Can Replacing My Windshield Be Dangerous?

Here is a look at some of the potential hazards of windshield replacement.

1. 7 out 10 Windshields are Installed Incorrectly

According to industry statistics from the National Glass Association, between 70% and 80% of all replacement windshields are installed incorrectly. The most common mistake is the use of improper urethane adhesives. Different vehicles require a different adhesive and many auto glass shops only have a limited selection available. Another problem is when the edges of the glass are not entirely clean because the adhesive may not function properly. Also, many glass installers do not use a pinchweld primer. This means that the surface underneath the molding may not be capable of properly supporting the urethane. A final mistake is not informing car owners of the proper drive away time. This is the amount of time that is necessary for the urethane to completely dry. It can be affected by temperature, humidity, and type of urethane.

2. Airbag Performance

A correctly installed windshield is essential for both airbag timing and airbag retention. The Independent Glass Association states that the windshield is a critical determinant of proper airbag timing. An improperly installed windshield can cause the airbag to deploy either too early or too late. Also, during an impact, the windshield is a brace to support the passenger side airbag. If the windshield separates, then the airbag will not have a constrained space to operate, which means that it will not be effective.

3. Vehicle Strength

There are two ways that a properly installed windshield will enhance the strength of your overall vehicle: structurally and during a rollover. The windshield operates as an essential part of a vehicle’s energy management systems. This will direct the energy from a crash around the occupant area. If a windshield is not properly installed, the energy will transfer directly to the occupant area. Windshields are also essential in regard to rollover strength. A windshield will actually help prevent the roof from crushing inward. In some designs, the windshield is responsible for up to 50% of the rollover strength.

These are a few of the ways that a windshield acts as a vital element of a vehicle. Any chip or crack can limit the strength of the windshield and a poorly installed one can be even worse. This is just one of the many reasons that windshield repair is becoming a much more preferable option to a complete replacement.

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