Windscreen Replacement – a Guide
Did you ever try this?
You are driving along the road 80km/h when suddenly some object flies up onto the Windscreen and you hear a loud cracking sound. What was that, and how should you react? You immediately associate the loud noise with great expense, but there are several opportunities for you to turn things to your favor. Read more in this guide and become better equipped to handle a damaged Windscreen.
Replacing Your Windscreen – In the Shop
If you need the Windscreen on your car replaced, you are guaranteed high safety if bringing the car into the shop. You can rest assured that everything will be done properly. Furthermore, the professionals at the shop have access to all the tools required for the optimal replacement process. Although the cost goes up when you bring the car into the shop, you end up getting your money’s worth if you are not on top of how to replace car glass yourself. Furthermore, you must be prepared for the possibility that the cost can go up, because the repair technicians are concerned with safety first.
Windscreen replacement and prices
The price of replacing your Windscreen depends on the size of the car. The smaller the car, the cheaper the replacement. If we are talking about smaller car models, such as a VW Up, you can get the Windscreen replaced for about £250, all included. If, on the other hand, you have a larger car, such as a Ford Focus, the price can easily start at £400, all included.
As a rule, the replacement of your Windscreen is covered by your comprehensive insurance. Depending on the kind of insurance you have, the deductible may vary. You may also want to shop around for the repair shop. All you need to do is call the various shops. A survey regarding car glass replacement indicated a price difference of more than £250! Furthermore, it has been shown that you can save as much as £400, just by checking out the market. Read more and see more prices here.
Mobile Car glass replacement in the parking lot
As far as having your Windscreen replaced professionally, it may be an easier solution contact the repair technician and get him to come to you. In most cases, this is a viable option. The repair technician has three requirements, however, which must be fulfilled before he can do the car glass replacement. First, the temperature must be above five degrees, and it can’t be raining. The temperature is the most important, however, since excessive cold can affect the curing of the adhesive. If the adhesive doesn’t cure properly, it can affect the result. The last requirement is that the technician must have access to your car keys, as the Windscreen must be warmed up from inside the car.
Although home service would be preferable at first blush, there are still issues to consider. If you select the shop over home service, your wait time will be shorter. This is in part because of the warmth in the shop, which contributes to faster curing of the adhesive, and the technician will have easier access to any necessary materials.
Replacing Your Windscreen – Do It Yourself
You can also opt for doing your own Windscreen replacement. If you choose to do this, there is no question that you can save a few thousand kroner. On the other hand, you should be aware that you will be putting in more time than you would be going to a shop. You might want to get a friend to help you since a Windscreen can be hard to handle single-handedly. Before starting the car glass replacement, there is one consideration that you must keep in mind.
As with everything else, cars are under constant technological development. For example, many newer cars are equipped with a control system that aims to keep track of traffic for the driver. This sounds incredibly smart and useful, but when it comes to repairs, it means that replacing the Windscreen suddenly becomes much more complicated.
First, it means increased complexity if you would like to do it yourself, but it also means that your requirements for any shop you choose will be greater. It is important that the shop has the expertise to be able to both compress and reset the systems correctly. After making sure that your shop has the needed expertise, you should always contact them if you experience the slightest doubt or encounter a problem. Remember, you will only exacerbate the damage if it is not handled correctly.
Material Selection for Windscreen Replacement
Before you can do a proper car glass replacement yourself, it requires certain materials. First, you need to buy a new Windscreen. You should be aware, however, that auto glass differs significantly. Even if the glass is E-marked, the quality can still be incredibly poor. It is almost inevitable that defects happen during glass production. Therefore, you should examine the glass thoroughly.
When selecting auto glass, you will find that a lot of glass is curved. Generally speaking, this is not appealing, but as long as the glass is not curved in the field of view and the curvature does not exceed the degree allowable for that type of window, it can still be used. Next, you must buy a Windscreen replacement kit that contains everything you need to change the Windscreen. The cost of this is around £30.
If it doesn’t come with suction cups, you may want to buy these as well. This can make the job quite a bit easier, since handling a Windscreen can be difficult otherwise – especially if you are doing this single-handedly. Usually, an installation kit comes with a very specific manual complete with pictures.
