How to Replace a Car Windshield in Your Own Garage

Being able to replace your own chipped or cracked car windshield saves money and time. Instead of having to wait for an appointment with the mechanic, you can replace the windshield yourself, in your own garage, with some basic materials and the help of one other person. These tips will help you to successfully replace your car’s windshield.

Removing the Old Windshield

Begin by removing any plastic clips around the windshield’s molding. Try not to damage the clips. You’ll need them for the replacement windshield. Remove the old rubber gasket. Use a cold-knife or razor to separate the windshield from the pinch weld. You will need to go all the way around the windshield’s molding from the interior or exterior side. Open the front doors of the car and use your arms to push the windshield out of the molding.

Preparing the Windshield and Frame

Use a baby wipe to remove any sticky residue or rust from the windshield molding. Clean the pinch weld with a soft-bristled brush and then plain water. Dry it with a clean cloth. Prime any bare metal on the pinch weld. Use two or three thin coats of primer rather than one thick coat.

Windshield Replacement

Apply primer to the frit band, which is the black band around the perimeter of the windshield opening. Apply urethane to the frit band with a caulking gun. To do the windshield replacement, have a friend help you hold the new windshield. Some companies, such as Martin Glass Co., know how nice it is to have a helper on hand for this kind of a technical project. Set the windshield on top of the frit band. Take care not to touch the band or primer with your fingers.

Securing the New Windshield in Place

Allow the urethane to set. This can take 1 to 24 hours. Replace the rubber gasket that fits around the exterior side of the windshield. Use your fingers to work the rubber gasket into the groove. You can also push it in with the eraser end of a pencil. Put the windshield clips back on and tighten them. The clips need to hold the gasket and windshield tightly. Apply a new piece of trim along the windshield. The trim protects the gasket and windshield edges.

These four steps require some patience and basic skills as well as a few hours of your time. Completing this project can be a satisfying and money-saving experience. You can also improve your safety on the road by replacing that broken windshield before driving again. You can recycle your old cracked, chipped or shattered windshield.