How to Tell If Your Windshield Has Been Installed Incorrectly

car windshield

When you have your windshield replaced, it’s essential that it’s done correctly because it plays an important role in the safety of your vehicle. Not only do windshields protect you and your passengers from the elements, but they also provide structural support in the event of accidents. For example, the windshield provides up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin in a front-end collision and up to 60% in a rollover. An improperly installed windshield may not provide enough strength to keep the cabin safe or be able to withstand the impact of a deployed airbag.

With that in mind, how can you tell if your windshield has been installed incorrectly? Here are a few of the most common signs:

Technician Mistakes

If you’re able to see the windshield repair process, one of the first signs that the windshield is not being installed correctly is if the windshield wipers are still attached and propped up while the windshield is being installed. This shortcut is a practice called stuffing that can cause air leaks and poor bonding of the new glass to the vehicle. Proper windshield installation takes requires the removal of the wipers and cowl to ensure proper decking and installation. A second mistake to look for is the technicians not wearing gloves. Since windshields are installed using urethane (which secures it to the vehicle) they shouldn’t be handled by bare hands. The oils in the skin can break the urethane down and reduce its ability to adhere properly – which can result in leaks or premature failure.

The Windshield Sits Unevenly in the Frame

If the windshield pokes out or sits unevenly in the frame, that’s another sign that it’s not installed properly. This could have been a mistake made during installation or the installer could have chosen the wrong windshield for your vehicle.

Rattling and Leaks

After you’ve had a new windshield installed and it’s had a chance to properly adhere, it’s always a good idea to take it out for a test drive. If you notice any rattling or whooshing sounds coming from the windshield at a moderate speed, that’s a sure sign that it wasn’t installed properly. Taking your car through the car wash can also help you check to make sure there are no leaks in the seams of the windshield. Be sure to wait the specified period of time after the installation to do this as the urethane needs time to properly cure.

Other considerations

If the technician or installation company tells you that you can drive immediately after your windshield’s been installed, this is also a red flag. The adhesive that’s used to secure the windshield to your vehicle should be allowed to fully cure, which takes approximately 30 minutes – 8 hours depending on the urethane that is used. This is known as the Safe Drive Away Time and that time should be noted when the vehicle is returned to the customer. Lucky Dog proudly uses a 30 minute cure urethane made by SIKA to ensure a quick and safe drive time.

Avoid Windshield Woes by Choosing a Reputable Installation Company

One of the best ways to avoid the above issues and the hassle that comes with them is by choosing a reputable installation company, like Lucky Dog Auto Glass. We’re a local family-owned and operated company that understands auto glass installation shouldn’t be seen as an assembly line commodity, but rather an essential safety feature of your vehicle. We take every step to ensure that your auto glass is installed correctly, the first time. If you’ve recently had a windshield installed and would like an assessment, or you’d like a free estimate on your cracked or chipped windshield, contact us today at 253-569-9403!

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