Aftermarket windshields may cost less but are often inferior to dealer and OEM glass. If your replacement doesn’t fit correctly or is rattling while driving, it’s time to call in the experts.
Look for visual distortions like bubbles, peeled-off tape, and gaps near the frame. These are surefire signs that your dealer did a poor job.
A Cracked or Chipped Area
Windshields are designed to keep you safe on the road by allowing you to see clearly through the front and rear windows. However, they are not indestructible and can sustain damage from flying debris.
If a windshield has been chipped or cracked, you must have it repaired immediately before the crack spreads, making it impossible to see through. The most common reason windshield cracks or chips spread after a repair is that the area was improperly cleaned. Keeping the glass clean is crucial for the longevity of your windshield and ensuring that injected resin is properly bonded. When dirt or debris reaches the cracks, it can form a layer that prevents the resin from bonding.
Whether or not your windshield needs to be replaced depends on the damage’s size and where it is located. The best way to determine if your windshield requires replacement is by having a certified technician examine it. They will be able to give you an accurate assessment of the damage and its severity.
In general, a windshield can be repaired as long as the diameter of the crack does not exceed three inches. Additionally, the crack must be outside of the driver’s line of sight. Lastly, any damage that is in contact with the vehicle frame must be repaired as soon as possible.
If the crack in your windshield is too large or extends across the driver’s view, you will need to have a new windshield installed. It is important to have a certified technician examine the crack before it gets worse, as this can affect your safety and driving ability.
Windshields are made of laminated glass with a plastic interlayer and an outer glass sheet. This type of glass does not shatter and breaks into granular pieces when it is damaged. On the other hand, side and rear windows are typically tempered glass. Tempered glass shatters into small, sharp fragments when it is broken and is more difficult to repair than a laminated windshield. This is why it is essential to have a professional examine your windshield before the crack becomes too severe.
A Dried Adhesive
While the vast majority of rock chips and cracks in a windshield can be repaired, there are some instances where your car glass may require replacement instead. Whether this is due to damage from a collision or if the crack extends to the outer edge of your windshield, any damaged area that cannot be repaired needs to be replaced for safety reasons.
When installing a new windshield, a special gap or “pinch weld” is created between the old windshield and the body of the vehicle that holds the glass in place. Over time, dirt, dust, and even old urethane can build up in this area, causing it to become dry and lose its bonding with the windshield. This can cause the windshield to fall from the vehicle, which can be extremely dangerous for drivers and passengers.
A good technician will ensure that this area is clean and free of debris before applying the new windshield. They will also use a high-quality urethane that can hold the windshield in place without any issues. When a technician applies this urethane, it should be done evenly and quickly, as the adhesive must be able to set before the new windshield is put into place.
This means that the repair must be completed before rain and other elements get a chance to penetrate the crack. Otherwise, the windshield will likely begin to develop pits in the glass. These pits can significantly impair your visibility when driving on the road, especially in poor weather conditions or during sunrise and sunset. In addition, if the crack or chip extends to the outer edge of your windshield, law enforcement could ticket you for having unsafe equipment.
Getting a cracked or chipped windshield repaired is a relatively simple process, and most insurance companies will cover the cost of the repairs. Depending on the severity of the damage, it is important to ensure that the repairs are done properly and immediately so that your windshield can provide the intended level of protection in the event of an accident or collision.
A Rippled Appearance
Windshield glass isn’t just a protective barrier against the elements, it also plays an important role in assisting with the structural integrity of your car during a collision. This is why it’s crucial that your windshield is perfectly sized to fit your vehicle and that any chips or cracks are promptly repaired. If your windshield has a rippled appearance, it’s an indication that the glass was fabricated improperly, which could compromise your safety while driving.
Another common sign of poor-quality windshield replacement is the sudden appearance of a dull “whooshing” sound while driving at higher speeds, particularly on highways. This is caused by air escaping through gaps or crevices in the windshield, indicating a subpar installation job. To test the quality of your windshield, turn off your radio, A/C, and windows and listen closely at highway speeds to see if you can hear this sound.
When you hear this sound, it can indicate that the adhesives used in your windshield replacement didn’t properly adhere to the vehicle frame. This is a big problem, as water can leak into your vehicle and cause problems with the overall function of your windshield. To prevent this, make sure to take your car for a test drive in the rain or through a car wash within a few hours of your windshield being installed to see if you can spot any leaks.
In addition to this, if you notice that the molding or trim around your windshield has come loose or doesn’t sit snugly on the vehicle’s frame, it may be an indicator of poor workmanship. This is because a windshield isn’t just one solid piece of glass but two pieces with a laminated plastic layer between them. The windshield is designed to keep these two parts together during a collision, so if the frame or molding isn’t properly secured, it can lead to shifting and a weaker windshield that will be more likely to break during a crash. This is why using a trusted windshield repair service that uses original glass directly from your manufacturer is so important.
A Whooshing Sound
A whooshing sound is one of the most common signs that your windshield was not installed correctly. If you notice that a dull whooshing sound is present when driving at higher speeds, it’s likely that the windshield wasn’t properly bonded to the vehicle frame. This can lead to air getting into the cracks or crevices of your windshield and creating a whistling noise. If you notice this problem, it’s important to have the windshield repaired as soon as possible.
Another sign that your windshield was not properly installed is if it makes rattling sounds while driving. This can happen if the old adhesive wasn’t completely removed and the new adhesive wasn’t applied correctly. The resulting rattling can be extremely dangerous, especially when driving at high speeds. If you notice this issue, it’s important to contact your installer as soon as possible.
Lastly, if your windshield is loose or shifting around while driving, this can be very dangerous. The adhesive used to secure your windshield in place typically requires a few hours to cure, which means that driving the car before this happens can result in the glass shifting. Even driving over the smallest bumps can cause this issue. If you’re experiencing this problem, it’s important to visit your installer as soon as possible for a proper inspection and repair.
A final way to determine whether your windshield was replaced correctly is to check its appearance in broad daylight. A smooth, uniform appearance is a good sign that the replacement was completed correctly. If you notice any waves or bumps on the surface of your windshield, this could indicate that an oil-based fluid was poured into the break to fill it and cover up the damage. This was never a permanent solution, and it’s important to have this issue fixed as quickly as possible.