The Windshield Replacement Process
Apr 12, 2012
A windshield does much more than block wind and bugs from entering the vehicle; in fact, it is a primary support for the roof of the car, designed to prevent it from caving in on itself should a roll-over accident occurs. Experts in the industry have estimated that a properly installed, new windshield provides up to 70 percent of the support and integrity when it comes to a roll-over accident.
A vehicle windshield, as previously stated, is designed to keep out bugs, wind, rain and other such debris. However, when a windshield gets cracks, chips or pits, it not only makes it dangerous by impairing the view of the road ahead by reflecting sunlight, but it is dangerous in other ways. Just a tiny chip can turn into a complete crossover crack in a matter of hours.
There exist a number of reasons why a windshield becomes chipped or cracked over time. One major reason is due to an old blemish that was never repaired. Additionally, this can be due to the pressure of hot and cold weather, causing the otherwise minor chip to turn into a huge crack seemingly out of nowhere. Other reasons like vandalism or harsh hail weather could be to blame as well.
It is very dangerous to drive a vehicle that has either cracked or poorly installed windshields. After all, the windshield -- aside from the seat belt -- is the only thing in a car that prevents the driver from being ejected onto the road in the event of an accident. The windshield is a very important barrier that prevents the driver from being ejected in the event of a roll over, as well.
Even more important to keep in mind is the fact that a passenger who is ejected from a vehicle is much more likely to incur severe injury. A windshield that is cracked exposes the laminate that is designed to hold together the different layers of the glass that make up the auto glass, which results in something dangerous called delamination. Delamination reduces the stability of the structure, making windshield repair and windshield replacement.
It is important to regularly inspect the windshield for damage, and having windshield repair conducted as soon as possible can prevent the need for total windshield replacement when it does not need to be done. However, once the damage to a windshield has reached a certain level, it is required to have it replaced when it is badly pitted or is otherwise not able to be repaired any longer.
The process of windshield replacement is generally the same no matter what company does the job. In most cases, protective drapes are hung throughout the interior of the vehicle to prevent glass dust from entering the ducts and the rest of the interior. After this, the cowl, the molding and the wipers are carefully removed from the vehicle. Depending on whether or not the new windshield comes with a rear view mirror, the old one may be removed and attached to the new windshield.
The old windshield is completely removed, and the adhesive may also be removed depending on the state of the vehicle. New adhesive may then be applied to the glass by way of a single use primer pad, which will guarantee that the seal is reliable and solid. The vehicle frame will receive a coating of a urethane adhesive before the new windshield is carefully placed into its new position, and the wipers, molding and cowl are replaced.
In most cases, the vehicle should be safe to drive again in just a short hour.