It's usually pretty obvious when you need a new windshield. Whether you have one severe crack or numerous minor problems, there's a point where a damaged windshield affects your visibility and can even reduce your car's structural integrity in an accident. Of course, you also want to ensure that your new windshield functions just as well as your old one.
If you're concerned about the quality of your replacement windshield, there are a few easy ways to ensure your new glass performs just as well as your car's factory equipment. Follow these three tips to get a new windshield that will help you see clearly for many more years.
1. Work With a Qualified Installer
Installing a new windshield isn't always an easy job. Technicians need to be careful not to damage existing trim on your car while also getting a tight fit for your new glass. Mistakes can mean loose glass, excess wind noise, or damaged trim pieces and cowlings. These potential issues are why it's crucial not to attempt this job on your own or to use inexperienced or unqualified installers.
You can find an experienced installer by looking for online reviews or even asking your insurance company for recommendations. Mobile installers are also a great option if you can't get your vehicle to a local shop. Finally, don't forget to ask about accreditations for technicians, particularly those awarded by the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC).
2. Discuss Your Vehicle's Options
Several technological features on modern vehicles can impact the installation of a new windshield, including heads-up displays (HUDs) and rain sensors. Some cars may also have other sensors or devices that rely on the windshield, such as sun load sensors for controlling automatic climate control systems. These devices may require special attention or glass treatments.
If your car has any of these features, discuss them with your installer before making an appointment. Most installers will ask about your specific make and model, so they'll usually know if any of these may be present on your car.
3. Consider Your Replacement Glass Carefully
Like most automotive parts, windshields fall into three general categories: genuine, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and aftermarket. Genuine and OEM parts are generally equivalent and should be identical to your original glass, while aftermarket quality can vary. The option you choose can impact your new windshield's longevity, appearance, and fit.
If you're planning on choosing an aftermarket windshield, be sure to discuss your options with your installer and ask for recommendations. Since the quality of these parts can vary, you should rely on an expert opinion to choose the best one for your car. Taking this extra research step will ensure you get a quality windshield replacement.