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.
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.
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.
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.
1975 Honda CB400F Super Sport
1986 BMW 535i
1984 BMW 745i turbo - FOR SALE
2002 Passat 1.8t
1990 Saab 9000 turbo
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.
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.
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.
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
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???
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?
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
As others have said, it all comes down to the installer. I was lucky to a find a good guy, and as a bonus he let me watch and I was able to ensure that all the mouldings/trim/weather seals were done properly. Also, I was able to see the sealant bead that he laid and was pretty happy with how well it was done.
1995 VW Jetta GLX VR6 [07.2003 - 03.2012]
And on a serious note- check online reviews for local windshield installers.
The windshield is an important structural part of a modern vehicle, so you want it done right.
the only time I have had one replaced I went to a "speedyglass." They did a nice clean looking install, two years later it leaked a bit (common issue on mk1 rabbits.) I took it back, they pulled it and re-sealed it with a special sealant for free.
I give speedyglass a thumbs up. It's not cheap, but if you drive a porsche you can afford it.
Probably not so useful to the OP, but when I was looking to replace the windshield in our 2010 Fusion (Post mid-cycle refresh), I was about to go with the lowest cost estimate, but luckily the last place I called finally mentioned to me why I was getting two vastly different price quotes: After the MCR Ford put in double pane glass to make the car quieter. The two parts looked and would fit exactly the same, but the part number was slightly different.
Both would have fit into my 2010 model. Had I not called that last place and chose the cheaper glass, I would have had a louder car at highway speeds.
It also turned out that the OEM windshield supplier Carlite was the cheapest for the double pane glass. I chose the windshield shop that gave me the most information, and luckily they had a mobile service. I took the precaution of taking the day off and having him do it at our house in the garage, where he wouldn't have to contend with the sun and the wind. He seemed to really appreciate that.
So far I have no complaints, car looks exactly as it did from the factory.
"sports cars will get you through times without women better than women will get you through times without sports cars."
It is more expensive, so the automakers have to balance the cost with the noise reduction. I worked in quality for a major OE glass manufacturer for a long time, and in one instance an un named automaker used the acoustic glass for the first year to ensure that the car magazine reviews and JD Power scores were favorable, and then decontented it for cost savings aftter that.
I kid... but idk. GM has rolled out a few recent models without having the new for the model drive train available yet.
And the Ford 500 with the old duratec 3.0 was just asking for bad reviews.
( I assume this had something to do with their plants and supplier issues)
And since you are in the industry, explain to me why newer vehicle windshields seem easier to scratch.
My 73 F-100's windshield was starting to cloud a bit around the edges, but was surprisingly scratch free even after a windshield wiper blade failure.
Yet modern vehicles seem to get windshield scratches from nowhere.