When it comes to auto insurance claims, 30% of them are windshield cracks or replacements. 80% of those are windshield replacement claims.
If you are part of that group that needs a car windshield replacement, you’ll want to read this article first. Today we are going to discuss 7 key tips that you should know before having someone come out and replace your car’s windshield.
Let’s take a look!
1. What to Do Before A Windshield Replacement
There are a few things you should do when you see that your windshield just cracked. The first is to make sure you’re not in the middle of driving. If you are, pull over to the side of the road and stop.
The second is to make sure there’s no danger around you. If there is, move away from it. If you have caution cones or flashes, put those out before inspecting the damage. After that, you should do a few more things.
Inspect the Damage: When inspecting the damage, you should look for any cracks or chips. If you notice any, take a look at the length of the crack and the depth of the chip. This will help you determine whether or not the glass is compromised.
Decide if Your Can Drive or Not: At this point, you should also make the decision whether or not it’s safe to continue driving. If you can see clearly through your windshield with no hindrance to your view, then it may be reasonable to drive the car.
However, if the cracks are directly over where you’re viewing out of your window, then it may be safer not to drive at all because visual obstructions could hinder your driving and cause an accident.
Prevent Further Damages: Right after you inspect the windshield damage, you should do your best to prevent any further damages. This means avoiding extreme temperatures. If you have a garage, park it inside, otherwise, if you live in a cold state, heavy snow or freezing temperatures could make the damage worse.
2. Determining If You Need A Replacement or Not
A crack is generally considered a good reason for a replacement if it’s spread out or has gone more than halfway into the glass. A chip on the other hand is not as bad and can sometimes be repaired.
The main factor in determining whether to repair or replace your windshield is how deep the damage goes. When considering replacing your car windshield, here are a few things to look out for:
- If the glass is tempered or if it has been laminated
- The crack or chip is so deep that it has gone halfway through the windshield
- If the crack or chip has gone beyond the outside edges of your windshield
If you’re seeing one of these on your windshield, it’s probably best to replace it rather than repair it. You can also always have a professional take a look for you to help you determine the best choice.
3. Things You’ll Need for the Replacement
If you decide that replacing your windshield is the best course, then there are a few things you’ll need to gather before the actual replacement.
Things needed to replace a windshield:
- Tape measure
- Knife or blade
- The replacement windshield glass with gasket
- Glass cleaner
- Gloves for protection
- Suction cups for the windows
- Auto glass urethane
- Screwdrivers and sockets
- Optional: retention tape for a better seal
Once you have all of these, you’ll be able to get started on the project. Just make sure that you order the glass and gasket ahead of time! However, when you’re replacing a car windshield, it’s important that you never use an older gasket from another windshield.
Purchasing Your Windshield
You can purchase your windshield directly from the auto glass company that replaces it. From there, you’ll need to know the year, make and model of your car in order for them to find an exact match with all of its available features.
This information is required so they can ensure your new windshield will fit correctly when replacing your windshield. However, if you are going to DIY your windshield, you can also purchase one online or through your car magazines.
The best place to find the right car windshield is from car enthusiasts and experts. Many car websites and magazines will not only show the best type and brands to buy but also provide you with a source.
How Much You Should Expect to Pay
When you call around to different places in order to get quotes on how much it would cost for a car windshield, remember that every location will be slightly different.
Typically you can expect to pay between $250 – $400 for a new windshield. This will of course vary depending on your car and brand.
4. How to Replace Your Car Windshield
Now that you have all of your tools ready and you’re new windshield and gaskets have arrived, it’s time to get started. Here are the steps for replacing your windshield.
Step 1: Remove Your Windshield Wipers
This may seem obvious, but the first step to replacing your windshield is removing your windshield wipers. This is typically fairly easy and can be done by unscrewing the bolts attached to the car.
Step 2: Remove the Molding
Now that you have removed your windshield wipers, the next step is to carefully remove the molding from around your windshield.
The main thing you’ll want to keep in mind as you do this is not to damage the molding at all as you will be reusing it later. In order to prevent any damage, make sure you use a paint remover or a painter’s knife before trying anything else.