Step by step
In the following, you can read a concrete guide with 13 steps for doing a Wind-screen replacement yourself.
1. Remove all cover strips.
2. Cover all openings with protective tape.
3. Cut free the Windscreen with a cutting wire – or a knife if you feel safer with that.
4. Remove the damaged Windscreen using the suction cups.
5. Check that the new Windscreen fits by testing it in the opening.
6. Clean the new Windscreen.
7. Apply the glue surface to the new Windscreen.
8. Cut the excess glue edge down to 1-2 mm.
9. Clean the groove and the remaining glue edge.
10. Cover minor damage to the paint. If you experience major paint damage, you should contact a shop.
11. Apply the adhesive to the Wind-screen with a triangular nozzle.
12. Place the Wind-screen using the suction cups.
13. Reinstall the cover strips.
Now, you have replaced your car glass yourself – hopefully without major complications. At step two, however, you may come across rust in the Windscreen frame. It is not uncommon, but it obviously must be dealt with. You can do that by sanding off the rust. If that doesn’t work, there are cases where you may need to apply an entirely new piece of metal. In that case, you should contact a professional to ensure that the metal pieces are placed correctly and will not interfere with inserting the new Windscreen.
Since the glass can be very fragile, you might want to see a visual presentation to get a feel for how it must be handled, before starting your Wind-screen replacement.
Worth Knowing before Replacing your Windscreen
If you experience a crack or other damaged area in the Windscreen, do not take this lightly. To understand the importance of an undamaged Windscreen, you should know that the car glass represents more than one-fourth of the car’s safety. First, a crack can disturb your field of vision, which may reduce your reaction time. Also, a damaged Windscreen can affect the unfolding of the car’s airbag, should it happen. The airbag relies on the strength of the Windscreen when activated.
Finally, the Windscreen is a supporting element for the overall construction of the vehicle – in fact, more than 25% of the structural strength of the car is maintained through the Windscreen. If the roof element of the car consists of glass, it represents more than half of the car’s structural strength. Because of these safety measures, it is important to act on even the slightest damage.
Considering the above, it follows that reacting as quickly as possible to any car glass damage is incredibly important. In many cases, when replacing your Windscreen becomes necessary, the reason is minor damage, such as a rock chip that wasn’t fixed in time. If in doubt about how to minimize damage, you should contact a repair technician immediately.
Is a Windscreen replacement avoidable?
Generally, a Wind-screen replacement is most likely avoided if the damaged is fixed as soon as it happens. If, for instance, your car gets a rock chip, you need to cover it with a Windscreen bandage. If you don’t have one, you can easily use a piece of waterproof tape or sticker. This will prevent water and dirt from entering the damaged area – thus minimizing the risk of the rock chip turning into an actual crack.
Now, during the winter months, you need to be particularly careful with any Windscreen damage. First, the risk of getting a rock chip or a crack in the Wind-screen is quite a bit higher than in summer. In addition, dirt and debris get stuck in the damaged area more easily, thus making it more likely that it will develop into a full crack. This will result in a larger repair, which can be costlier. You can never safeguard against rock chips and cracks in the Windscreen, however, and therefore the only way to protect the windows on your car is to react when the damage occurs.
When must the Wind-screen be replaced?
As a rule, a professional will always recommend that the Windscreen should be changed if there is the slightest doubt. A repair technician considers safety above all else. If there is damage in the center of your field of vision, replace the car window. Furthermore, if you have a rock chip larger than three mm in diameter in your primary field of view, the car glass must be replaced as well. If there is a crack in your Windscreen that disturbs your field of view, you will need to replace the Windscreen immediately.
I there is a crack in your Windscreen that disrupts your field of view, it will be necessary to replace your car glass immediately. However, if the crack does not interfere with your field of view, you can drive with it. You will still want to repair the Windscreen, however, so the crack does not get larger and create more problems.
You may also want to replace the Windscreen if it is just worn. The Windscreen can soon become worn and scratched up when the car drives many miles on the road. There is a little trick with which you can extend the life of your car window somewhat. You should simply change your wipers relatively frequently. Also, you should soften up dirt using the sprinkler fluid before cleaning the Windscreen this way. If you don’t soften the dirt, it will act as sandpaper.