Windshield Crack

About a month back i noticed a 8" vertical crack on the windshield of my 2001 A4, meandering up from the place where the windshield viper ends, . I cant feel the crack on the surface from inside or outside,
and hasnt travelled (lengthened) in the past month.
1. The dealer recommended guy who will put an "Audi certified, & stamped' glass on is asking for ~$600/- for the replacement. 2. scouting around some other replacement companies quote ~$450 for and Audi stamped, ~$300 for superior quality (claimed to be the same windshield minus the logo, brands being named : PPG, Pilkington) , and ~$200 for safelite.
I am looking for views on what the difference of quality between 'safelite' vs Superior quality vs Audi logoed glasses. In some forums, I've read some horror stories about 'badly installed windshield'. People have gone to the extent of recommending not to change windshield if the crack/damage is not increasing . Thoughts, suggestions, experiences....
Thanks
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In the past ... when a headlight bulb has gone out on my Audi, the mechanic has told me they have to replace the whole unit becasue it comes "sealed"at a cost of $250 for the unit.
I sent an e-mail to shokan.com and they said I can just replace the bulb .. .a lot cheaper ... anyone have some experience with this?
TIA.
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Quisp, Are you talking about a headlight bulb burning out, or the glass lens attached to the housing breaking? If the bulb has burned out and the mechanic is charging $250 for the replacement, it sounds like he's got some boat payments to make up. The '88 5kt has a 9003 (?) bulb that plugs into the back of the DOT light housing (or H4 into the back of the Euro Light reflector) If the glass lens is cracked, and you have "DOT" headlights, yes, you'd have to get a whole housing (including reflectors, lens, etc - all in one lousy glued together unit). The european headlights that everybody in Type 44 (100/200/5000/V8) Audi-dom talks about have a separate (and waaaaay better) lens, better reflector, even an adjustment lever for when you're carrying lots of luggage in the trunk. The lens can be sourced separately, like from VM Autohaus (satisfied customer), for much less than the lousy DOT housing. Of course, new euros are expensive, but places like Shokan might have them used. I got mine used from a local wrecking yard for C$35 each, in the non-turbo form, but they mate up well to the V8 hood I installed last fall. Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ 1980 Audi 5k 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

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Steve, thank you for the response. I do know the glass was cracked on one of the headlights, so that would necessitate a whole assembly. I am talking about a bulb ... because the high beam works and the other side light, just not the low beam ....
Many thanks for your extensive response!
David
On Thu, 26 Jan 2006 17:08:19 -0500, "Steve Sears"

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Your mechanic liew and wants you to make his boat payment.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Tull, I've had some bad experiences with windshield repair with my 5ktq - took it to a dealer a fair distance away because I was told (somewhat misleadingly) that the glass repair was done in-house, whereas the local dealer sent it to the local Standard Autoglass franchise shop to have it done. It turned out that the "in-house" work was done "in the parking lot" of the dealership by a mobile glass installer. I figured that out as the car was in the exact same place I had left it when I picked it up, and there were little glass fragments on the asphalt all around it. The Bentley Manual shows a special tool (VW - go figure...) that attaches to the inside of the windscreen and carefully cuts the glass off the car. From the amount of vacuuming that had been done inside the car, I figured that they had smashed the glass and then cut it off. The following winter was a warm one, but the one after was brutally cold. One -15C morning I got into the car and fired it up, turning on the defrost (which began as a frigid breeze) I heard a huge bang about 5 minutes later as a crack travelled from the passenger side lower corner to mid-screen. That was a PPG 'shield - it seemed to be susceptible to nicks and chips and cracked after a rock impact just before replacement. It also whistled at highway speed which was probably an installer error. For the replacement, I went to the shop used by the local dealer (so they could do it inside), and demanded OE Glass - which was still available. The shop owner moaned and griped about how the glass is no different, the PPG probably cracked from frame rust (!!????), that they'd have to charge me extra (including the deductible which they normally covered), etc. etc. etc. I had ordered the glass myself from the dealer, which they in turn sold to the shop at _my_ cost (not "suggested list"), and then I paid the deductible and difference between Sekurit and PPG. They put in the shield and I picked the car up with tape on the corners of the screen when they closed. I noticed: - Damage to the dash, A-pillar covers, and headliner strip from cutting tools - Scratches in the A-pillar paint - Glass "dust" blew out from the defrost vents when I turned them on the next day I wrote a letter of complaint to the head office of the chain and to the local dealer, I never did hear from either of them. This past fall I was having the car painted. While it was in the booth bathed with light, I noticed a crack across the driver's side top corner (about a half inch from the corner). Although I cannot vouch for it's presence when I picked the car up (tape on corners), I'll bet it happened when they were installing it. The shop is closed now, I'm sure they've gone all-mobile by now. As I never heard back from their head office I continue to dissuade people from using that company. The Sekurit windshield has been very resistant to pits and chips (it has one nick from rock from a concrete truck on the highway that I have to fix), but there's an optical distortion on the passenger side - it's weird, and a friend of mine returned his (pre-install) to Audi because of the same thing. I don't notice it while driving, though. <sorry for the long rant, I've posted this before> In your case, the crack will most certainly grow over time it will grow with temperature changes and vibration until it reaches an edge. I'm happy with the Sekurit glass I have, aberration and all. I have found that the PPG shield got significantly more pits than the Sekurit in a similar amount of mileage. If I were to do the replacement again, I would take a photo record of the car (dash, pillar covers, headliner edge strip, paint on hood, pillars and roof), and inform whomever is replacing the glass that damage to anything but the old windshield is unacceptable and I would ask for replacements for damage to upholstery (I got replacement pillar covers and headliner edge from my friendly local wrecker for about $20, but an A4 will be waaaaay more) and paint repairs done per Audi manual recommendations. Make sure that they don't hack the old adhesive out, as they'd damage the galvanizing doing that. That all said, getting a dealer to do it, and not send you out to someone else, may be the way to go. Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ 1980 Audi 5k 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)

