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 to 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 crucial that the new windshield is installed with a strong joint and seal. Look for anything that could compromise the correct installation, such as dents or scratches in the area, or corrosion damage. If there is damage that can result in improper installation, you may want to consult with a professional windshield glass installer.
- Protect the vehicle from any damage that may result during the replacement process. When removing and replacing a windshield, damage to painted vehicle surfaces could occur from abrasion or chemicals. This can be avoided by placing a waterproof cloth or vinyl over the painted surfaces near the windshield. Tape the defroster vents, which are located on the outside of the vehicle directly below the windshield area. This will prevent anything from falling on the grids.
- Remove the windshield wipers and metal trim that surrounds the windshield. The wipers can be removed with a specialized tool called a wiper blade extractor, while the metal rim can be removed with a specialized tool removing the wipers. Insert the trim removal tool into an adjustment section and pull towards the center of the windshield until it comes loose. Repeat this procedure for each adjustment piece.
- Use the knife to cut through the windshield 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, to the glass to help you in removing it from the vehicle.
- Prepare the mounting surfaces on the vehicle and the new windshield for the connection. Clean the mounting surface on the vehicle with the windshield scraper, and then apply a bonding agent to the surface. Wear the edge of the new windshield glass with the windshield knife to promote adhesion, and then apply the bonding agent to the mounting surface of the cup.
- Use a caulking gun to apply a continuous bead of adhesive all the way around the opening mounting surface on the vehicle.
- Place the new windshield glass in the opening, with the help of the suction cup, and press it against the tail. Check the recommended drying time for the brand of adhesive used.
- Reinstall the windshield wipers and equipment, and clean the work area. Also, use this time to make a final inspection of your work.
- Specialized windshield removal and replacement tools can be purchased at your local auto parts store or online.
- Wear protective glasses, 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 leakage or wind noise.