the threat of Covid in a customer-friendly way. Best to look out for their symbol whenever you hand over your car for some work.

For our part, at Mr Windscreen we’ve produced this infographic to make clear the practices we’ve adopted at our centres across Ireland to keep you safe. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Back to work … but not back to normal

Like all businesses providing essential services, at Mr Windscreen we are delighted to be able to open our doors again. Over the past 2 months our activity has been limited to ensuring emergency services and frontline needs for windscreen replacement and repair were looked after. Now we can serve all motorists.

Of course, it’s not business as usual – no one quite knows when we’ll be using that term again. For the past two weeks the team has been investing countless hours to ensure we can provide our services in a which manner that is entirely safe yet efficient for our customers, and, which, of course, complies fully with Covid-19 protocols.

To this end, we have introduced training for all technicians covering:

  • – pp’ing customers signatures
  • – cleaning the inside of the vehicle before and after
  • – mask wearing during the repair
  • – wearing eye goggles
  • – using gloves
  • – using hand sanitiser
  • – using anti-bacterial wipes
  • – providing full face protection masks where available – some based on CIF guidelines

We have based our actions on the guidelines issued by the Society of the Motor Industry.

Out of sight of our customers, our central back-end operation has been overhauled, with every workstation reconfigured to ensure staff are in excess of 2 metres apart.

We are pleased to welcome you, our customer, to a reassuringly safe environment in which to avail of our services. At Mr Windscreen, we are conscious of the important role we play in our society – you see it in our slogan “We keep it moving across Ireland”

Rest assured we’ll be working flat out to do just that from this week on!

Mr Windscreen a finalist in 2020 SIMI Motor Industry Awards

Mr Windscreen was a finalist in the category “Independent Aftersales Operation of the Year” for the 2020 Irish Motor Industry Awards, run by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) in association with Bank of Ireland.

The overall Award winner was announced in each of the eight categories at a special ceremony held in conjunction with the SIMI Annual Dinner in the Clayton Hotel in Dublin in February with comedian Oliver Callan as Master of Ceremonies.

The expansion of calibration capability through the fitting out of new outlets, the integration of Mobileye’s Collision Avoidance Systems into the product range and the development of a uniquely comprehensive telematics solution for the private sector were among the company’s key achievements over the past year.

Now in its 10th year, the awards recognise and celebrate the amazing successes achieved by Irish businesses in the automotive sector over the last 12 months.

Mr Windscreen shortlisted in SIMI Motor Industry Awards

Mr Windscreen has been short-listed in the category “Independent Aftersales Operation of the Year” for the Irish Motor Industry Awards, run by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) in association with Bank of Ireland.

The overall Award winner will be announced in each of the eight categories at a special ceremony held in conjunction with the SIMI Annual Dinner in the Clayton Hotel in Dublin on Thursday, 20th February with comedian Oliver Callan as Master of Ceremonies.

Now in its 10th year, the awards recognise and celebrate the amazing successes achieved by Irish businesses in the automotive sector over the last 12 months.

Measuring up in the man’s world of windscreen calibration

Step inside the Mr Windscreen centre in Waterford city and you’re in for an unusual sight. Or two. Firstly, there’s the impressive array of diagnostic and calibration equipment. Then there’s the person working alongside them – 29-year-old Michelle O’Keefe, possibly the country’s only female ADAS calibration specialist.

A native of Waterford, Michelle joined Mr Windscreen all of 8 years ago, following a 6-month work experience programme from college. She is now considered something of a veteran of the Waterford depot, which houses the first dedicated centre in Ireland, opened in 2017. Since then Michelle has become quietly expert in ADAS calibration, making sure the correct product is sourced for every job and dealing with customers who are often less than aware of what ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) is all about.

So what led her to a career in a sector that has long been the preserve of men? “I’ve always loved cars and that helps. Without an understanding of cars I think it would be difficult to do this job properly. Of course, it’s something you learn over time,” she says.

Michelle has witnessed first-hand the rapid growth in cars with ADAS technology on board. “Only a few years ago you might have 1 in 20 cars needing calibration. Now it’s 3 or 4 in every 10.”

She is struck by how little motorists know about the technology in their cars. “It’s only when you talk about features like Brake Assist or Park Assist that it clicks with customers that their car has ADAS, but it surprises them when you explain how the windscreen is at the heart of it. Some can actually be a bit put out, as calibration adds to the labour time required, while others are just impressed that their car has this technology they knew nothing about!” As technology becomes more and more advanced, she says that there is definitely a need to educate people more.

So what do her female friends think of the career path she has chosen? “To be honest my friends think I’m mad working with a load of men! What really counts for me, though, is to be working in a good team and we’ve a terrific bunch of people here. It was Stephen who gave me the confidence to go into the ADAS side of things, while Alan was brilliant in bringing me through the training.”

As a 182 Nissan comes into the depot, it’s interview over. Michelle is already back on her feet. She clearly relishes working in a fast-paced environment, as her parting words suggest: “The technology involved in windscreen calibration is changing at a great rate, so you have to keep up to speed with it. We have recently updated our technology as one of the current systems will be redundant from early next year. At we are proud to say we can calibrate 80% of the cars on the road, but that only comes with constant investment. And that means learning new technology all the time.”

