What to Do with a Broken Windscreen when Travelling Australia

When travelling in Australia it is common practice to buy a car to travel up and down the East or West coast. This is because the distances are so far and as a traveller you often want to pull in and stop along the way. Having your own car allows you to do this whereas the bus or train will just continue on till the next stop.

However when travelling long distances you may run into a spot of bother. Car windscreens or windshields are somewhat harder and tougher than the plain glass, but it may get nicked, scratched or completely damaged because of a lot of driving of about hundreds and thousands of miles.

It’s always seemed to be protecting us, so if it does need to be replaced, it must be done in a way safe for you. You really have two choices here. You could contact a windscreen replacement specialist or you could take the risk and try to tackle the task solo. If you are going to replace it yourself you are at the best place to be facilitated, you just need to follow the directions provided here.

Removing an Old Windscreen

Most vehicles have some sort of moldings or trim that encompass the windscreen. Firstly you will have to remove moldings, by carefully removing the clips holding those moldings. These clips can be detached in many simple ways like by pulling straight out, removing the middle first or by pushing in from either side.

Now take off the rear view mirror and registration carefully.  By analyzing the best angle to separate the windscreen from the pinch-weld, you will need a cold knife or a razor. Take your time with the entire windscreen, cut through the urethane bead by using a cold knife or a razor. Urethane is a strong, but flexible, polymer based adhesive. As it is very strong you may have to do this from inside.

Now a detachment of the windscreen can be done with the help of two people. One will push upward away from the pinch-weld and the other will get a hold of the glass from the outside. Once the windscreen is free, use suction cup handles to hoist it up.

Preparing The Pinch-Weld

Scrape off any visible dirt or contaminants as they will reduce the adhesion between windscreen and urethane. The pinch-weld mostly has old urethane which must be dropped down leaving behind a fairly thin layer of about 3 mm because new layer will adhere to the old urethane more effectively.

Sand back any rusty area to bare metal to remove rust. Now cover the non-rusty areas of the car with some tape and sheets of paper or plastic.  Now apply the primer paint which avoids rust forming over time. This will help adhesion with urethane too.

Installation of the New Windscreen

Apply the primer to the frit band which will open the molecules of the urethane increasing the adhesion between urethane and the frit band.

Using an electric caulking gun apply the urethane over the entire space, overlapping the ends once you’ve done a lap. It’s difficult for the bead to remain consistent, so check for any gaps before going further. Take your time but not too much. Any longer than 15 mins can result in setting starting to take place and if you are not done this will cause a bad join and non secure windscreen.

Carefully align the top bottom and sides of the windscreen. Set the windscreen on the right position by using suction cup handles. When u are fully satisfied with the position then damp it down with a little pressure.

Now replace the trim and moldings that have been removed earlier. Give final touch to the scratches (if present) with paint.

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