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Need a New Car Windshield? Here's What You Need to Know

by Jacob Scott

If your windshield gets a long crack or big chip, the damage may be too severe to repair. In that case, you'll have to have the glass replaced instead. While windshield replacement may sound like a complicated process, it isn't too difficult for a professional with the right tools. Here's what you can expect.

Mobile Service

Mobile windshield replacement is extremely convenient because it may not be safe for you to drive your car if the glass is damaged. A professional comes to you and brings all the tools and replacement glass needed to completely finish the job right where your car sits. It takes about an hour or so to replace a windshield, but you have to wait for the glue to cure before you can drive your car. Different brands dry at various rates, plus humidity and temperature have an effect too, so be sure to ask how long it will take before you can drive, especially if you are stranded away from home. Quick-drying glues are used for mobile installations, so you will get back on the road as soon as possible.

Old Glass Removal

The first step is to remove the old, cracked glass. To do this, the technician has to cut away the glue that holds it in place. He or she also has to remove anything that attaches to the glass too, such as the rearview mirror and wiper blades. Be sure to ask about inspection and parking stickers on the glass. The technician may be able to peel them off with a razor blade and transfer them to your new windshield. When the glass is removed, the remaining ring of glue is pulled up. Areas of metal that were scraped during the process may be primed to prevent rust from developing in the future.

New Glass Installation

Before the new glass is installed, a ring of thick glue is applied around the frame. Care has to be taken not to leave gaps in the glue or the new windshield may leak. Once the glue is ready, the new windshield is pressed into the frame. Your wipers and mirror are replaced, and your car will be ready for the road when the glue dries. When you choose a quality glass replacement company, the process is a smooth one. If you try to replace the glass yourself, you might end up with problems such as ugly scratches in the paint when removing the glass, rust development in the scratches, and leaks due to poor application of the glue.

Paying for the Work

Your automobile insurance should cover the cost of a windshield replacement. You may not have to pay any money at all if the technician handles all the insurance paperwork. If you want to bypass your insurance company and pay out of pocket, you can expect to pay around $100–$400. The price depends on the type of car you have and the type of glass you choose to install.

While it's possible to buy auto glass and install it yourself, it's probably not a good idea unless you have experience working with cars. Windshields are heavy and difficult to position properly. You don't want to damage your paint, but more importantly, you want the job done right so you're safe while driving your car. Hire a professional like City Wide Auto Glass to do the job.