You probably think of the car windshield as the clear, wide glass through which you can take a clear look at the road ahead. It keeps away dust, bugs, and dirt and keeps rain from pouring through the dashboard. But that's not all there is to it. It also keeps the roof from getting crushed so easily in case the car overturns. It keeps you from lunging forward and getting thrown out of the vehicle during a collision. In fact, it aids in the deployment of the airbag. So if ever it cracks or becomes too blurry, you should be on the market for not just any OEM window glass but a worthy replacement that can give you the protection and visibility you need.
Getting a new windshield
When shopping for the right wind screen, it helps if you pay attention to a few important details.
Your foremost concern should be the fit. The glass should fit snugly into the available space on your vehicle. It should have the right measurements, same as the factory-installed windshield.
With the right size, mechanisms, and features, you shouldn't have too much trouble installing the new windshield. It should be able to fit easily without modification. The frame should also be easy to assemble and attach with the right hardware.
The new windshield should be heavy-duty. It should be able to effectively shield against wind and rain while providing a clear, unobstructed view of the road. A lightweight replacement, a polycarbonate type for instance, can also be a good choice.
Installing a new wind screen
Here are some detailed steps to help you put in a new windshield:
Taking out the rear view mirror and wipers
You first have to get the rear mirror and wipers out of the way. Unscrew the mirror and remove the retainer that holds it in place until you can easily slide this out. Once the mirror had been removed, you can then work on the wipers. Use a flat screwdriver to pull them out. Place the screwdriver in between the arm and large nut. Your other hand should be gently rocking the arm.
Taping off the heater vents
You have to seal the heater with a masking tape so that shards of glass or any piece won't infiltrate the vents.
Removing the glass
First off, you have to check if the gasket is still intact. If not, then this should be replaced. By cutting it away, removing the glass will be a tad easier. You can push a knife right into the middle of the rubber and cut all the way till the rubber is off. Be careful when pushing out the glass from the inside.
If the gasket is still good, you need to use some pressure or force when removing the window. Breaking the glass sealant would help. You can use a wooden stick for this, running it along where the gasket and frame meets. Then, you can start pushing out the glass carefully. Someone should be able to assist you as the glass comes out on the other side.
Keeping the frame and dashboard clean
Wipe away dust and dirt on the frame and dashboard. After this, you can finally remove the sealant on the new gasket. Make sure that the gasket is dry before it's fitted to the new wind screen.
Putting the new gasket
Put the gasket onto the wind screen. You will then have to apply some sealant on the bottom half of the gasket and make sure that the side with the slit is placed outside, as the heavy section goes inside.
Preparing the outer rubber groove
Dab some petroleum jelly on the outer rubber groove. The next thing you have to do is run a nylon cord somewhere around the outer groove. Begin at the bottom center and be sure to leave out two long ends (about 2 ft.) in the middle.
Installing the new windshield
When fitting the new wind screen on the front side of the vehicle, the loose cords should go inside the vehicle. The cord should be pulled slowly, while the rubber should be pressed gently against the vehicle to prevent slippage from the rubber lip. The lip should be in place. After installing the new windshield, the petroleum jelly on the frame should be wiped off. Finally, put back the wipers and rearview mirror.