If your windshield has a crack in it, you should get it inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible. Windshield damage can easily worsen with time, and you definitely want to make sure you replace your windshields if they are no longer able to protect you and your passengers in the event of an accident. An improperly installed windshield will not adequately protect you or your passengers either, so you need to do your due diligence in making sure that your windshield has been properly replaced. Here are 3 tips that will help you get started.
Make Sure The Windshield Has Had Sufficient Time to Cure
After the mechanic has replaced your windshield, you can't drive your vehicle off the lot immediately, as this will interfere with how well the adhesives cure. While many mechanics advertise their services as being quick and speedy, they are referring to how quickly they can replace your windshield with a new one. This does not include the time that it will take for the adhesives to properly cure and secure the windshield in place.
Different types of adhesives will require different amounts of curing time. Generally speaking, you can expect to wait anywhere from 3 to 24 hours for the adhesive to cure. As a result, you should really consider calling a cab to pick you up from the auto shop and picking up your vehicle the next day. If you do not allow for the adhesive to cure properly, the windshield will not be secure. Because of this, the windshield may easily pop out or have leaks in its seams. Make sure you ask the mechanic how long it will take for the adhesive to cure and to follow all recommendations that they make.
Pay Extra for OEM Windshields
While you might be tempted to go with aftermarket windshields because they are significantly cheaper than Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, think again. OEM windshields will likely last longer and offer more protection than aftermarket parts. The reason is that OEM windshields are very similar in property and in quality to the original, factory installed windshields that came with your car. These windshields are measured to very specific regulations and are also certified by the Department of Transportation.
On the other hand, aftermarket windshields may indeed be significantly cheaper; however, they may also be lower in quality. This is because these windshields are not under contract for the auto manufacturer and do not need to follow specific manufacturer guidelines. In fact, to prevent violating copyright laws, aftermarket windshields actually cannot be identical to the factory-installed versions. For example, the thickness of the glass or the color of the glass tint may vary. Because of this, they may not be a perfect fit for your vehicle. This makes aftermarket parts more vulnerable to leaks and other problems. Don't take the chance with aftermarket windshields. The small price difference may have a huge impact on overall quality.
Look for Auto Shops that Use Urethane Adhesives
The techniques and materials used to replace the windshields will also have an effect on whether it is properly installed. In particular, you want to pay attention to the type of adhesive that the auto shops use to secure the replacement windshield in place. There are two types of adhesives that are most commonly recommended by auto shops: butyl and urethane.
For windshields, you should definitely choose auto shops that use urethane adhesives, as urethane adhesives have a much higher bonding strength. Urethane adhesives are highly recommended by most professionals.
Your windshield can save your life and your passengers' lives. As a result, it is definitely not something that you should cheap out on. If your windshield needs to be replaced, make sure that you do your research on which auto shop offering auto glass replacement in the area has the skills, the materials and the time to get the job done properly.