Your car’s windshield is the first line of defence from bugs, debris, and the elements. Suppose you need windshield repair or replacement, and you want to make sure you install the right type in the right way. In that case, you need to know how to spot the undesirable traits of a windshield to ensure your new windshield is functioning at its maximum potential. Below, we break down ten windshield bad traits that you can spot and avoid.
1. Aftermarket Glass
Typically, when a windshield is replaced, the new windshield will be an OEM part (Original Equipment Manufacturers). OEM parts are the highest quality and standard glass because they are supplied directly by car manufacturers and are designed and tested for an optimized fit.
OEE parts (Original Equipment Equivalent) are a price-sensitive option that still provides a high safety standard. OEE glass has the same quality standard as OEM but varies slightly from them to avoid copyright infringements. Variations include colour, ceramic design, and lack of the manufacturer’s logo.
Either OEM or OEE glass will provide your vehicle with satisfactory safety and quality so you can have peace of mind behind the wheel. What you need to look out for is aftermarket glass. Aftermarket glass is not designed and tested with the same rigour as OEM or OEE, making it difficult to install properly, compromising safety and performance. Aftermarket windshields are a much cheaper alternative but at a much higher cost to fit and optical quality.
2. Water Leaks
When a windshield has a bad seal, you might find out by noticing water leaks. A poorly sealed window is a serious safety concern and could result in your windshield coming loose entirely! If you ever see water making its way around your windshield frame, call a service center immediately for windshield repair.
3. Messy moulding
Check the moulding around your windshield. Is it bumpy or not in line with the frame? If it is, that likely means the installation left something to be desired. If this is the case, you might want to have the windshield resealed.
4. Installed Without Gloves
When having your windshield replaced, take a quick peek at the technician to see if they are wearing gloves during the installation. The hands of technicians are commonly covered with oils and dirt that can get on your windshield if they aren’t wearing gloves. These particles can compromise the integrity of the adhesive and bonding surface, resulting in a weaker than desired seal.
5. Leftover Windshield Adhesive
Old glue and adhesive must be completely removed before applying a new layer to get the best seal for a new windshield. The old adhesive can cause similar issues in properly sealing the new windshield as the dirt on a technician’s hands.
6. Improper Alignment
One of the easier bad traits to spot is an improperly aligned windshield. Take a look at your windshield to see if it lines up with the frame or if it’s crooked. A crooked windshield means it was not installed properly and needs to be fixed.
7. No Primer Coat
Without a coat of primer and urethane-based glue, several issues may arise over time. Applying a coat of primer effectively reduces rust around the metal parts near the windshield, but more importantly, it can help keep the windshield from falling off if you are even in a collision.
8. Insufficient Adhesive Cure Time
A good installation takes time, mostly because it can take anywhere from three to ten hours (depending on the car model, type of adhesive, and manufacturer recommendations) for the adhesive to dry properly. Be wary of “instant cure” products, effective windshield repair takes time.
9. Non-shatter Resistant.
Make sure your windshield is shatter-resistant. This isn’t a very tall task considering this is standard practice today, but it’s still important for car owners to know what they are having installed. Shatterproof glass is laminated so that in a serious collision, the glass breaks into many small, harmless pieces of glass instead of dangerous shards.
An experienced mechanic will ensure a new windshield is installed perfectly flush with the frame. An unflushed windshield won’t be properly sealed and may even be able to move around a bit due to excess space from the poor fit. Those issues typically happen when aftermarket glass is used.