This will ensure that the adhesive has been released and makes it much easier for yourself! You can then just peel off the rest of the molding. With this done, set them aside right where they are so they don’t get lost.
Step 3: Remove Gaskets & Adhesive
Next, you’ll need to remove the old gaskets and adhesive from your windshield. The best way to go about doing this is using a scraper blade tool.
Make sure you are very careful as you do not want the new glass to get scratched! You can then use an adhesive remover that will allow you to wipe off any remaining residue.
Step 4: Remove Your Old Windshield
Now that the adhesive has been removed, it’s time to remove your old windshield. You can use suction cups to do this if they are available or you can use gloves with a towel inside of them.
You will want to press firmly on the glass and pull gently downward in order to lift up the old windshield. Keep doing this until it pops off completely, leaving you with an empty space where your car windshield once was!
Step 5: Get Your New Windshield Ready
Now that you are left with an empty space where your windshield was, it’s time to get your new glass ready. Place the gasket in its original place and make sure it is absolutely flush.
Remember to apply the gasket sealer between the gasket itself and the windshield. You don’t want to miss any spots here. You also don’t want to overuse it and make a huge mess. You just want to make a perfect seal between the two.
Next, put on your gloves and use the suction cups to lift your new windshield into place. Put it on the frame and press down with even pressure across the windshield.
Use a rubber hammer to carefully ensure that it is perfectly seated in place, if necessary.
Then take out one side of the suction cup. Make sure this side of the suction cup is pointing towards you, then press down firmly onto it until it sticks to the car.
Once done, do the same with another suction cup but on the other side so that both cups are facing inward.
Next is to use a towel wrapped around a paint scraper in order to remove all remaining residue from adhesive between the glass and molding.
Once you’ve cleaned off the residue, you have successfully replaced your windshield. Just make sure to look around and check for any leaks!
Use Retention Tape
This step is optional, but you can use retention tape around the windshield and the seal. This type of special tape can be placed along the seal to help protect it from the elements.
5. What to Do After a Windshield Replacement
Now that you have successfully installed your new windshield, you should take a few extra steps to ensure that no issues arise. In the next few hours you should do the following:
The first thing you should do after your windshield replacement is to leave it in a safe area in order to let the adhesive cure. The experts recommend not driving your car for the first couple of hours so you can be completely sure that all steps have been completed correctly and your car windshield is properly sealed.
Keep the Area Around Clear
Now that you have replaced your windshield, it is important to keep the area around it clear. This means not allowing anything to touch or press against the new seal. For the first day after installation, do not place any type of cover on the exterior of your car.
Leave a Window Cracked
You don’t want any extra stress on the seal around your car windshield. To prevent this, leave a crack at least an inch long open for the first day after installation. This will help to prevent issues with your seal.
Don’t Wash Your Car
Don’t be tempted to wash your car! It’s best not to use a power washer or high-pressure car washes for at least the first 48 hours after installation. If you need to clean your car in the first couple of days, just use a regular hand car wash and avoid scrubbing with anything abrasive.
If you used any retention tape you should leave it in place for the first two days. This type of tap helps to guarantee that the seal is protected from the elements. It doesn’t exactly look good, but it’s an important step for a successful seal.
Take it Easy
You’ll want to take it easy on your car over the first couple of days. This includes avoiding driving over potholes and bumps. You also don’t want to slam your doors or close the sunroof too harshly as this can impact your windshield replacement.
Try to Avoid Windshield Damage Causes
Lastly, try to avoid the common causes of windshield damage altogether. Here are a few of the most common windshield damages:
- Following close behind larger vehicles and trucks
- Potholes and rough roads
- Ignoring small defects in a windshield
These are a few, so make sure to avoid anything that can cause windshield damage.
Replacing Your Windshield
Replacing your car windshield can be a daunting task, but with the right instructions, it can be a breeze. Make sure to follow all of the steps and you will have a properly sealed windshield in no time.
Make sure to have all of the proper tools and follow the recommended steps after the installation process.
If you run into any problems or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out for help! You can also head over to the auto section of our blog for more articles just like this one!