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    Thread: Windscreen Replacement - Experiences?

    1. Member Hawk's Avatar
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      04-06-2012 07:11 PM #1
      I chipped my windscreen 2 years ago and hit it 'filled' but I'm tired of looking at the repair and am considering putting in a new windscreen altogether to make it look nice and new again.

      Question: I've ordered an OEM windscreen and getting it installed at the dealership, I assume once it's in it will look absolutely brand new around the edges and seals correct? I won't have something where the seals don't look as straight and perfect as they are now will I? Otherwise I'd rather just live with the chip. Also, it won't lead to possible rattles the way say taking the door apart might?

      Love any advice, as I don't want to wreck anything else just to fix this tiny inconvenience. I really don't want to compromise the flushness and neatness of the trim anywhere just to get rid of the tiny repaired chip on the windscreen. I only want to do it if it's 100% perfect and good as new. Otherwise forget it.

      Experiences?

    2. 04-06-2012 07:30 PM #2
      It all comes down to the installer. An OEM part isn't going to do you any good if the tech putting it in doesn't know wtf he's doing.

    3. Forum Sponsor Brendan@bwalkauto's Avatar
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      04-06-2012 07:36 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by sicc83 View Post
      It all comes down to the installer. An OEM part isn't going to do you any good if the tech putting it in doesn't know wtf he's doing.
      This. I've had a few windshields replaced with 100% perfect results, but I've also seen some screw ups. Just make sure the guy at the dealership isn't training the new guy the day you drop your car off, and you'll be fine.
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    4. Member Hawk's Avatar
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      04-06-2012 07:39 PM #4
      I wonder if the dealers even uses their own techs to do it of if they farm it out. I guess I can always ask to have it redone if it's not good, but I just want to know that it is possible to make it look like it does when it comes from the factory. I've heard some people say it can never be replaced that perfectly because the factory assembly line uses robots.

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      04-06-2012 07:43 PM #5
      Farming it out will vary dealer to dealer. Some have trained techs and parts on hand, and some don't. You'd have to ask.
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      04-06-2012 07:47 PM #6
      The car is totaled. Crush it.

    7. Member fixmy59bug's Avatar
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      04-06-2012 07:48 PM #7
      I have never seen an absolutely perfect windshield replacement job. As you mentioned, when installed at the factory, the silicone is applied by a robot which will have a muscle twitch or slip causing an irregular bump in the line of silicone. Then the glass is guided in by a special jig on bearings. It may be placed by humans, but it is guided by machines and jigs.

      Most dealers do sublet the job because it is cheaper to hire someone with the special tools and knowledge, but then again there are some who actually do their own glass work.

      As far as rattles, there is no reason there should ever be a rattle after a windshield because there is no trim to remove that would cause a rattle.

      Usually windshields are just laid on top of a bead of silicone.

    8. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      04-06-2012 07:51 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by sicc83 View Post
      It all comes down to the installer. An OEM part isn't going to do you any good if the tech putting it in doesn't know wtf he's doing.
      This. Had a windshield replaced at an Audi dealer once. OEM windshield but they messed the moldings up.
      So I took it back and had them install new ones.
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    9. 04-06-2012 07:57 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Brendan@bwalkauto View Post
      This. I've had a few windshields replaced with 100% perfect results, but I've also seen some screw ups. Just make sure the guy at the dealership isn't training the new guy the day you drop your car off, and you'll be fine.
      There's another good reason to be sure the installer is good. I've had several cars with old replacement windshields and some very unfortunate rust around the A-pillar, roof or cowl because the replacement was done poorly (i.e. quickly and by a newb).
      call it potatography

    10. Member Hawk's Avatar
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      04-06-2012 08:00 PM #10
      Appreciate the responses.

