Driving around with a cracked windshield is not only dangers but also illegal. The risks it poses include the possible of shattering and flying right into your face or that of your passengers, and obstructing your vision potential increasing the risk of accidents on the road. Furthermore, the cracks allow moisture to seep in fogging up the window blurring your vision.
Car windscreens are made with special catalyzed adhesives that give them a high capacity to chemically bond to reduce shattering; however, this is not to say that this make them sacrosanct. While it is often a good idea to let a professional replace your broken windscreen with a new one, it pays to know how it is done. Here are the basic steps that can help you do a DIY windshield installation.
• You will need to have the right tools for the job and buy the correct windscreen for your car. You can inquire about what you need for this from your local auto glass store. Make sure you also get some protective gloves for handling the glass and tools.
• You will need to detach and remove everything in near or attached to the broken windscreen, which includes the wipers, rear view mirror, and the windshield.
• Cover the dashboard ensuring the heater and defroster vents are completed covered. You can use a plastic paper cover.
• Remove the former seal using a sharp scalping knife; exercise caution. Remove the rubber gasket from the old windscreen and check for any damage and you note any, you will need to replace the gasket.
• Clean the metal surface and apply fresh primer to prevent the metal from any deterioration or rusting. You can then apply a bead of the urethane adhesive on the surface after the primer dries.
• Take the new windshield and wipe off dirt, if any; then place the rubber gasket around the edges of the windscreen making sure it fits perfectly.
• Apply a glass activator on the first half inch to an inch of the interior edges of the windscreen, on the rubber gasket. The activator will increase the grip of the windscreen to the new urethane sealant for a better and watertight bond.
• Place the new windscreen over the open space making sure it carefully set in place. Proceed to gently press it against the bead of urethane seal and then use a cloth of sponge dipped in a special sealant cleaner to wipe off any excess adhesive that gushed out onto the glass or any other undesired areas.
• The urethane adhesive will need enough time to dry and complete bond the new auto windshield to the frame.
• Once that is done and you have confirmed the bond is watertight, you can proceed to install the wipers and the rearview mirror. Check the wiper blades and replace them is they are damaged to avoid scratching the newly installed windscreen.
• You can proceed to throw water over the windshield to conduct the final tests just to ensure everything is okay. You will be checking for any leaks as you also test the wipers.