How Long Does It Take To Replace A Windshield?

image of a car owner with clock depicting how long does a windshield replacement take

Your car’s windshield is likely to sustain some damage at some point or another. Damage usually occurs due to flying road salt, gravel, and snow during the snowy winter days. You might even be unlucky enough to spot a rock that a passing snow plow has chipped off. Many tend to avoid windshield replacements during the winter due to the weather. However, as a driver, it is vital that you keep your windshield intact for your and your passengers’ safety. This leads us to the question, “How long does it take to replace a windshield?”. In this article, we discuss what goes into a windshield replacement, how to tell if your windshield was replaced correctly, some aftercare tips that you can use after replacing your windshield, and more.

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How Long Does It Take To Replace A Windshield?

A windshield replacement is a rather straightforward process. Depending on how big your car is, it can be finished in 60 minutes or less. The majority of cars feature single-pane windshields. This means it is made of laminated glass that has an inner layer of vinyl applied to it. Thus, it holds it together as a single unit. A single-pane windshield can be changed by removing the old one and putting the new one on top of the existing hardware.

In a double-pane windshield, there are two panes rather than one. The glass is held in place by metal channels that are covered by a thin vinyl strip that holds the two panes together. The two layers of glass in a double-pane windshield must be removed from their metal channels first in order to be replaced. Once the new piece of glass has been installed, everything must be put back together the same way it looked before.

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How a Broken Windshield Can Put Your Safety at Risk

image of airbag deployment depciting airbags and windshield replacement

One of your car’s most important safety features is the windshield. Because of this, it might not perform as intended if there is a windshield chip or crack.

Ejection From the Vehicle

There is a danger that you could be ejected if the windshield is cracked or damaged after an accident. This problem might be made worse by a car rollover or by being driven quickly. If you are thrown from your car, you risk suffering life-threatening injuries or perhaps passing away.

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Failure in Airbag Deployment

A shattered or cracked windshield can prevent your airbags from inflating in the event of an accident. In the event of an accident, the airbag inflates from behind the steering wheel to shield your face and chest from harm. It might not deploy at all if the windshield is damaged and there is nowhere for it to go behind the steering wheel.

Obstructed View

Your view would be obstructed by a windshield that is cracked or broken. For older and vision-impaired drivers, in particular, this is a major issue. For instance, a cracked windshield could make it difficult for you to see anything behind your car when you are backing up. In addition, a cracked windshield could create an entrance for rain and other weather factors, which would impair your view of the road ahead as a consequence.

Shattering Glass Pieces

image of a shattered windshield that needs a windshield replacement

Glass pieces could fly into your face or eyes at astonishing speeds if you strike something hard enough to crack your windshield. If the shards hit you in an uncovered section of your body, such as your arms or legs, they may also potentially hurt other areas of your body.

Roof Collapse

Metal beams that support the roof of your car hold the weight of the vehicle down and prevent the roof from collapsing under pressure (such as when you drive). These metal beams have the potential to collapse under pressure if any part of them is destroyed (for example, by a projectile or other object), which could result in significant injury or even death if it occurs while you’re driving.

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What Is The Replacement Process For A Windshield?

Step 1: Get the Windshield Ready for Removal

image of windshield replacement in an auto glass shop

It’s crucial to ensure that all glass shards are removed from the car before attempting to remove the windshield. This includes the dust and debris that has collected all around the windshield.

We use a soft cloth and some soapy water that has some ammonia in it to remove any glass shards or grime. We only use a small amount of this solution since if it dries out too much, it will more likely harm your paint job.

Step 2: Clean Up The Entire Windshield Area

The auto glass technician will clean up any residue left behind once all of the glass shards have been taken out from all areas surrounding the windshield. Prior to or during the installation of new windshield wipers or the replacement of the new windshield itself, they make sure that no dirt or dust particles are left on any part of your car!

