Providing a clear view

Married couple Helena and T.J. Witherell of Owosso Township stand next to the vehicle they use in their new business, Swift Windshield Repair.

OWOSSO TWP. — T.J. Witherell was working as a glass specialist at a car dealership in Novi when he decided it was time for a change.

So, Witherell, his wife, Helena, and their four young children moved to rural Owosso Township and opened their own business, Swift Windshield Repair.

“I was driving a long way to work every day, and I got tired of the traffic,” T.J. Witherell said Friday. “I wanted to get out in the country. We love it here. The Owosso area is a great place.”

The Witherells — Helena is a Dow-certified glass technician — not only repair and replace windshields, they also deodorize vehicles, test and install batteries, and restore headlights.

Service is available any time of the day or night. Call (734) 892-4303.

Covering a territory that includes Detroit, Lansing, Flint and all of Shiawassee, the Witherells go to the vehicle that needs work.

“We go right to them,” T.J. Witherell said.

If people take their cars to the Witherells, 891 N. Delaney Road, they get a discount on the price.

Typically, repairs to windshields are free for vehicle owners who carry comprehensive car insurance.

“Most insurance companies waive the deductible for windshield repair,” Witherell said. “It saves them money, because they don’t have to replace it. There’s also safety: Repairing a windshield doesn’t affect the structural integrity of the factory seal.”

He said many people don’t realize the importance a windshield plays in holding the body of a car together.

For windshield replacements, people generally pay a $100 deductible on their insurance.

What sets Swift apart from other companies, the Witherells said, is the length of time they spend replacing a windshield.

“A lot of glass companies are really fast. They replace a windshield in about 20 minutes,” T.J. Witherell said. “We take our time, treating it like our own car. At minimum, it takes two hours to do a good job. And a windshield is such a big part of a car.”

Another difference, he said, is the urethane windshield adhesive his company uses is the same Dow product used by the major car companies at the factory.

“We don’t skimp out on the urethane,” he said. “We take the hit on cost. And we stand behind all our work. If there are ever any issues, we’ll go back out and take care of it.”

The Witherells created a charity, called “Chips For a Cause,” through which they donate half the insurance payments for a cause, most recently a disabled young man who needed a new wheelchair and medical supplies.

“We want to find more ways to get involved in the community,” Helena Witherell said.

T.J. Witherell has lived in the Owosso area, on and off, since he was a child. He and his wife were happy to settle in Owosso Township last October with their children: Landyn, 9, Gavyn, 6, Ethyn, 4, and Nolyn, 11/2.

“We don’t miss the hustle and bustle of the Novi-Northville area,” T.J. Witherell said. “I have family in this area. I’ve always loved it here.”

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