Top ways to protect your new windshield

April 10, 2023
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A windshield is one of the most important parts of a car for the driver and passengers because it is the first line of defense against road obstacles and plays a vital role in keeping passengers safe during crashes. It is important to care for it to avoid any reason for replacement, whether it is a new car or a replacement windshield. 

There are a few things you can do shortly after getting your window replaced to ensure it lasts. 

  1. Wait To Drive
  2. Clear The Area
  3. Leave Retention Tape
  4. Avoid Car Washes
  5. Avoid Extra Stress
  6. Leave Windows Open 

These are also some tips that can help maintain your windshield in the long run!

Why Windshields Are Important

Windshields are the first defense for drivers against dangers on the road, like loose rocks and falling branches. They also play a significant role in keeping the passengers and drivers involved in major car accidents safe. This is because, during a crash, cars deploy airbags automatically. The passenger airbags are designed to explode outwards from the dashboard in the opposite direction of the passenger before bouncing off the windshield forcefully back toward the person in front of the vehicle. 

A damaged windshield is very dangerous for multiple reasons, but one is that the force of the airbag can cause the windshield to shatter. Aside from putting you at risk of injury from sharp glass, this also means that the airbag explodes out the windshield instead of bouncing back toward you. This makes the airbag’s cushioning useless and causes more injuries.  

How Windshields Work 

Windshield glass is made from laminated glass and is designed to prevent shattering when hit. If laminated glass is pierced it can hold itself together and prevent further cuts to the victim of a car accident. 

This is because laminated glass is made of two pieces of glass separated by a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), which is a resin used for strong binding. These pieces are later sealed with pressure and heat, which together bond the PVB and the glass. 

Prevent Damage to New Windshield

After installing a new window, there are a few steps drivers should remember to get the best results from their new parts. 

Wait To Drive

After your new windshield has been installed, the mechanic may give you a few instructions. The principal rule you should follow shortly after the installation is to wait at least an hour to drive the car. Windshields are attached to the car using an adhesive to create a strong, waterproof seal. This seal will take a while to dry completely, but when it is newly applied the binding is weakest. Waiting at least an hour, although it will not fully set the adhesive, will give it enough time for you to make the drive home safely and reduce the likelihood of any weak spots forming in the adhesive. 

While driving you should always leave ample space between you and the next vehicle, but this is especially true with a new windshield. The space will help you avoid the stones as bits of gravel regularly kicked up by cars, as well as avoid any unexpected objects falling out of trucks and give you enough time to react to any unexpected events on the road. 

Clear The Area

After installation, it will take about one to two days or the adhesive to dry completely and you don’t want anything sticking to it! Keep your car free of anything that might push up against the glass. Don’t use any covers, like sunshades, on the interior, and keep the dashboard free of clutter. 

Leave Retention Tape

Also, leave the retention tape on the car’s windshield! Technicians often use retention tape in order to hold the moldings in place and protect the seal from the elements. You should leave it in place for one or two days after the new glass has been installed.

Avoid Car Washes

High-pressure washers, such as automatic car washes and power washers, can shift or damage the moldings of a new windshield. To prevent it, allow for a few days after your windshield is installed to properly dry. If you need to wash your car, do a regular hand wash instead which will not jostle the adhesive. 

Leave Windows Open 

Air pressure and temperature changes can cause your windshield to crack and it is especially sensitive to damage when it has been newly installed. An easy way to equalize air pressure and temperature is to leave your windows slightly cracked, about an inch, for at least the first day after installation. This will allow air to move through the vehicle from outside and avoid extra stress on the seal.

If you are a technician who does glass repairs, checking your inventory and suppliers is a must. It can be a difficult and complex process, but the Elmo Anywhere software is an all-in-one tool that can help glass shops stay efficient and organized. For professionals who are having trouble finding the correct windshield match for a car, the Elmo Anywhere point-of-sale payment software has an add-on for Glass Match Look-up for an extra $1 a month or check out a full price break-down of the Elmo Anywhere software for more details.