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How to Replace a Windscreen

Updated July 20, 2017

A windscreen or windshield is the large expanse of glass that separates you from the elements when driving. If your car windscreen sustains damage from flying pebbles, accidental collisions or other inconveniences, you will need to replace it. While this might seem like an overly complicated job, you can actually do it yourself and avoid having to work around the schedule of a mechanic. Be prepared to work slowly but you can easily do this entire job in a day of concerted effort.

Take off the windshield wiper blades and mounts using a wrench. Disconnect the heating connectors on the inside of the car.

Remove the seal on the outside of the windscreen using a windshield cutter. Pull the seal out all the way around the glass.

Run the cutter in the channel around the windscreen to cut the under lying seal. Push the cutter firmly down to break the seal.

Attach the heavy duty suction cups to the outside of the windscreen so they are in the middle of the glass. Have a friend sit in the car while you stay on the outside.

Pull on the suction cup handle to pull the glass out of the car while your friend pushes from the inside. Be careful not to lose your balance when the windscreen starts to come loose.

Scrape off any remaining seal from around the opening in the car where the windscreen was resting. Use a scraper to get the seal off, warming stubborn spots with a heat gun to loosen the adhesive.

Apply glass adhesive to the opening where the windscreen will rest and to the inside edges of the new windscreen glass. Heat the adhesive to about 23.9 degrees C.

Attach the suction cups to the exterior side of the new glass and lower the windscreen into the opening of the car. Have the friend in the car guide the glass into place.

Insert a new seal around the windscreen on the outside of the car. Make sure the seal is firmly seated in the channel all around the glass.

Reconnect the heating connectors on the windscreen and reattach the windshield wipers and blades.

Tip

Keep the new windshield wrapped up until you are ready to install it to avoid getting it dirty or breaking it.

Warning

Do not leave your car without a windscreen overnight, as the interior could get damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Windshield cutter
  • Heavy duty suction cups with handles
  • Scraper
  • Heat gun
  • New windscreen
  • Glass bonding adhesive
  • Windshield sealer
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About the Author

Based in New York, Cheryl Macman has been writing health and weight loss articles since 2003. Her work has appeared in "Weight Watchers" and "Better Health" magazines. Macman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Rutgers College.