The glass in the side windows of your car, truck, or SUV is made from automotive safety glass, and when it is damaged, the glass typically shatters, requiring replacement of the entire sheet. While the glass can be replaced, it is often best to take the vehicle to an auto glass shop with auto safety glass replacement experience.
Understanding Safety Glass
The glass used in most vehicles' side windows is different from the glass used in the windshield. The side windows are made from auto safety glass designed to shatter into small pieces when it breaks. This way, no large shards of glass exist to get cut on.
The small pieces of glass have sharp edges to them, but far fewer, and they are so small that they can not cause puncture wounds to a passenger in the car. The glass is easy to replace if it does break, but it is very durable. As such, a significant impact is required to damage the glass.
Like windshield replacement, many glass shops offer auto safety glass replacement services and will change the glass for you and replace the seal around it so that it does not leak. However, if the car was in an accident, the body panel the glass sits in may not be straight. This means it may need to be repaired before the glass can be replaced successfully.
Removing Old Glass
When the safety glass breaks, the portion of the glass attached to the vehicle at the seal often stays put. Modern urethane seals often need to be heated and scraped off the sheet metal, but your auto safety glass replacement shop can take the old material off and prep the surface for the new seal for you.
Once the surface is ready, a new urethane seal will be put on the body of the car, and then the glass is placed into the sealing material. When this is done correctly, the seal will bond with the steel of the car body and with the glass in order to make a water and air-tight seal.
The temperature in the shop, the humidity, and the surface prep can all affect how well the seal works, so it is critical that you take the car to a shop with auto safety glass replacement experience when you are replacing side windows. In many cases, the shop can get the factory replacement glass for you and install it using OE (original equipment) seals and methods to ensure the repair lasts for many years. Contact an auto safety glass replacement service for more information.