Windshields are crucial to your safety in vehicles and there are vital things you should know about auto glass installation, windshield replacement and windshield repair.
In case of an accident involving a roll-over or a frontal impact collision, the windshield is your first line of defense. If not properly installed or repaired, though, it could cost you your life.
In a roll-over, the windshield is a structural component that reinforces the vehicle roof and prevents it from collapsing on the occupants. In a frontal collision, the windshield acts as a foundation for airbags. If the windshield is not properly installed, the airbags could force it off the vehicle. This then counters the protection provided by the airbags.
Auto Glass Installation at the Factory
Factory-installed car glass is the best there is. That is because the conditions of auto glass installation at the factory are perfect. Robots are used in computerized installation processes, ensuring that everything is done exactly as specified without human error and human contamination. The molding and windshield are fitted accurately. The frame is scrupulously clean in preparation for the special adhesive that binds the windshield to it. Enough time is provided for the adhesive to set and cure. By the time the car rolls out of the manufacturing process, the windshield is perfectly in place and ready to function at the optimum.
Aftermarket Windshield Replacement
When something happens to a vehicle’s original windshield and windshield replacement is called for, conditions outside are not nearly as perfect as at the factory. Still, there are steps that could be taken to ensure that the windshield is restored as close as possible to its original condition. One of these is to ask for either dealer glass or, at least, original equipment manufactured distributor car glass such as Pilkington.
You should also pay close attention to the auto glass installation process of your windshield replacement. There is a correct removal procedure for the old windshield. The old molding and lower windshield cowl panel are removed and the old glass is cut out. The old urethane adhesive is also removed, leaving 1/16″ of the original urethane bed. The channel area is then primed to discourage rust formation that will weaken the bonding of the windshield to the vehicle. After the new windshield is installed, one to 24 hours should be allotted for the adhesive to cure, depending on the specific adhesive used.
Mobile windshield replacement is popular these days because of its convenience. Servicemen can come to your residence or workplace to replace your vehicle’s windshield while you wait or work. There is danger, however, of not providing enough curing time for the windshield adhesive. Using the vehicle before the proper time period has lapsed poses risks to its occupants since the windshield is not as secure as it should be.
Before people go for windshield replacement, though, they first check whether windshield repair would be possible. In cases of minor chips, breaks or small cracks, windshield repair would indeed be more cost effective.
There are cases, however, when only full windshield replacement is acceptable. Such cases include damage that affects the inner layers of the car glass, damage that is in the driver’s line of sight, damage that has impurities that cannot be removed, breaks with holes larger than three eights of an inch, cracks of more than three inches long, cracks with three long legs or more, cracks that have multiple intersecting edges, cracks that touch more than one edge of the windshield, and stress cracks.
Whether for windshield repair or windshield replacement, safety should always come first. Make sure you go to reputable car glass service centers.