While it may not be an immediate danger, even a tiny crack or chip on your windshield will compromise your safety. It can obstruct your vision, distract you, cause airbag deployment issues, and fail to prevent you from being ejected out of your vehicle during a crash.
However, you might be busy and can’t afford any disruptions to your schedule. Learn about how long windshield replacements take and what factors affect the service’s completion time.
Factors That Affect Replacement Time
A windshield replacement will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. It depends on your car model, as newer ones with sensors and cameras may require a more complex process. The mechanic may also keep your vehicle overnight to test the quality of the replacement and ensure there were no errors.
In most cases, you can safely drive your vehicle an hour after the new windshield is installed. But the weather may affect the time it takes for the adhesives to finish curing.
Generally, adhesives cure faster during the summer due to warmer temperatures and higher humidity. The weather also helps speed up the application process.
Adhesives, cleaners, and primers work slower during the winter, so the installation and curing process will take longer. Technicians minimize delays by warming them, using different products, and adjusting the procedure.
Can I Have My Windshield Replaced Instead?
There’s also a chance you can save some money by having your windshield repaired instead if the damage is minimal. You can get a repair if:
- The crack is shorter than a dollar bill.
- The chip is smaller than a quarter.
- The damage only penetrates the outer layer.
- Your windshield has less than 3 cracks or chips.
- The damage isn’t on the driver’s side.
Can I Do It Myself?
It’s possible to install your windshield yourself, but it’s highly inadvisable. Professionals have the necessary tools and experience to install it correctly. Besides, if you apply too little or too much pressure, leave a gap, or make a mistake during curing, you’ll be at greater risk of severe injury during a crash.
Windshield replacement processes differ between auto shops. But it generally involves these simple steps:
Step 1: Removing the Windshield
The technician will remove the rearview mirror, windshield wipers, rubber gasket, and anything else around the bonding area. They will then cut the urethane seal around the windshield to remove it.
Step 2: Prepping the Area Around the Windshield
Once the old windshield is out, remove all the adhesive used to hold it. After cleaning, the technician will apply a urethane primer to promote bonding and adhesion to the surfaces.
Step 3: Installing the Replacement
With the bonding areas prepped, the technician applies a fresh urethane adhesive to the perimeter of the new windshield. They will install it carefully and ensure there are no gaps in the seal.
Step 4: Curing
The new urethane seal needs to be left to cure for 1 to 2 hours. Afterward, anything removed during the first step will be returned correctly, and the rubber gasket replaced.
Many newer car models have an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), which helps drivers avoid accidents. It has various safety applications, so you must ensure it works properly.
Windshield cameras need to be recalibrated after a replacement. The technician will position and align them to ensure they react to potential dangers and alert you. If your ADAS isn’t recalibrated after a windshield replacement, it may not detect threats and lead to an accident.
Schedule Your Windshield Replacement
Keep yourself safe with Ryan & Gordy’s Glass’s auto glass repair services in Minnesota. We’re a family-owned business certified in ADAS windshield replacements. By choosing us, you’ll ensure your windshield is properly installed, and your system is correctly calibrated.