Windshield replacement (should I get OEM glass?, how to determine a good shop)

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I just got a rock chip in my winshield, directly in my line of sight on my 97 Honda Accord. According to California law, I can't patch it, I must replace the winshield.
I got a quote from a local glass shop chain. The cost is only $180 including labor. This seems way too inexpensive (although perhaps prices have dropped in recent years.) I am almost sure the the replacement is not OEM. Is it important to use OEM replacements? Not only for safety reasons but for quality reasons as well. Also, the shop told me I can drive away in about 1/2 hour. This seems fishy to me as I would believe that the adhesives need to cure properly. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks
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On 27 Oct 2005 15:34:24 -0700 snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Here's my experience with windshields, 'old style' and new style.
A gasket (moldable yet firm goo) is layed around the perimeter of the windshield deck. The new windshield is layed on top of this gasket and also rests against alignment clips. Then the chrome (or colored) molding is pressed on to hide the channel.
You're ready to drive off.
About six months ago, I had a windshield replaced on my truck. A rubber gasket (it's grooved on the ID of the gasket) is wrapped around the windshield, which forms a rubber 'ring' around the windshield, then the windshield with this rubber gasket ring is pressed into the winshield channel.
Ready to drive RIGHT NOW.
No 'adhesives' involved in either of those two methods.
I paid $80 for a brand-new windshield, OEM quality and then paid $70 for installation.
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wrote:

Forgot to mention: the first windshield I got from a junkyard, no chips, etc for $40 and a friend who is a body man, installed it for me in 30 minutes. (no cost except beer).
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mst wrote:

Current safety laws require all new US vehicles to have adhesive bonded windshields. They don't pop out in accidents like the gasket mounted types.
John
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John Horner wrote:

I believe federal regulations only require that a certain high percentage of the windshield remain in place and unpierced. It doesn't mandate the use of adhesive, and I had a VW Golf (Rabbit in U.S.) with the windshield held in place with a gasket, but on the left and right sides were metal strips with alligator teeth to dig into the gasket and make it hold the glass much more securely. The alligator strips also made installation much more difficult, and I'm sure some unscrupulous glass shops left them out. These strips, being made of heavily galvanized steel, probably also prevented the opening from rusting, a major problem with my rear hatch window. I believe car makers switched to adhesives in order to save time (glue can cure as the car travels down the production line) and to allow a more flush perimeter around the glass.
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I checked with the Buick dealership here earlier, and they said they outsource EVERYTHING:
It is common to walk away for $100 on some windshields.
You will likely be okay on the one you described.
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Had a brand new VW once...got a star break on the way home....too big for repair...so new windshield. Original was OEM (obvisously); replacement not.
Had a new Toyota with scratches in the driver's side of the windshield at time of purchase....finally got the dealer to accept the defect and they replaced it. (Actually dealer had some local glass outfit do the replacement - not OEM by the way; replacement job was done right there in the dealer's service bay!).
Had more than couple of replacements on Honda Accord in 5 years....none were OEM and, per others on this group, less $.
Moral of this story.....auto glass has to meet Federal safety standards, and any reputable glass outfit knows that....save the $ and believe other posts on this group about non-OEM windshields. (Even my original Honda windshield had some distortions...)
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I would be interested to hear opinions on "OEM glass" as well.
A few weeks ago my 91 Civic also acquired a bad peck and crack from a rock. This was the third one the windshield had acqired, and by far much worse than the others. I too was amazed when I found a company (Safelite) that would come to my house and install a new one (in less than an hour) for only $221. After I had it installed, the technician similarly told me I could drive in an hour.
Unfortunately, ten days later another rock hit the windshield (passenger side) and it now has a ten inch crack in it. I called the company and asked if there were a higher quality glass I could have had installed. Its representative said no.
I have been thinking the new windshield's crack is by far more due to the fact that I drive in an area overwhelmingly populated by aspiring yuppie pick-up truck owners. They sit higher and their wheels spew out rocks close to my windshield's level.
But if anyone has a citation reporting that OEM glass is tougher, I'd like to see it.

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On Thu, 27 Oct 2005 23:01:32 GMT "Elle"

Didnt your OEM crack?
Fact of the matter, a rock/pebble, with the proper angle and thrust, will mar any quality glass.
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Of course.
My point is it seems a bit too much of a coincidence that of the roughly five or six projectiles that have hit my windshield hard over the last 14 years, one was hard enough to crack my non-OEM windshield only ten days after installation.
I guess how this windshielf fares in the coming year will tell more. I am prepared to resign myself to being messed over by all the trucks kicking up rocks at the height of my Civic's windshield in my area, but I would like to know if OEM glass would be tougher.
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"Nope...there isn't enough difference to worry about. Mules is mules, Erastus
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wrote:

windshields in barely half a year. The original was smashed by a vandal. Maybe a month later a big rock terminated the new one. Not a week later a storm broke a big limb from a tree and smashed #3. Within a couple months #4 picked up a couple of star cracks that grew into each other (that could be related to windshield quality). The next windshield lasted until we got rid of the car... maybe a year or two.
I recall many years ago there was a car commercial (Buick?) that featured two cars running into a steel ball or similar suspended by a string. The Brand X car had a smashed windshield while Wonder Car didn't. They were touting a "specially toughened area in front of the driver" - which made me wonder if there was a reason the rest of the windshield was more vulnerable. Since then I learned that tempering makes glass much more resistant to impact but much more vulnerable to temperature changes. So... there may well be differences, but I couldn't tell you what is best..
Mike
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Well, this makes me feel better. ;-)

