So it finally happened — you have to replace your windshield! As much as you’re not a big fan of doing this, it’s very necessary. And what’s more, you need to be sure things go smoothly because you do not want to have your windshield replaced by just anyone. Sometimes your insurance company will direct you to use a specific auto glass company but buyer beware — they may not be the best option. It’s much better to ask for a few different sources to contact so you can make the decision.
Be sure and choose wisely. An improperly installed windshield is a safety hazard so it’s important to know what to watch for during and after a replacement has been performed on your vehicle. There are things to definitely look for when an installer is on site and after the installation but what are they?
The area on the car where the adhesive is placed is called the ‘pinch weld’ and that can have improperly prepped adhesive or rust. The old or original bead will need to be cut through and trimmed and the surface properly prepared in order for the bond between the new windshield and the vehicle to be safe. The other thing to note is whether there is rust evident prior to the application of the replacement adhesive. The entire area surrounding the adhesive application area must be completely cleared of foreign matter and rust. If rust is still present, you can rest assured the seal will fail sometime in the future. Rusted areas should be cleared of rust and primed prior to application of the adhesive. Proper prep and priming of the area may add time to the replacement so be sure the tech cleans and then allows the primer to cure appropriately.
The installer did not wear gloves. It’s important that gloves are worn at all time the new glass is being handled. Any oils from the technician’s hands can be transferred to the glass which may cause the new adhesive bond to fail. If following industry standard procedures, the tech will use new latex or nitrile gloves whenever (and each time) the tech handles the new windshield.
The newly installed windshield is not centred to the opening. There are a number of issues associated with this — the installation may actually last but if you have to have a subsequent windshield replacement, it may cause a more difficult removal where the windshield shatters. This happens when the windshield is installed too close to the pinch weld and there is not sufficient space to cut through the adhesive. And obviously, the poorly centred windshield may fail due to not being properly seated.
Your replacement windshield should look like the factory installed windshield. Any irregularities that you can see are probably workmanship or glass quality related and should be noted immediately, the glass company informed (take pictures) and an appropriate agreement hammered out. You should inform your insurance company as soon as any problem is identified.