Automotive glass is a critical component of any vehicle. They protect the driver and passengers from wind, dust and insects, as well as from possible accidents. However, the glass does not always remain in perfect condition throughout the life of the car. Sometimes it needs to be replaced. In this article, we will tell you how to replace auto glass, where it can be done and how much it will cost.
Repair or replacement
The first question to ask yourself when your car windshield is damaged is whether it needs to be repaired or replaced? If the damage is small – a chip or crack, then it can be repaired. If the damage is large – a dent, a break, a crack of more than 10 cm – then most likely a replacement will be required. The need for glass replacement may also depend on its location. For example, if the damage is in the driver’s field of vision, replacement will be mandatory.
When to Replace Your Windshield
The windshield is the most critical element of a car’s glazing system. It protects the driver and passengers from external influences and, most importantly, is an integral part of the car’s design. Therefore, damage to the windshield requires a more serious approach. If a chip or crack is in the driver’s field of vision, then the windshield must be replaced. Even if the damage is out of the driver’s field of vision, replacement may be necessary if the damage is in the area of influence of the glass plane, which affects the stability and strength of the vehicle’s structure.
Why does the windshield not shatter into small pieces when damaged? The answer is simple: a windshield is usually made of two layers of glass separated by a layer of transparent film. This is called laminated glass. If the glass breaks, the film holds it in place, preventing it from shattering into small pieces. In this case, the damaged glass must be replaced.
Auto glass replacement process
If you decide to replace the glass, the first step is to select high-quality and appropriate glass. You can then turn to a professional auto glass service or try replacing the glass yourself. If you chose the first option, then you do not need to worry about which procedure will be applied when replacing the glass. Experienced craftsmen already know how to do their job.
If you decide to replace the glass yourself, then you have a few important steps ahead of you. First, you must select the necessary tools and materials to help you complete the glass replacement. In most cases, glass replacement requires glass cutters, fasteners, and special materials to hold the glass in place.
Which is Faster: Windshield Replacement or Repair?
Repairing broken glass can only take a few minutes. However, not all damage can be repaired. Glass replacement takes longer, but in some cases it can be a more cost-effective solution. For example, if the damage is too great, then the glass will have to be replaced. If the damage is small, then you can try to repair the glass to avoid replacement.
Tools & Materials
To replace auto glass, you need to use special tools and materials that will help you complete the replacement procedure. Among them may be:
- Glass cutters and scissors for cutting glass, adhesive tape, masking tape and other materials to protect the car from scratches and damage
- Glass cleaners and disinfectants
- Seals and adhesive to hold the new glass in place
In addition, auto glass replacement may require special equipment, such as removing old adhesive or shaping new glass.
Windshield replacement procedure
The procedure for replacing a windshield can be complex and requires some skill. If you are not confident in your abilities, then it is better to turn to professional craftsmen.
If you decide to replace it yourself, then follow these steps:
- Remove the old glass: Before you start replacing, you must remove the old glass. To do this, remove all fasteners, then use special tools to remove the old adhesive that holds the glass in place.
- Clean the surface: After the old glass is removed, it is necessary to clean the surface where the new glass will be installed. To do this, use special means for cleaning and disinfection.
- Install the new glass: Install the new glass in place using the fasteners and seals. Then apply adhesive to hold the glass in place.
- Wait for the glue to dry: After the glass is installed, you must wait for the glue to dry completely. This may take from several hours to several days, depending on the type of adhesive.
When Should You Replace Your Windshield?
The windshield must be replaced in the following cases:
- If the glass has large cracks or chips that could endanger the safety of the driver and passengers.
- If the damage is located in the zone of influence of the glass plane, which affects the stability of the cabin in the event of an accident.
- If the damage obstructs the driver’s view and may affect safety on the road.
- If the glass has significant abrasions that make it difficult for the driver to see and may affect safety on the road.
In any case, if you notice any damage to the windshield, you should contact professional craftsmen to assess the condition of the glass and determine if it needs to be replaced.
In conclusion, windshield replacement is an important procedure that can affect road safety. If you are unsure of your abilities, it is better to turn to professionals to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. However, if you have the experience and the right equipment, you can do your own windshield replacement. Be sure to use all the necessary tools and materials, and follow the replacement procedure to ensure the safety and quality of the result.