Windshield Replacement - do windshields have satellite antennas in them?

ford
windshields
taurusx

#1

I have a Ford Taurus X, 2008. I need to replace the windshield. I learned the hard way on my last car that some windshields contain antennas and other information in them. I called the Ford dealership and the parts person said I was fine just to replace it at one of those Safelite places. I just want to take initiative to find out if that’s correct. How can I tell for certain? There are a bunch of small black dots in the middle behind the rear view mirror that take up about10"x8" - see attached photo. Is this merely decorative?


#2

Yep decorative.


#3

That would be my guess as well. Why do you want an antenna in your windshield anyway? They never work as well as one on your fender.


#4

The black spots are for sun shading. The visors don’t cover everything. I think we gave up on antennae in the windshield. Is there no antenna poking out of your roof?


#5

Those black dots are actually functional, and help to block sun that comes in around the edges of the sun visors. Hopefully a windshield from Safelite will have the same feature, but it is possible that only the OEM windshield has it.

As to an antenna for satellite radio, those usually look like a miniature shark’s fin, and are placed on the roof. As far as I know, glass-embedded antennas for “regular” radio are contained inside the rear glass nowadays.


#6

Yep that’s sun screen. They’ll replace it like for like anyway. Most cars now have the antenna in the roof anyway but some are in the windshield. It would be a small wire running along the top of the windshield anyway.


#7

Those black dots are actually an aesthetically acceptable “fade” transition to a necessary coating on the glass’ edge. In order to protect the windscreen’s adhesive from UV damage, a type of thermosetting plastic coating is applied to the glass before installation. A bead of adhesive is then applied to the edge of the windscreen to install it. In order to make a more visually pleasing transition area, fading dots are included in the thermoset plastic coating.

The black areas, along with the dots, often dip down in the middle to also protect the mirror’s adhesive as well.

A reputable glass place, like PPG, will get the correct windscreen for you. Some cars used integrated antennas a few years back, but I don’t know if they still do. Those antennas turned out to be highly directional. People in fringe areas could get their favorite station on the way to work, but not always on the way home. And in cured road areas, like the northeast, stations were fading in & out.


#8

Agree with all the above. A little additional information, the windshield antennas came out in the 80’s if I remember correctly. They were a dipole antenna that was bi-directional. That is they received from two directions, in the case of the windshield antenna, that was to the front and rear of the car. Stations to the side of the car would fade out.

AM/FM antennas today are found in the rear glass because they are fractal antennas. These antennas are very efficient, omnidirectional and broad banded. But if they were put in the windshield, they would be in the drivers field of vision, so they are not allowed in the windshield. Satellite antennas are those little shark fins at the center back of the roof.

If you had a dipole antenna in your windshield, you would see two parallel wires embedded in the windshield running vertically up the center. Hard to miss.