When you get a windshield replacement, the way you treat the glass immediately after installation plays a major role in the longevity of the window.
During the first 24-48 hours after you leave the auto glass repair shop, your new windshield is most vulnerable to damage. To ensure the glass settles and bonds properly to the frame of your vehicle, there are a handful of things you must do.
Read on to learn the windshield replacement aftercare tips every vehicle owner should know.
Let Your Vehicle Sit for a Minimum of One Hour
Immediately after the technicians complete your windshield replacement, your vehicle should sit for at least an hour to allow the glass adhesive to begin setting and drying. Avoid driving the vehicle during this time to prevent road vibrations, weather, debris, and other factors from compromising the adhesive’s ability to settle.
If you know you’ll need to leave the shop before the one-hour wait time is up, have someone come pick you up or have a friend or family member follow you to your appointment. Driving might sound relatively harmless at this point, but if you can potentially damage the seal on the glass by making even a quick trip, why risk it?
Drive With Caution
Even an hour after the replacement is complete, the seal around your windshield is still in the process of curing completely. And to allow that seal to adhere to the frame of the vehicle properly, you must be careful about how you drive during the day or two after you get your ride back.
If you tend to drive on particularly bumpy roads, see if you can find alternate routes for a couple of days. When you encounter speed bumps or unavoidable potholes, slow to a crawl before driving over them. Hitting bumps and holes with significant force or driving on roads that cause considerable vibration can interfere with the sealant’s ability to cure. In the event that happens, leaks or glass detachment can result.
Don’t Slam the Doors!
For at least 48 hours after your windshield replacement, do your very best to avoid slamming the doors, trunk, or hood of your vehicle! The molding and adhesive that keep the windshield in place are still in the process of setting and curing throughout the first couple of days after the glass installation.
Any degree of force can interfere with the adhesive’s ability to cure, and if it doesn’t cure properly, your windshield can leak or detach. Since your windshield helps maintain the structural integrity of your vehicle during a collision, an improperly attached windshield can put your safety at serious risk.
Leave a Window Cracked
If it’s hot outdoors when you get your windshield replaced, air pressure can build inside the cabin of your vehicle when you leave it parked outside. When you park inside a garage, pressure can still build if the interior of your garage gets hot enough.
After just a single hour of sitting in a hot area, the temperature inside a vehicle increases approximately 43-48 degrees higher than the temperature outside it. If it’s 90° F outdoors, the cabin of your parked vehicle can reach a staggering 138° F within just 90 minutes. Yikes.
That pressure can stress the seal where the windshield attaches to the frame of the vehicle, potentially compromising it. To avoid pressure buildup, all you need to do is leave one of the side windows cracked slightly. This will help equalize the temperature inside and outside of your car or truck and allow the adhesive to cure properly.
Let the Retention Tape Sit
When you get your vehicle back, you’ll notice retention tape around the edges of the windshield. Although that tape may not be your favorite thing to look at, do not remove it!
Retention tape is designed to prevent debris from entering the area around the windshield seal. If you take it off, you dramatically increase the risk of debris interfering with the seal’s curing process. Ultimately, even a small amount of debris can compromise the integrity of the windshield’s seal and put your safety at risk.
Minimize Potential Stressors
Extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), as well as direct sunlight, heavy winds, rain, and pressure, can all interfere with the adhesive’s setting process.
To give your new windshield the best chance of sealing properly, it’s best to avoid the following potential stressors for at least 24-48 hours after your windshield replacement.
Parking in direct sunlight.
If you can find a shady spot, park there. If you must park out in the open on a sunny day, use a sun shield at the very least.
Driving in heavy rain.
If the weather is particularly bad for the first couple of days after your windshield replacement, avoid driving if at all possible. Heavy precipitation can potentially interfere with the adhesive’s sealing process.
Resting items against the glass.
Keep the dash of your vehicle free and clear for at least a day after the installation and avoid using exterior covers. You don’t want anything resting against the window while the seal cures.
Power washers and car washes.
High-pressure streams of water can damage the molding around your new windshield when it’s not fully cured. Wait at least two days after installation to power wash your car or take it through a car wash. If you must wash your vehicle, use a regular garden hose instead.
Check out some of our other windshield maintenance tips for simple things you can do to keep your new windshield in excellent condition over the long term!
And when you get your vehicle back, be sure to check if the glass was installed correctly.
Get a Free Windshield Replacement Estimate in the Twin Cities
Need a new windshield? Let our team at Only 1 Auto Glass help you out! We have over 200 years of combined glass installation and repair experience among our team and our installers are certified by the Auto Glass Safety Council. We have multiple locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro for your convenience and your complete satisfaction is our number one concern.
To get started, request a free estimate or give us a call today at 651-789-1111. Got questions? Send us a message, and we’ll be in touch!