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I agree with the OE recommendation for replacement. I also recommend verifying certification of the installer and OE approved adhesives. The urethane used must meet specific tensile and lap shear strengths for that vehicle per manufacturer specs. Depending at what time of year you have the replacement done can change the urethane they will use. In the winter many glass shops use a urethane that 'cures' faster in colder temperatures so that after they install the glass they then park the car outside in cold temperatures. Also, the time of day the car is dropped off can cause a different urethane to be used. Some less expensive urethanes that have good specs cure better over longer periods of time.
Making sure the installer working on your car has more than just a couple of years experience is also good. Using the "national chain" for glass replacement on less expensive glass can be more costly in the end. Mobile work can be very chancy. Many glass shops that specialize in mobile jobs push their installers to do as many jobs a day as possible. Scheduling a person to put in eight windshields a day and having them travel around to do so means they have to cut corners and sometimes do bad installs. And some of the chains make their own glass (Safelite) or order the least expensive glass that meets the minimum standards (Triumph).
I believe that Audi made some of the bodies of the A4 out of aluminum. There was a specific urethane used that you may have to contact your dealership to find out about. The part number you will probably be looking for is FW2262 GYN and the corresponding top molding is WFTF823. Specify "premium" when requesting this. DO NOT LET YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY DICTATE WHERE TO GO FOR THE INSTALL!!!!!! They may try the following tricks such as offering to schedule for you or they can't guarantee the work of such and such place, etc. You may find that the person answering your phone call actually works for a national chain that has contracted with your insurance carrier to handle auto glass claims for a minimum charge. Ask them directly...what company is this, not who do you answer the call for but what company are they employed with.
PPG and Pilkington are both OE manufacturers in the autoglass industry. I work for one of them (sorry...can't say which). The factories are highly automated with state of the art computers and software used for creation and the monitoring of the process for defects. My Audi A6 also has a Pilkington windshield in it. I live in a far northern state with very cold winters, lots of sand and salt on the roads, and trips to visit relatives hours away. No problems so far.
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Arch, I agree with most of your comments, though: - you're saying to go with OEM, not OE - correct? PPG may be an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer for companies like GM, etc.), but they're certainly don't produce the OE windshield for an Audi A4 which uses Saint-Gobain - Sekurit (German OEM for Audi/VW). - A4's are steel-bodied cars with galvanizing that was applied to the sheet metal prior to stamping. Your comments on special adhesives do apply for the A8/S8 cars which have the ASF (aluminum space frame). I guess we should also note that it's a good idea to let the car sit as long as possible to let the adhesive cure, and that if you do have to drive it shortly after the installation, roll down the window before closing the door. Cheers! Steve Sears 1987 Audi 5kTQ - happy with the OE replacement windshield 1980 Audi 5k - looking for a replacement OE windshield 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes - still sporting their original OE windshields (SPAM Blocker NOTE: Remove SHOES to reply)
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