    11. Member Horror Business's Avatar
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      04-06-2012 08:13 PM #11
      DO NOT USE SAFELITE!! I am not joking around here. They will cut the windshield out as fast and easily as they can, when doing this they are going to scratch your entire window frame up. After that expect rust in a couple years and water leaks. Not only that, they use their own generic glass which is poorly curved, lots of distortion. The glass should be cut out manually with cutting wire, done by hand. That means no power tools which cause damage. Also people rushing the job or lacking experience can damage your cowl(the plastic rain gutter under the wipers) breaking clips and stuff. This could lead to water leaking under and into your cabin filter.

      I am only warning you of them because most insurance companies go to them first.

      You drive a Boxster right? In that case its normal to be picky about this situation.

      If you want a job well done find your best indie glass shop around. OEM glass of course will be the best, but it is expensive if you dont have glass coverage. Most dealerships sublet the work out to glass shops. If you have to go with aftermarket glass Pilkington is pretty good glass, they are OEM for BMW if that sways your opinion. PGW(ppg) is often good too, they as well are oem for many manufacturers. German cars usually have Sekurit/Saint Gobain as oem.

      I would also make sure that your windshield molding is not re-used unless the tech really knows what they are doing. Have them order a new molding if the glass doesn't come with one. Make sure its an OEM replica, not something all-purpose.

      Remember, if you have glass coverage then you have the right to choose what product goes back into your car and who you choose to do the work. If they tell you otherwise that is illegal. But don't be suprised if the shop might turn you down. Insurance companies always haggle for the cheapest labor rate. And if you own a Porsche the shop is not gonna do the job for half off.

      My dads shop is doing a Ferrari 458 Italia next week. the owner has State Farm and they only wanted to do the job for $35/hour for 4 hours(shop rate is $72/hr) The shop owner told them either they pay full labor rate or they take it direct to Ferarri. In that case it would be $150 an hour for 7hours! Luckily they finally agreed to pay full rate.

      Oh, and the windshield? Yea it cost $4,000
      Last edited by Horror Business; 04-06-2012 at 08:24 PM.

    12. 04-06-2012 11:08 PM #12
      I've had them replaced 2 times with no problems, and 2 times with problems...

      1. He cut into the fabric on the A4's A-pillar. This was a dealer job.

      2. The new windshield didn't seat correctly on our Mazda 6 and whistled on the freeway. They came back and fixed it. Private job.

    13. Member jettagli1991's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 03:19 AM #13
      I've had 2 done.
      #1: Several globs of sealer visible from inside, windshield leaked. Shop blamed my sun roof. After I convinced them to re-install it, it never leaked a drop. Go figure.
      #2: Globs of sealer everywhere, on the edges of my dash and a-pillars, and my wipers were both parked several inches to high, and one was bent. It was my beater Jeep and I picked it up at night. If it was a decent car, I would have taken it back the next day, but it wasn't worth the hassle to leave it there for another day. They were a reputable large glass shop, and at least I now know where NOT to take my cars from now on.

      My advice: If you really care about your car, treat a glass shop like you would a body shop. Get references from other car enthusiasts, and look at their work beforehand. A bad windshield install can lead to paint damage, rust, damage from water leaks, and cosmetic flaws you'll be looking at every time you drive.

    14. Member WAR_GTI's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 03:44 AM #14
      Ive had very bad luck with windshields...consequently ive had 12 windshields replaced over the various cars ive owned...only ever used oem glass...i would find the shops in the phone book/online that look good that served my area(usally at least half a dozen candidates) and get the best qoute...always took only about an hour, usally in a driveway, my garage if nasty outside, or in a parking lot...perfect every single time....ive paid as little as $130, and as much as $245...its really quite a simple procedure...

      How in the hell it would take a shop 4 HOURS! to do a windshield on a 458 is beyond me...sounds like massive gouging...

