What Are The Best Tips And Tricks For Windshield Repair And Windshield Replacement?
No one likes to think about a chipped or damaged windshield. This is partly due to a misconception that any damage requires a full windshield replacement and that insurance companies will refuse to cover the cost of the job. In actuality, windshield repair is often the solution to problems and not only is it reasonably priced, it is often covered in the comprehensive portion of auto insurance.
The biggest thing to remember when you’re dealing with a damaged windshield is to get your insurance company involved as soon as possible. Informing them right away that you have some damage, as well as how the damage happened, will help get the ball rolling as far as an estimate and repair work. Many insurance companies require that you use a certain company for the replacement or that you gather estimates from a few local businesses. Understanding their requirements will smooth the way to a relatively easy process.
Chips and small cracks, up to the size of a dollar bill, are prime candidates for windshield repair. Repair jobs can be done quickly and most companies now offer mobile repair units which can come to address the problem without upsetting your schedule. The repair is done by injecting a special epoxy into the crack or chip. This epoxy is formulated to be both strong and clear so that once it dries and if buffed it is nearly impossible to see where the damage had once been. The structural integrity of your windshield is never compromised by a repair done professionally with quality products.
Windshield replacement jobs are much more complicated and this is why so many insurance and windshield companies encourage drivers to get problems repaired quickly. The entire process for a windshield replacement can actually take up to a week since the windshield usually needs to be ordered in before work can even begin. Once the new windshield has been delivered, the old windshield must be removed and all of the seals need to be clean and checked and, in some cases, entirely replaced. Once the new windshield is in place the adhesive used to mount it needs plenty of time to dry. Thus curing process can take several hours or even as long as a full day. Once the adhesive has dried the entire windshield needs to be inspected for safety and authorized by a safety professional before the customer can drive away.
Should You be Fixing Windshield Cracks?
Automotive window replacement can be done by the novice if he or she takes their time and has some instruction. It doesn't require any special knowledge or expensive tools to replace car glass, but it does take patience! Here we will talk about replacing a fixed car glass that is bonded to the car body instead of being set into a removable frame.
If you are going to replace car glass that is not set in a frame, then you will basically have to "cut" the old glass out of the car. This procedure requires a few inexpensive tools that are often not in a common tool collection. You need a piece of piano wire to use as a saw, and a couple of inexpensive suction cup handles to lift out the old glass (if it is still in one piece) and to place the new glass into position without touching the edges of the glass.
The first step is to remove any molding that goes around the window. Molding can be attached in several different ways. It may be attached with some sort of clips, glued on, or may be just pushed onto a lip on the car body. This is one place where factory service information comes in handy! Some glass is flush-mounted with the exterior surface of the body and does not have any molding to remove. You also may need to remove one or more trim panels inside the car. Before starting to cut out the broken car window, apply tape to the car body all the way around the window to protect the paint. Next, use an awl to create a hole through the adhesive between the glass and the body. Then push a piece of piano wire through the hole, grab a helper to work the other end of the wire, and use a sawing motion to cut the adhesive all the way around the window. Once you have completely sawn all the way around the broken car window, use the suction cup handles to pull the glass out of the car body.
After the new adhesive has been applied and any recommended curing times have been observed, use the suction cup handles to install the new glass into position. Evenly press the glass into the adhesive until it is fully seated all the way around. Do not disturb the vehicle for several hours according to the adhesive instructions, and then be careful not to slam the doors and or drive on any excessively rough roads for several days until the adhesive has had time to fully bond with both surfaces.
That covers the general procedure for auto glass installation. Automotive window replacement can certainly be done by a driver that doesn't have any experience or training in this area, but some jobs are definitely easier than others! If this procedure doesn't sound like something you want to tackle yourself, there certainly isn't any shame in taking your car to an auto glass shop for a replacement, and most shops will even come to your home or workplace to do it for you.