How Long Does it Take to Install a Windshield?

A cracked windshield is one of many inconvenient hassles that car owners have to deal with. Chips and cracks in your windshield are not only unsightly and annoying, but they can also put you and other drivers in severe danger if neglected. 

While it may be tempting to put off a repair, damaged windshields can impair your vision, compromise the integrity of your vehicle, and cause severe traffic accidents. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and get even the smallest of nicks and chips repaired as soon as possible to avoid further damage. 

One reason that people often procrastinate repairing their windshield is that they think replacing the windshield is a time-consuming process that will require their vehicle to be out of commission for a period of time. However, windshield replacements are actually fairly simple and quick fixes that only require your car to be in the shop for a few hours. 

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about windshield replacements so that you can have peace of mind in knowing that a quick repair that can make a big difference in your safety on the road. 




Reasons to Replace a Broken Windshield

Windshield cracks are typically caused by flying rocks or other airborne debris on the road. In California, driving with any damage to your front or rear windshield that impairs your vision of the road is illegal and punishable by a traffic ticket, fine, and even an arrest in some cases. While this law may seem harsh, it is in place for the protection of drivers. Chips and cracks in your windshield can pose a variety of different safety concerns including:

Impaired Vision 

A cracked windshield can obstruct the driver’s view which creates safety concerns for not only the driver but other members of the road. Even the smallest of chips can interfere with the driver’s line of sight making it harder to see any obstacles, cars, and pedestrians on the road, increasing the probability of an accident. 

Ejection from the Vehicle

Among other functions, windshields are in place as a last line of defense to keep the driver in the car in the case of an accident. If your seatbelt and airbags fail, your windshield can help prevent you from being ejected from the vehicle. Cracks in a windshield compromise it’s structural integrity, which weakens it and makes it more susceptible to further damage. If your windshield is cracked in the event of a collision, it won’t be strong enough to act as a crucial barrier. 

Airbag Malfunctioning 

Airbags function by using the windshield as a ricochet to push the airbags towards the passenger when they’re deployed. If the windshield is broken, the airbag may completely shatter the windshield or fail to properly deploy toward the passenger during a collision, rendering them useless. 

There is an array of safety concerns that are associated with broken windshields. Even if you believe the damage is not extensive, cracked windshields can compromise your entire vehicle so it’s important to have any damage repaired as soon as possible for the safety of yourself, your passengers, and fellow drivers. Rear windshield replacements are often neglected because they’re not as noticeable, however, damage to your back windshield is equally as compromising to your vehicle’s safety and should be dealt with promptly as well. 

Repair vs. Replacement 

When you crack your windshield it can be difficult to determine whether to try and repair the damage or invest in an entirely new windshield. 

While some minor chips can be repaired, most professionals agree that if a crack is directly in the driver’s line of sight, there are more than three cracks or chips on the glass, the damage is at the edge of the windshield or the windshield is old and covered with tiny divots, it should be replaced rather than repaired. 

The best way to decide whether to choose a replacement or repair is to consult with a professional to determine the best course of action. 

How Long Does a Windshield Replacement Take?

Most windshield replacements can be completed in 30 minutes to an hour. During a replacement, two-technicians will remove your old windshield, apply an adhesive sealant to the mounting area and carefully place the new windshield in place. This process is fairly simple but requires a lot of precision and patience to accomplish correctly. 

After your windshield is replaced, it’s recommended that you wait at least an additional 60 minutes to drive your vehicle in order to allow it to set properly. 

In total, this process should take no longer than an hour and 30 minutes to two hours. 

It may be tempting to find an auto-body shop that guarantees the fastest installation, but it is far more important to find a trained and certified technician that will comply with all safety guidelines even if it takes an additional 30 minutes. 

A quality technician will go over exactly how long the work is estimated to take, any concerns you may have before the installation process begins and the type of glass and adhesive they use. They should also be able to provide you with a written warranty and a record of the work that they have completed. 

Time to Replace Your Windshield?

A cracked windshield is a pain, but replacing it does not have to be a time-consuming endeavor. Finding a quality technician to perform your installation is extremely important when it comes to your safety. With over 20 years of experience serving San Diego, San Diego Glass & Tint offers superior auto glass services, including windshield replacement, windshield repair, rear windshield replacement, power window repair, and window tinting. If your windshield is damaged, give us a call today at (858) 264-3725 for a consultation.