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Step 3: Make Sure the Windshield Is Installed Correctly

Before the auto glass experts begin working on the car’s windows once more, they check to make sure they are installed correctly after thoroughly cleaning them. If they are easily removable when driving or at high speeds, it means your car’s accessories are not correctly fastened. The easiest way to make sure of this is to reattach them to your vehicle using strong windshield adhesive tape or glue. Always choose a car glass shop that uses high-quality components and licensed auto glass experts every time. For those in the Poconos or Lehigh Valley, you can count on Liberty AutoGlass, each and every time.


How to Check If the Windshield Was Properly Installed

The Windshield Wind Test

By pressing a small sheet of paper against the windshield and blowing on it, you can check to determine if the windshield is wind-tight and if it’s possible that it was installed improperly. More often than not, it is not adequately sealed if the paper adheres to the glass.

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Windshield Water Leakage

Water leaking in through a crack or chip in a windshield may indicate that the roof of your car has sustained damage. Simply look for any signs of damage on the roof of your automobile to check for this. If there are no visible symptoms of damage, you should think about getting a new windshield right away. If you don’t immediately remedy a little crack or chip, it can become a larger crack or chip.

Visual Distortions On The Windshield

After having your windshield installed, if you observe any visual distortions, it may be a sign that the sealant was improperly applied during installation. It might also imply that the sealant was subjected to abrupt temperature variations before it had a chance to completely set (such as those caused by winter weather).


Things to Remember After a Windshield Replacement

Be sure to follow the tips below to protect your new windshield and enhance its lifespan.

Don’t Drive Right Away

image of a windshield replacement by a certified auto glass technician

Any form of glue used to attach the new glass to the frame of your car can have issues if driving is done too soon after the replacement of the windshield. Because it is only meant to be temporary, the glue will gradually degrade naturally without endangering the structural integrity of your windshield. However, if you start driving too soon, you can end up with another crack in your windshield and some unpleasant headaches from having started driving. These nasty headaches are caused by the pressure difference between the interior and outside of your car.

Don’t Try to Loosen the Tape

Don’t try to remove the tape. If you have your windshield replaced by a reputable auto glass provider, they will leave it behind as part of their cleanup procedure. Your new windshield may sustain harm if you attempt to remove this tape while it is still wet because doing so will cause part of the glue on its edges to come off. This might leave tiny spaces between each piece of glass, which might eventually cause leaks as a consequence.

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Leave the Windows Open

To give the sealant time to dry, you must keep the windows open for a while. There is a possibility that the sealant will be forced back into your car if you drive with the windows closed. Additionally, driving with the windows closed can hinder the glue from properly setting as it should in the first place.

Be Careful While Driving

driving in traffic

After changing your windshield, please use caution behind the wheel because it can take up to 24 hours for everything to settle and cure entirely. If you attempt to drive too quickly or off-road during this time, you can be involved in an accident. If you press the glue too hard before it is ready, it can break loose since it needs time to cure.

Avoid Using Car Washes

After your new windshield has been fitted, try to stay away from automatic car washes for at least a week. Because they employ high-pressure water sprays and brushes that can leave marks or chip away at the glass surface, these machines have the potential to harm your new windshield.

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Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has improved your understanding of how long a windshield change takes. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any additional questions about your windshield or any other one of our services.

For Superior Auto Glass Repairs & Replacements, Call Liberty AutoGlass


Liberty AutoGlass offers auto glass repair using the highest quality materials and the most advanced auto glass technology to repair your auto glass correctly and quickly. We offer mobile services so we can repair your damaged auto glass at the convenience of your home or office. This means that we come to wherever your vehicle is parked, and you can go about your day as you would normally. We fix windshields, back glass, door glass, vent glass, and quarter glass. We also can handle your insurance claim from start to finish, making the process easier for you! Call Liberty AutoGlass today to find out more!

Contact us today or give us a call at (610) 377-7787 or (877) 90-GLASS if you have any questions. Click here to view our complete mobile auto glass service area in Pennsylvania.

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