If you have been planning to fix that small chip on your windshield that has now turned into a huge crack then you should opt for a windshield replacement as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter whether you plan on reselling the car or using it for a few more years, a cracked windshield only means trouble. If these cracks are not fixed in time, they can cause fatal injury or harm to the driver as well as others.
If you are unsure about what happens during a windshield glass replacement process then this article might come in handy as we will give you a glimpse of what to expect during a windshield glass replacement process.
When is a windshield replaced?
You don’t always need to get the entire windshield replaced. If the mechanic confirms that the cracks or chips are minor and won’t spread, then the windshield can be repaired. After ensuring that the windshield is still sturdy and fixed in place, the mechanic will fill the crack with glass-like material (often resin). You won’t be able to differentiate between the two and the windshield will look good as new in no time!
But if the damage can’t be repaired then you will have to book an appointment and get the windshield replaced entirely to make sure there’s no danger to the driver or the people in the car while driving.
Process of replacing windshields?
Once you have decided on a garage that is close to your home or the accident area, you will have to drive your car there or get it towed to the garage for the windshield replacement. Here’s a glimpse of how the replacement will be carried out so you know what to expect during a windshield replacement process.
- As the car reaches the garage, the mechanic will examine and determine the cracks and chips. If they can be repaired, he will do the needful else the mechanic will proceed with the windshield glass replacement
- The mechanic will clean the area around the cracks so that tiny glass pieces are taken out to prevent accidents in future.
- After cleaning the glass and removing the shards, the mechanic removes all the important components that are used for securing the windshield.
- Then the windshield is removed and a new one is placed in the frame
- All the other components will then be placed in the right order.
Once all these steps are done the mechanic runs multiple quality checks to make sure the process was carried out without any mistakes. These checks are necessary because an incorrectly fit windshield can be as harmful as the cracked one and the worst part is that you won’t even be aware of the dangers it might pose.
How long does a windshield replacement take?
While a typical windshield replacement might only take 15 to 20 minutes, replacing it entirely might take over an hour or two. But depending on the car model and complexity of the process, the mechanic might ask to keep the car overnight to test and ensure that the windshield was put in place accurately and there’s no room for error.
How to test if the windshield was installed accurately?
There are multiple ways in which the windshield is tested. We have listed out some of the checks that your car’s new windshield will undergo for safety purposes.
The wind test
A quick drive can help figure out if there is any gap left after sealing the windshield. If the borders of the windshield aren’t sealed properly then the wind will enter the car and make a “whoosh” sound and you might even hear the sound of the engine if the installation wasn’t done properly
You won’t like water seeping in through the windshield during heavy rains and hence it is important to check if there is any water leakage or not. The mechanic can spray a jet of water to spot any leakage, if any and rectify the situation accordingly. Make sure to remind the mechanic to check for water leakage else you might find it out the harsh way during the monsoon season.
The most obvious test is to check for any visible scars, chips or cracks after the windshield has been replaced. If the new windshield isn’t up to the mark then it won’t take long for it to break down. This might seem a simple task but it’s often overlooked by car owners when they get their car back after windshield replacement.
These are some basic checks that you can also perform on your own or request the mechanic to conduct them in front of you to make sure that the new windshield was installed perfectly.
Things to keep in mind after windshield replacement
A few easy steps after installation helps in keeping your new windshield in good condition and also ensure that it lasts for a long while. If you have replaced the windshield due to chips and cracks, here are some of the steps you should follow to ensure you don’t damage it again because of negligence.
Don’t drive immediately
The most commonly used adhesive to affix a new windshield on your car is urethane. It is normally advised to avoid driving for long hours, if necessary you can drive for an hour every day as the opening of the doors can lead to a change in pressure and result in popping out of the adhesive. As the adhesive sets in place, you can go back to your normal routine. The fixing duration of the adhesive also depends on several factors like humidity, temperature and quality, so it’s best to take advice from your mechanic on this.
Leave the tape on
Some windshields require tape while fixing them. You might feel tempted to remove the tape so that your car can restore its attractiveness but you should avoid doing so as once the tape is removed, it will be easier for dirt and grime to stick to the adhesive and this will decrease its effectiveness and make the connection between the frame and glass weak.
Leave the windows open
If you have recently replaced your windshield make sure you leave your window gaped before parking your car. If you live in an area with high temperatures, the heat might build up the pressure inside the car. If the car is parked for long hours under such conditions your newly installed windshield may pop out.
Be careful while driving
Do not start driving immediately after the windshield replacement. You should also avoid opening the car door or banging the roof of your car as this might create sudden pressure which may result in popping out of the windshield.
Stay away from car washes
If the adhesive has not dried completely, washing your car may lead to an incorrectly set windshield. The liquid or detergent used while cleaning can be abrasive to certain adhesives. You should always wait for a day for washing your car after the windshield replacement. But if you are tempted enough to wash your car you can do so using mild soaps and detergents. You don’t need to keep your car away from water but prevent it from excessive pressure and harsh chemicals that might wear off the adhesive.
Now that you know about the nitty-gritty of windshield replacement, you can head over to the nearest reliable garage and get your car’s windshield replaced without getting duped or incurring any losses!