Your car is fresh straight out of an auto repair shop with a new windshield. It should be good to go, right? After all, you left it in the care of professionals. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Not all repair centers are fully equipped, let alone certified, to perform windshield installation. Some shops even allow “hacks” to do the job or use low quality glass.
Why Proper Windshield Installation Is Important
A poorly installed windshield poses serious safety risks. So it makes sense that you shouldn’t take it lightly. Windshield installation is a specialized service that requires a trained and experienced crew. The auto repair shop offering it must meet the following criteria:
- License to operate
- The right tools and equipment
- Necessary certificates to perform windshield installation
As the car owner, it is your responsibility to check the windshield immediately after installation. It’s the only way you can ensure your safety as well as that of your passengers.
5 Signs of a Poorly Installed Windshield
Here are five signs to look out for when checking for improper windshield installation. We’ve also included tips on what to expect from a well-installed windshield.
Sign #1 – Uneven frame mold
Inspect the molding around your windshield’s glass frame. If there is any unevenness to it (i.e. appears bumpy or deviates from the frame), then you just got yourself a hack job.
What to expect: A well-installed windshield has clean, evenly applied molding that aligns to the frame.
Sign #2 – Adhesives are still intact
Before installing the new windshield, a true professional would remove the adhesive from your old window seal. So if you see it still intact even after the new windshield has been installed, this could only mean that it hasn’t been sealed in properly.
What to expect: No adhesives should be left behind the moment you take your car out from the repair service.
Sign #3 – Windshield isn’t flush
Flush is used in reference to a windshield that fits the car frame. Thus, a windshield that isn’t flush is a very bad sign. It suggests that the repair shop used windshield glass with a completely different size.
What you should see: Your new windshield should be an exact match to the frame and not need any additional adjustments.
Sign #4 – Leaking on the edges
Before leaving the repair shop, ask the crew to spray water around the edges of your windshield. If water leaks into your vehicle or if the glass fogs from the inside, it’s a sign that they didn’t use enough sealant on the frame.
What to expect: During the water test, the interior of your windshield should keep dry and show no signs of fogging.
Sign #5 – You didn’t let a professional do it
The worst possible thing you could do is have a friend or relative install the windshield, or do it by yourself. Not only will it compromise your personal safety – it can potentially void your car’s manufacturer warranty and insurance policy.
What to expect: DIY windshield installation is a disaster waiting to happen. So you can’t expect anything good to come out of it.
If you see any of these warning signs, it’s best to take your car to a true professional who can properly install your windshield.