Car windshields are made up of two pieces of glass that have a film of plastic sandwiched between them, so that, in the event of an accident, they stay together rather than shattering over the occupants and causing harm. Windshields are easily scratched by worn wiper blades or when removing ice. Chipping from rocks or debris on the road is also another factor that can easily ruin a windshield. Once a crack has begun, no matter how small it is, it will continue to grow with the temperature changes.
The Replacement Process
If you have full-coverage insurance on the vehicle, the insurance company will replace the windshield without increasing your payment, as long as the windshield is professionally installed. Professional installers will come out to your home or business to replace a windshield for you. You will be charged for the new windshield and the labor for installation.
Replacement windshields can be purchased with or without a tint across the top. The depth of the tint must be considered in relation to the height of the windshield, so that the tint is not directly in the field of view once the windshield is installed. There are also windshields with a built-in antenna down the center and a connector on the bottom side. If the car did not come with this type of windshield, a hole has to be drilled through the firewall to connect the antenna to the radio.
If you want a windshield with a built-in antenna, first check the type of connection to the radio. Radio antennas come in many different sizes, and not all are compatible with your radio.
Ask to see a chart showing the different degrees of tint on the upper portion of the windshield to see which one is desired. Make sure you know the rules regarding tint in your local area. Some states do not allow more than a couple of inches of tint on the windshield. Once the window is installed, you own it, because it will usually not come out without damage.
Many times, it is far less expensive to go to a used-auto-parts store and buy a used windshield, then call one of the windshield companies to send someone over to install it. You will save on the price of the windshield. Also, many stores will install the parts you purchase from them.
Do not try to remove a windshield yourself if you plan on reusing it (i.e., in cases of car restorations). Even one little hair of glue left on the edge of the windshield will cause it to break. It is better to call one of the mobile windshield companies and have them remove the windshield for you; then, when you are ready to reinstall it, have them come out and do it for you.