Windshield Auto Glass Installation Tips
Broken or chipped glass on your vehicle windshield can be very dangerous for the safety of the occupants, especially if left untended for too long. Cracked glass can shatter in the face of strong winds, causing life-threatening accidents. It can also obstruct the driver's clear vision, and can let in moisture which will fog up the glass. Night driving becomes a hazard as the cracks will scatter light and dazzle your vision.
Here are some tips on how to go about getting a replacement for your windshield. Remember, it is a very important safety device in your vehicle, so replacing it should be a well informed decision. Always get a professional to do the replacement, and check to see that the following points are taken care of:
- The first step is to obtain a well-suited replacement windscreen glass for your vehicle. The best option is to go in for a new one, which is to OEM (original equipment manufacturer) standards. In case you are using a second hand windscreen glass (this is not really recommended), check it carefully for any minute defects like chips and cracks before paying for it. Ensure there is no damage in transit. The urethane beading will need to be removed or trimmed using a razor blade- again, ensure there are no scratches while doing so.
- If using a second hand glass for replacement, the top mouldings and plastic surround side should be removed correctly. If the clips are broken, then the moulding will need to be glued on in which case the neat finishing may be compromised.
- Detach all the components that are attached to or near the windshield. These may include the rear view mirror, wipers and so on.
- Heater and defroster vents must be covered with paper or plastic so that debris or dust does not enter and clog the vents.
- It's best to wear protective gloves while working on the glass, so that you don't get hurt.
- Using a cold knife, cut out the urethane from the outside between the glass and the pinchweld. This takes care and expertise and may take between fifteen minutes to an hour.
- Remove the broken or chipped glass very carefully; this is a job that cannot be hurried. Gently push the glass from the inside and remove it from the frame. This may be a job for two persons, as a windshield is quite heavy and the glass can break or shatter while removing it.
- Prepare the pinchweld. Clean away any visible dirt, first using a brush and then plain water. The old urethane needs to be trimmed down to about 3mm thick using a razor blade.
- Remove all dirt and dust very meticulously by wiping thoroughly.
- Prepare the new glass for fitting, with a primer that is specially matched to the urethane adhesive. This will prepare the glass to accept the molecules of the urethane. Once the glass is prepared, the molding is attached to the glass and the urethane is next.
- Apply the urethane with an electric caulking gun. Make sure it is free of dirt, oil, dust and anything else that can prevent proper adhesion.
- Slowly lower the glass till it sits perfectly on the frame. Align the top, bottom and sides by sight alone.
- Press the new windshield firmly onto the frame, making sure it fits snugly and there are no gaps or imperfections anywhere.
- Finally, wipe away any excess adhesive. Wait for the urethane to dry completely before using your car.
Your windshield is an integral part of the safety of your car; any replacements must always be done by professionals who have the required training and experience, and who use the correct components and adhesive so that your safety is never compromised!