    15. Member stascom's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 04:11 AM #15
      I only had 1 windshield replaced. It was a horrendous experience. All because the shop is garbage and the employees are hacks: scratches on exterior and interior, uneven 3rd party glass that scuffs and swirls like it's plexiglas, took 3 days to get the part in, and they charged my insurance company $700+. The shop is Bill's Glass. It's my life-long crusade now to tell everyone about my experience
      That said, I'm sure, if I went with the dealership and OEM glass, everything would've been fine FML

    16. Member jmj's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 08:53 AM #16
      Twenty some odd years ago I had to replace the windshield on my first car, a 77 Chevy Nova. I didn't have insurance coverage at the time so my cousin, who used to be a foreman for a glass company, offered to help me replace it. We had to improvise because we didn't have correct tools, so we ended up cutting the old glass out with guitar string wrapped around adjustable wrenches in a sawing motion, me outside and him inside. Wish I could have found piano wire because the guitar string kept snapping. At one point it snapped while I was pulling as hard as I could and hit myself square in the nuts with a wrench. I swore and rolled around on the ground for a while and my cousin rolled around laughing at me.

      Anyway, we eventually got the new glass in and it worked fine, no leaks, etc. I've never even considered doing it myself again.
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    17. Member Burnitwithfire's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 09:11 AM #17
      Dealer doesn't mean quality especially if they outsource their work. A few months ago we had a Nissan Murano that had the glass repaired at the dealership a few years ago. The glass has become loose from the urethane glue because prep wasn't adequate. In and accident, the windshield would have flown away. I had to cut parts of the edge of the roof because the rust was very bad. They scratched the hell out of the window frame and had not used any primer around the frame.

      Ask to be there when they replace it. It'll put some pressure on the guy doing it so he won't half-ass the job.
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    18. Member randyvr6's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 10:19 AM #18
      In my view, most people here become fixated on the brand of glass when the real important factor is the skill of the installer.

      I worked for many many years at a manufacturing plant for a major global Tier 1 auto glass manufacturer. I would much rather live with a minor glass issue than have someone start hacking it out. Earlier in my life, I had a white 86 GTi that showed rust all around the opening just a couple years after a glass install.

      If you do need one, I would much rather have an experienced tech from a glass shop (who has probably done hundreds if not thousands) do my installation than a dealership tech who doesn't do them very frequently.

      In most cases, I would bet that the dealership outsources the work anyway. I also prefer to have the installer do the work at their shop where they are more comfortable and have full accesss to all the tools than in a parking lot or driveway.

    19. Member 1Point8TDan's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 10:44 AM #19
      The dealership put on a new windshield on the Frontier and it leaked water. Wanted them to fix it but they claimed the previous owner did it. Luckily I did not take the car up to highway speeds like that. The windshield is one of those things that you probably should not cheap out on.

      I heard they use some protector on them now to prevent rock chips from happening???

    20. Member P-Body's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 11:23 AM #20
      Why are you doing it at the dealer?

      They're going to farm it out, I'm almost 100% sure. Might as well go to a windshield specialist and get rid of the middle man. You'll probably save money too.
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    21. Member Jan PL S6's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 11:27 AM #21
      Since you're using an OEM replacement it all falls down to the guy replacing it. Watch him like a hawk to get your point across.

    22. 04-07-2012 12:02 PM #22
      In my experience, the OEM glass is less likely to chip or crack. Just my two cents.

    23. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 12:13 PM #23
      I've had probably a dozen windshields replaced over the years, using a variety of chain glass places (windshield world, Portland glass, safe lite, etc.).

      I've never had a messy or screwed up job done. It's always been a total no-brainier job.

      Do you guys live in areas full of grossly incompetent tradesmen or what?

    24. Member Eric D's Avatar
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      04-07-2012 12:50 PM #24
      My advice is to make darn sure the tech has some pinch weld primer on hand before the glass is sealed. I learned this the hard way, and now need the windshield frame replaced.
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      04-07-2012 01:02 PM #25
      Had my '01 SL R129 windshield replaced by the Mercedes dealer and not only did they install the wrong or non-oem window they broke my sun visor clips and left grease on the a-post trim inside the car. On an R129 the windshield wipers either operate on full speed or automatic- rain sensing. Being that the non-OE glass didn't have the sensor my wipers only worked on full-speed only

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