I have a 1978 Buick Regal whose windshield recently suffered serious
damage. It was near a car that was arsoned, and the heat combined
possibly with getting splashed by a fire hose cracked it up pretty bad,
although oddly enough only on the outer layer of glass. At any rate,
it needs replacing.
Are used windshields a good way to go? I'd rather save some dough,
especially on an ancient beater like this one, but a friend of mine had
a used one installed and it cracked on him. Was this a fluke, or are
used windshields a risky way to go?
If its an old beater as you say, no reason for a new one.
Just make sure the used one has NO chips or blemishes
around the edge at all.
Installation of these isn't too hard. I think you clean all the
old adhesive off as best you can, then put on primer for the
butyl tape, apply tape to windshield and using several friends
install it carefuly as you only get to set it in once.
If you could inspect the used window meticulously, reject anything with
a single nick on an edge and install it yourself, a $50 window would be
worth the effort.
But if you are talking $100 for install plus $75 for an unknown and
unseen window, the price is too close to the new window price to take
the chance. On the other hand, if you could find someone to install the
used window and warranty it for at least 30 days, that would generally
be enough to be sure there were no latent defects. Many installers,
even for new glass, refuse to warranty anything with a vehicle that old
because of rust. Some just won't warrant it for leaks.
If you are willing to spend as much as $175 for this, then you
'warranty' it yourself. It might be a good deal if you are careful in
selecting the used piece. Finding one with no cracks, blisters,
stone-damage, or not sandblasted is a huge PITA, not to mention driving
around spending time/gas money. Whether or not the installer will
guarantee his work is a question too.
I'd spend the extra $75 for a new piece that is guaranteed. I went
through this same thing with my truck. The new unit was well worth it.
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