How to replace a broken windshield
Cracks in the windshield can not only cause the driver to have no clear vision, but can also lead to other complications such as corrosion than the underlying steel and a compromise of windshield integrity. Replacing a broken windshield is something that can be achieved without the help of a professional. All you need are the right tools and a step-by-step plan.
- Examine the broken windshield and the area of the vehicle that surrounds it. When replacing a broken windshield, it is critical to install the new windshield with a strong bond and seal. Look for anything that may compromise the correct installation, such as dents or scratches in the area, or corrosion damage. If there is damage that may result in improper installation, you may want to consult with a professional windshield glass installer.
- Protect the vehicle from the damages it may cause during the replacement process. When removing and replacing a windshield, it could damage the painted surfaces of the vehicle’s abrasion or chemicals. You can avoid this by placing a waterproof cloth or vinyl over the painted surfaces near the windshield. The tape of the defroster vents, which are located on the outside of the vehicle directly below the windshield area. This will prevent anything from falling into the vents.
- Remove the windshield wipers and metal trim that surround the windshield. The wipers can be removed with a specialized tool called a windshield wiper extractor, while the metal trim can be removed with a specialized tool for tar ceria. Insert the tarring tool under a cutting section and pull towards the center of the windshield until it is released. Repeat for each piece of molding.
- Use the windshield knife to slice through the adhesive material that holds the broken windshield in place. The windshield chisel can be used, if necessary, to loosen the glass.
- Apply a windshield extractor, which is a tool equipped with a large suction cup on the glass to assist in the removal of the vehicle.
- Prepare the mounting surfaces on the vehicle and the new windscreen for bonding. Clean the mounting surface on the vehicle with the windshield scraper and then apply an adhesive agent to the surface. Sand the edge of the new windshield with the windshield knife to promote adhesion and then apply the bonding agent to the mounting surface of the glass.
- Use a caulking gun to apply a continuous bead of adhesive all the way around the mounting surface on the opening vehicle.
- Place the new windshield glass in the opening, using the suction cup and press it against the adhesive layer. Check the recommended drying time for the brand of glue you use.
- Reinstall the windshield wiper trim and windshield and clean the work area. Also, use this time to make a final inspection of your work.
Tips and warnings
- Specialized windshield removal and replacement tools can be purchased at your local store or online.
- Wear protective goggles, gloves and clothing to ensure your safety while removing and replacing a broken windshield. Make sure you have a continuous bead of adhesive on the mounting surface in step 7. A space can cause the windshield not to adhere properly, which can lead to wind noise or leakage.