ADAS arm of Mr Windscreen sponsors Irish AutoTrade Awards, an arm of Mr Windscreen, is a sponsor at this year’s Irish Auto Trade Awards, taking place in Killashee Hotel in Kildare on 17 October. Now in their 5th year, the annual awards are a unique celebration of excellence in the automotive industry in Ireland. is sponsoring the HCV/LCV awards category, which comprises HCV Aftersales Main Dealer of the Year, HCV Trade Parts Main Dealer of the Year, LCV/HCV Independent Workshop of the Year and Independent Workshop of the Year.

“We are delighted to partake in an awards programme which acknowledges achievement in a sector that is all too often ignored yet provides employment in every corner of the country,” say Gerry Fitzgibbon, Managing Director of “Clearly the audience is a very relevant one for our suite of products – not least our collision avoidance systems – and we see the sponsorship as deepening our relationship with this audience.” is the exclusive distributor of Mobileye, a unique range of Collision Avoidance Systems, which can be retrofitted on cars, vans, buses and HGVs.,It also provides the latest in telematics solutions with live real-time camera tracking. The offering is rounded off by a comprehensive range of the latest dash cams, at competitive prices to suit every pocket.

Our European network – what does it mean?

Mr Windscreen is a long-standing member of Automotive Glass Europe (AGE), an ever-expanding network of glass repair and replacement specialists now covering over 20 countries in Europe and beyond. In the month where Marco Antonio Moreno takes over the reins as Managing Director of AGE, we take a look at what it all means for our customers …

Europe-wide repair and replacement

If your vehicles needs glass repair or replacement while abroad, the process is just as seamless as it is back home – just call 1850 5 12345 and our call centre will assist. No fewer than 4,200 repair and replacement jobs are carried out within the network each day.

Commitment to quality

Furthermore, you can be sure of the same commitment to quality workmanship and materials that you enjoy in Ireland through the Mr Windscreen national network.
Repairs conform to the highest industry standards (mainly BSI and AFNOR) and only windscreens, side window or back window glass from the three major glass manufacturers are used. These account for over 95% of the global OEM (original equipment manufacturer) market. This is a prerequisite for being part of the AGE network.

Constantly at the leading edge

Automotive Glass Europe plays an important role in ensuring its members are kept abreast of the very latest in technological developments. Through training programmes, workshops and informal exchanges, members are able to acquire expert knowledge in a way which might otherwise prove prohibitive.

ADAS calibration is an example of an a rea where technical expertise from the AGE has helped individual members, and, in turn, their customers. The specialist glass technicians of Automotive Glass Europe® are expert at both glass replacement and ADAS camera recalibration and work closely with vehicle manufacturers to ensure they have the data required to identify when recalibration is required and what type of process is specified by the vehicle. Automotive Glass Europe® partners provide the reassurance that recalibration equipment is always installed and operated in the optimum environment, ensuring accuracy throughout the process.

Pim de Ridder

Through its previous Managing Director Pim de Ridder, Automotive Glass Europe was represented at the launch of the first dedicated centre in Ireland, in Waterford City (above).

For more see
Automotive Glass Europe

Mr Windscreen exhibits at Brokers Ireland ‘Meet the Market’ Day in RDS

We are delighted to be exhibiting alongside our sister company at the Brokers Ireland Meet the Market Day 2019 in the Simmonscourt RDS on Thursday, 6 June 2019 from 10am till 3pm.

This annual event provides networking opportunities to meet specialist suppliers and key market representatives operating in the Irish marketplace and to gain a better understanding and increase knowledge of new and specialist products.

At Mr Windscreen we look forward to renewing old acquaintances in the insurance sector and making lots of new ones.

The latest Mobileye Collision Avoidance systems for car, van, HGV and bus will be to the fore on our stand. Drop over and we’ll take you through this life- and money-saving technology!

Find us at Stand A07.

Mr Windscreen training with Sika Ireland

Sika Ireland completed the annual training for Mr Windscreen in both Dublin and Portlaoise yesterday – part of our efforts to ensure our staff are always abreast of latest developments.

Sika supplies the polyurethane that is used to hold the windscreen and the structural integrity of the car together. The company has over 200 factories in over 100 countries worldwide.

Mr Windscreen network goes global

Mr Windscreen has long been part of the ever-growing Automotive Glass Europe® network, enabling its customers in Ireland to avail of windscreen services seamlessly in 20 European countries. The network has now gone global, recently creating a partnership with colleagues in Canada and South Africa.
The network is an alliance of leading providers of automotive glass repair and replacement services. The group was founded over a decade ago and is operating in 1,500 locations across 20 different European countries. The recent global expansion is AGE’s proactive response to the growing demand of insurance and leasing companies and fleet managers.
Pim de Ridder, managing director of Automotive Glass Europe® commented on the new partnerships:
“The key reason for creating our alliance over a decade ago was to provide our Partners from different European countries with an international dimension whenever necessary. 11 years on, we have seen that this initiative is appreciated by their customers. However, the ongoing, wider globalization tells us that European cooperation is no longer sufficient; our customers now require much more than just that. We have found that the colleagues of both North America’s Clairus Group and Southern Africa’s Autoboys have the same vision on our industry”.
Although Uniban and Autoboys will not share jobs with other countries, like AGE’s European Partners do, the partnerships have been formed to help share best practice between different continents and to be able to provide support to insurance, leasing and fleet companies who are operating across multiple continents.
Gerry Fitzgibbon, MD of Mr Windscreen commented: “For Mr Windscreen, the AGE network is about more than extending our footprint across Europe and now globally. It is about sharing market and technical knowledge and ensuring we are constantly future-proofing our business in the face of many worldwide technological developments.“