The wind screen of your vehicle does not only shield you from dirt, dust, and debris when driving. It also keeps you from being thrown out of the vehicle in case of collision. It holds the roof firm and steady when the vehicle rolls over and helps with the successful deployment of airbags. If the screen is already dull, scratched, or cracked, there's no reason for you to hold on to it. This must be replaced right away. If you want to change the windshield on your own, here are the steps in installing a new one:
Preparing for wind screen removal
Step 1: Before you can remove the windshield, you first have to take off the rear view mirror inside the vehicle. You have to undo the screws on the base of the mirror and then pull out the retaining block and the mirror. The next thing you have to remove are the windshield wipers. Raise the wipers into cleaning position. Place a large flat screwdriver in-between the arm and large nut as you gently move the arm with your hand until you can pry this out. After removing the wipers, you have to wrap the interior vents with masking tape.
Removing the wind screen
Step 2: First, see if the gasket is still in good condition. If it turns out that the rubber is already cracked and hard, then you can just cut this off and replace it with a new mechanical seal. Use a knife for cutting around until the rubber is removed. Pushing the knife into the middle part of the rubber does the trick. Once the gasket is cut away, the glass can be removed from the inside quite easily.
Step 3: If the gasket is still okay, then you won't have to remove or cut this off. To remove the windshield, the glass sealant must be broken. You have to use a stick that will run along the point where the frame and gasket meet. You can now push out the glass underneath the inside lip on top.
Step 4: When removing the windshield, you'll need an extra hand. Someone else should be on top of the vehicle to hold or support the glass while this is being pushed out.
Installing a new windshield
Step 5: Before you reinstall the frame, clean this out first by removing rust and dusting off the dashboard. Also take off the sealant from the new gasket. The gasket should be left under the heat of the sun until it's warm and flexible.
Step 6: Once the new gasket is ready, this can finally be fixed into place on the windshield. Apply a small amount of sealant along the bottom half of the gasket. The heavy side should be placed inside, while the side that has a slit should be positioned outside.
Step 7: Use petroleum jelly on the outer rubber groove. Put some more at the top and bottom center. After this, you have to route the heavy nylon cord around the outer groove, starting at the bottom center. There should be a couple of 2-ft. ends that are out in the center. You then have to fit the windshield from the car's outside while making sure that the loose cords are inside. With everything set in place, you can now pull out the cord across the frame until the rubber lip is in place. Do this slowly to avoid damage on the new windshield. To make sure that the lip won't slip off, another person should be pushing the rubber against the car carefully.
Step 8: After installing the wind screen, remove petroleum jelly residue on the frame. You can now put back the wipers and mirror.