Windshield replacement nitemare



Had a crack in our windshield so we went through our insurance and big name company came out to fill the crack. A couple weeks later the crack spread almost all the way across the windshield so we called big name company back out and paid the deductible from our insurance to have the windshield replaced. They did the job in our drive way and it was kind of cold out (20-30 degrees). We noticed a squeaking or crackling sound coming from the windshield, mostly when going over bumps so we called them back up and after two more visits to their shop they just replaced the whole windshield again. The crackling/squeaking went mostly away but then there was an air leak and eventually the rubber/plastic seal on the outside top of the windshield popped out completely and water started to leak in before they could get us in the shop to repair the issue. Windshield replaced again and all seems well except now when it’s cold out it seems to make the squeaking/crackling noise again. Goes away when it warms up though. We’ve already complained through the company and gotten our deductible back but we’re not happy that it’s still making noise occasionally. Frankly I’m tired of dealing with this company and don’t have any confidence that they’ll ever do it right. My question for this forum is, will a replacement windshield ever be as good as factory installed and is it normal for it to sometimes make noise in the cold?


I’ve had a crack in my windshield (low and not in line of sight) for over 5 years. It has spread, but traveled across and down, fortunately not up.

I could have it replaced, but until it either fails inspection or travels up into my line of sight I’ll leave it alone. Reason, I think the factory installed windshield is better sealed than a replacement. Some techs do a better job than others, and some cars are easier to seal up and work on than others.

Most replacements likely work out fine, but you can’t beat the factory installed windshield.


I had a windshield replaced last summer. It makes no unusual noises, doesn’t leak water or air, and, with the exception of two small gaps in the outside trim, looks as good as the original.

A properly installed replacement windshield should not leak or make noise in any way.

I suggest you take the vehicle to a different windshield replacement company. If they haven’t gotten it right in three tries they’re not going to.

I don’t think I’d let anyone do it outside in cold weather. Take the van to a shop, leave it there, and let them install the windshield in a controlled environment.


I agree UncleTurbo. Something to consider also is the fact that the quality of the windshield installation directly affects the operation of the airbag. If the windshield pops out easily then the airbag can’t do it’s job effectively. This can result in an injury or death to the driver or front seat passenger.


The last two times they’ve replaced it has been at their shop. I think going somewhere else is probably the answer.


Did they have you leave the car sit for awhile before driving it? Depending on the urethane they used, the car should not be driven for an hour, up to several hours after replacement. Some windshield urethanes (glues) are good down to zero degrees, but some are not. Hopefully they used the proper one. Replacements SHOULD be as good as the OE if done right. I think the noise you are hearing is the seal/trim molding squeaking against the car. It will probably go away in time as it settles in, but if it still continues I would take it back.


In the last 8 years, I’ve had a total of 5 windshields replaced on two cars; 2003 Camry and a 2004 Trailblazer.

Two of those were done in temps you describe; one in my driveway, the other in the parking lot at work. The rest were done either in the summer or in the glass company’s facility. None of those replacements ever leaked or gave me any problems whatsoever. They used factory equivalent glass (same OEM markings, shadings etc).

The company is JN Philips and they advertise specially equipped vans to keep the adhesive at the correct temperature prior to installation in colder temps.

If done properly, you’ll never know the difference from the original windshield…


Maybe the problem is not the windshield or the installation itself. Maybe there’s a problem with the car itself; as in body distorted, damage due to collision or some odd body/frame failure, etc.

Buy this car new or used, how many miles, history of accidents, etc.?


I’ve had quite a few windshields replaced and only had one problem with a water leak. Don’t let them do it though except in a warm garage.


Since this was done through your insurance company, be sure to let them know all this. They may pony up to use a different company on their dime. With the competition in insurance these days, they tend to like to keep their clients happy. Also, there are too many body shops and glass shops around to let the same people have 4 bites at this apple.


I’ve had a couple windshields replaced…and one place was REAL bad. It leaked…the trim fell off…Had it replaced again 3 years later…and the frame for the windshield was rusting out due to the poor job of the first repair shop. Took truck home and spend the weekend fixing it. The new place (Portland Glass) did an excellent job.


I have only had one changed, it was my 2005 Camry, the windshield suddenly exploded on a hot CA noon with the AC running and me going 90mph. The service I used came to my house and changed it. Turns out the “original” windshield was actually a replaced one and after the change the wind noise that I thought was from the door/pillar area also resolved. The guys who did the job seemed professional, also very convenient that they come to your place. The asked that I keep the car inside for a few hours, I let it sit for 24 hours.

I think your experience is odd, unless the car has frame damage, this is not very difficult to get right the 1st time.