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Windshield replacement gone wrong?

I picked up my 2009 Mazda3 in early November, and by the end of December I had about a foot-long crack in the windshield thanks to an errant stone on the highway. I had some trouble finding a glass shop to do the replacement because the model year is so new they couldn’t find a windshield with the right part number. Eventually the dealership was able to order one and my insurance dealt directly with the glass shop they use.

My windshield was replaced at the dealership on Monday, so it would supposedly be done inside and I’d have the use of a loaner car. It was well below freezing and snowy, and I’m thinking they may have done the replacement inside but moved it outside afterwards. Can the sealant cure properly if the temperature is, say, 15 degrees F?

Since Monday, it’s stayed well below freezing. I wanted to take my car to the car wash to test out the seal after a few days, but it’s been so cold I haven’t wanted to deal with frozen locks or doors.

Also starting Monday, I’ve had frost on the inside of my windshield each time I’ve gotten into the car. It’s not like other frost I’ve seen, which is centered over the defroster vent - this is all around the edges of the windshield, mostly on the driver side. Up until the replacement windshield, I’d never had frost on the inside of my windshield. There’s minimal water on my floormats, my A/C is always running, and the heat is not set on recirculate.

Does this sound like a sign of a bad seal?

I’ve had a couple of windshields replaced in the winter. The glass guys know their products and installation requirements. The sealers need to be within a certain temp when applied and for a short time afterward until they cure enough. During this time, they usually leave a couple of windows cracked so that if someone closes a door, they don’t cause a pressure surge and ruin the seal. Once the sealer is cured enough, they move it outside. IIRC, it was about an hour for it to cure enough not to worry about using the vehicle in a normal manner. I think you’re worrying unnecessarily.

To me it sounds like the water on the floor is causing the inside frost. Snow on your shoes when you get in the car melts and stays on the floor. Some of it evaporates and condenses on the inside of the windows when it’s cold.

I wouldn’t worry about the windshield seal unless you have a legitimate reason, and right now you don’t have one.

Good to know - I’m reasonably sure they left it inside for that important first hour. Since I’ve been worrying about having a seal problem, I thought moving it outside before it had completed cured might be a problem, but now I’m thinking it was probably fine after that first hour.

This week hasn’t been very snowy at all, and I haven’t had a frost problem even when I was tracking in tons of snow during several straight days of heavy snow. It seemed pretty coincidental that it’s be frosting right around the edges of the newly sealed windshield all of a sudden, but it could very well just be coincidence.

I know I’m worrying prematurely, but the car is practically brand new still and I want it to be perfect. :smiley: I’m certainly not going to do anything about it unless I know for sure there’s a problem. At this point, I just wanted to see what you guys thought.

In my experience the installers like to have about an hour before they consider it cured. However some consider that overly cautious. I doubt if you will have a problem.

Good Luck

I would post-pone the water test,no reason to stress things yet.

When I had my windshield replaced this last fall near McAllen, the installer told me to leave the windows down a crack for several days, and also leave the blue tape on for the same time. I don’t think it was that dry, but that is sure different from one hour cure time.

Here’s a link to the guys who’ve done all my windshields- They mention cure times in the opening screen. I notice they mention heating the adhesive to improve the seal and speed drive off time. Perhaps that’s the difference in cure times???

I’m curious about the blue tape. Mine have always been returned cleaned and ready for service. Never had to do anything after they were done. Where is the tape applied?

Have you gone back to the shop and asked them about it? That might be worth the time.

Why would anyone replace a windshield in the middle of the winter?? Chances are, another stone will find it…At the very least, it’s sure to get pitted with all the sand and gravel on the streets…

Mine had tape on it when I picked it up (black tape though!). The dealer didn’t pass along any instructions from the shop, just said it was good to go and to wait a day or two before washing.

I submitted a response and then it disappeared, so this may wind up being a double post…

I replaced the windshield now because in NY, based on the length and location, the crack in my windshield was illegal. I pay for full glass coverage…I might as well use it.

It’s a sign of a dirty window usually.

Why would anyone replace a windshield in the middle of the winter??

Any crack in the swept area of the wipers is cause for failing the yearly safety inspection in MA.

A crack in the viewing area of the windshield is annoying and potentially dangerous.

In MA, auto glass replacement coverage is mandatory and part of your comprehensive coverage so replacement costs nothing more.

You know how you can always tell a highway car from a city car by the pitting in the paint and windshield? Mine last about 3-4 years max before they are very difficult to see out of when the light is right. That is, if they’re not destroyed by a rock in the meantime. The worst stretch I had was 3 windshields, in two different cars, in a year and a half. Then they repaved 95.

A few weeks later, the new windshield seems fine. I also thought that I was getting a little more wind noise on the highway, but after a weekend trip of several hundred miles and a couple washes on sporadic days warmer than 32 degrees, I think it’s safe to say it’s fine.

Hopefully the next time I need a new windshield, it’ll be in the summer. Thanks for all the advice!

Mine last about 3-4 years max before they are very difficult to see out of when the light is right.

My gripes about windshields are:

  1. softer glass for the benefit of idiots who won’t wear a seatbelt = more easily scratched
  2. windshield washers that squirt AFTER the blades have made a complete pass already, grinding dust and dirt into the glass

Put super-hard glass back into windshields (at least, the outer layer), and rig the washers to squirt first and then wipe!

  1. windshield washers that squirt AFTER the blades have made a complete pass already, grinding dust and dirt into the glass

YES! YES! YES! I couldn’t agree more. Not to mention the damage it can do to your nice blade edge. I’d almost rather have the squirter rigged up to a separate control so I can make the decision when to turn on the wipers.