1) Your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
The correct year, make, and model will ensure that the right piece of auto glass is ordered and brought to your appointment.
2) Your auto glass features.
A feature can be anything from a tint color to a rain sensor, depending on your vehicle. Some features, mainly on specialty vehicles such as BMWs or Jaguars, can only be determined by your dealer. All you have to do in that case is call your dealer with your vehicle identification number (VIN) and they can tell you all the options on your specific vehicle. Some auto glass shops will even call your dealer for you. The most common features that BlueSkyAutoGlass.com customers are unsure about are shadebands, electrochromic mirrors, and rain sensors.
This is a noticeable colored tint located at the very top of your windshield that comes down about 5-6 inches. (Note: it’s not the pattern of black dots or the black strip that runs around the entire windshield. This black strip is just to protect the seal from being damaged by the sun’s UV rays.) The shadeband actually helps screen your eyes from the sun.
This is a rear-view mirror that automatically dims when it senses bright headlights. The mirror glass has a greenish tint. The easiest way to tell if you have this feature is to look for a toggle button on the bottom of the mirror. If you have this toggle button, you do not have an electrochromic mirror.
Not sure if your windshield has an automatic rain sensor? If you turn your windshield wipers to the “intermittent” setting and they either a) come on automatically when it rains, or b) adjust speed based on the amount of rain or your vehicle’s speed, then you have this feature. Still not sure? Try turning your car on, switching the wipers to intermittent, and spraying water anywhere on the windshield with a squirt bottle. If the wipers activate, you have a rain sensor.
3) Insurance information.
If you have full coverage insurance, your auto glass replacement will likely be covered under your policy. Most auto glass shops will help you file your claim and take care of all the paperwork for you. All you need is the name of your insurance provider, policy number, when the damage happened (an approximate date is OK), and the auto glass shop will help you with the rest.
If you’re getting a mobile installation, your technician won’t be able to give you an exact appointment time, so it’s helpful for scheduling if you have one or two days in mind when you are most available. Installations can be done at your home, work, or anywhere you choose—but to ensure your appointment is taken care of on the scheduled date, you’ll need to park your vehicle in one location for much of the day.
1) Prepping Your Vehicle For Installation
Before the technician removes your windshield, he will set up his work area to make sure your vehicle is not damaged in the process. He’ll outline your windshield with protective tape and place towels on top of the dash and over your hood. He’ll also remove your windshield wipers and rear view mirror, and detach and move the cowl (that’s the piece at the base of your windshield).
2) Removing The Old Windshield
To begin removing your old windshield, the technician first unfastens the molding-the strip of chrome and/or rubber that provides an extra seal between the windshield and the vehicle (older automobiles will likely have molding around the entire windshield, some newer vehicles have less or none). Sometimes the molding can be reused, but often it must be replaced.
Your installer will use a special knife to cut through the urethane adhesive keeping your current windshield in place and push the windshield out of the frame. Since the removal requires brute force, usually the windshield cracks considerably, it’s part of the process. The technician will store the old windshield glass in his vehicle to be recycled, so you don’t have to worry about disposing of it.
3) Preparing The New Windshield For Installation
After the old glass is out of the frame, the installer will use what’s called the “full cut” method to strip the old urethane down as close as possible to the metal frame, allowing the new urethane to bond properly to the frame and windshield. With the old urethane gone, the technician will prime both the frame and new windshield surfaces. This ensures that no contamination occurs-preventing leaks and ensuring a strong bond-so the new windshield meets the same safety standards as the original factory-installed windshield.
4) Installing Your New Windshield
Your technician now “dry sets” the windshield, lowering it into place to mark exactly where it will fit, since the windshield shouldn’t be moved around once the urethane has been applied. Using a special attachment to a caulking gun-type tool, the installer will then apply the adhesive to the appropriate surfaces. He will carefully place the new windshield into the opening, using the marks he made earlier in the process as guides. When your installer is working with your new windshield, he wears disposable gloves to avoid contaminating the edge of the windshield with his bare hands.
5) The Final Steps
After the windshield has been installed, your installer will then install your molding, cowl, rear view mirror, and windshield wipers. He’ll clean up any broken glass or debris in and around your vehicle.
6) A Safe Drive-Away Time
The installation is finished, but your vehicle isn’t ready to drive yet. First, the urethane must fully harden, or “cure.” The amount of time this takes depends on the kind of urethane used, the temperature, and the humidity. Your installer will calculate a safe “drive-away” time for you.
After your installer is completely finished with the windshield installation, he should have some paperwork for you to sign. If you’re not around for the installation, he should leave the paperwork in your car, as well as a tag letting you know when you can drive your car.
You may also notice that one or two of your vehicle’s windows have been left open a crack. That’s so that if you open or close your door before the urethane has fully cured, the changing air pressure inside the car won’t dislodge the windshield.
7) It’s all Blue Sky Again!
When properly installed, your new auto glass will meet the safety specifications of the original factory-installed windshield.
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