Googling doesn't have much that leaps out on the subject. Thanks to the other posters (HLS et al.) who say their understanding the resistance to cracks etc. is no better than OEM.
I did try one of those $10 crack repair kits on the latest crack. The improvement was slight, worth ten bucks I suppose, plus I managed to extend the crack another inch during the process.
I guess I'll shop around casually in the next few months.
Maybe there's a little too much construction in my area and I should wait at least six months until things settle down. The construction just seems to never end, wherever one is.
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OEM Honda glass is like OEM Honda radiators: Overpriced for what you get.
An OEM '97 Accord windshield is less than $300. An aftermarket will be less than half that.
Quality issues with aftermarket glass usually involve distortion (see item #2).
The only real quality issues you'll have with any windshield are:
1) Pinchweld paint nicks, which will rust. And they WILL nick the paint, too. Get the installer to allow you to inspect the pinchweld BEFORE the new glass goes in, and get him to primer the nicks with his glass primer. If the glass shop won't let you do this, go find one that will.
2) Distortions in the glass. Have the glass shop support the windshield at the same angle it will be in when installed, pointing out the shop's windows. Then go squat down where you will be when in the driver's seat. Squirm around and watch the view. Does anything appear distorted as you move around? Then DON'T let them install that glass! Get them to bring in a new one. A good glass shop will have no objection to you doing this. Of course, greater priority will be given to distortions directly in your line of vision. Don't reject glass just because the upper passenger-side corner has distortion.
3) Nicks in the glass edges. Run your fingernail all around the edges on both faces. The tiniest nick will eventually turn into a crack. If your fingernail hangs up at any point, reject the glass.
4) Trim. Probably the very best thing for you to do is remove the wipers, A-pillar trim and leaf grate yourself. It will prevent them from breaking it and then gluing it up with urethane so you don't notice.
5) Make certain they've put the new glass in STRAIGHT. If they're in a hurry they can put it in slightly rotated, and you'll have weird wind noises and maybe even water leaks. I've just gone through this with a guy with a 2003 CR-V. Boy did the glass shop screw that one up.
6) As far as drive time after installation, less than an hour is NORMAL. Modern urethane glass adhesive cures VERY quickly. Don't worry about it.
7) MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL!!!!!!! STAY WAY FROM DUMP TRUCKS! I call them windshield-crackers. If you are even 100 yards behind a dump truck, drop back 1,000 yards, or pass it. Stay at LEAST two lanes away. Every time one of those things goes over the slightest bump, a cascade of gravel will sift out of the tailgate seams and break your windshield! They make dumpers tarp their loads, but they do NOTHING about the tailgate seams. Dumb, if you ask me. And generally, don't tailgate. If you're close to another vehicle, the chances of gravel getting kicked onto your windshield are much greater.
Just my 2, of course.
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TeGGeR

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I'm not finding that - Chapter and verse, please?
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Novus dealers listed in the "glass replacement or repair" section of the local phone book; they won't thrive if what they do is illegal. Apparently the technique has also changed recently, because the last time I had a star crack repaired they said the maximum size was one that could be covered by a quarter. Now I'm told they can repair it if the crack can be covered by a dollar bill. Maybe the next time it will be if they can be covered by a $100 bill ;-)
Our last crack was too big, and we got a good price and good service on replacement from Safelite. YMMV.
Mike
Mike
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Doug McCrary wrote:

AFAIK, its a citeable offense, good for a $10 "fix it ticket".
that is...
IF you get pulled over IF you get cited THEN you have to fix it
prolly something in the code about having an obstructed view, or something. im not the OP, so i dont know or really care, but im sure theres something in the code about not obstructing your windshield.
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(Disclaimer: I haven't been a Californian for many a year....) When I have had cracks repaired they were effectively invisible. I could get *real* close and make out hairlines, but otherwise they couldn't be seen.
Now I'm an Arizonan and as long as huge chunks of the car don't fall in the path of a patrolman, most such things are usually ignored. (A few months ago my son was attacked on the freeway by a rolling something that looked like a brake drum and lodged above his spoiler - true story!) I am cynical enough to think the complaints are saved until the patrolman wants to pull the car over, though.
Mike
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I guess I'll ask my shop manager at my yard. I know we have to replace cracked windows on buses, but not sure what law(s) or reg(s) cover that. But that's commercial, dunno if it applies to personal vehicles.
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