Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Windshield Replacement

Is there any reason to replace a windshield if your car is over 10 years old? It has a couple dings and some scratches. Somehow I remember hearing on Car Talk that replacing the windshield is maintenance on older cars. My friends insists that the seal will never be the same and leak. Any thoughts?

No, they do get scratched and that makes them hazy and harder to see through. If it does not bother you, forget about it.

My insurance company uses a couple of criteria to determine if you need a replacement: dollar bill length crack in driver’s vision, major scratches or pitting that interfere with driver’s vision.

Most auto glass places offer lifetime warranty for leakage, so your friend’s concern is really not a large one. I have never had to enforce this warranty on any of the windshields I have had to replace.

There’s no reason to replace it for maintenance reasons only, whoever said that on CT is wrong, and your friends are also incorrect.

I would never replace a windshield this time of year with the roads covered with sand and gravel. The new one will soon look like the old one…

When a windshield gets pitted badly enough that you have a hard time seeing when you are headed directly into the setting or rising sun, it’s time to replace it. Depending on where you live, waiting for warmer weather without sand and salt is probably a good suggestion.

How much over ten years old is your car? MOST cars in the last 20 years or so use a butyl rubber seal that is extruded onto the edge of the big hole the windshield fits into with an apparatus like a caulking gun. If that is done correctly, there is no way it can leak. If it does, the installer gets to do it again. Pane and simple…

Most leaks do not come from the windshield sealant. Your friends have ideas but no experience. I wish all my ideas had merit. I had some great ones.

I had a ding on my 8yo Pathfinders windshield. For years I was driving to work through construction sites. The glass was extremely pitted due to being hit constantly by sand. The ding wasn’t big enough to warrant a replacement…so Some How a hammer accidently hit the windshield and made a BIG ding which warrented a replacement.

Yeah, that has been considered at times, but I have one truck where I have averaged a new windshield every three years since 1995. Bad luck, I guess, but I feel bad about creating a problem when I can generally wait for the crack to hit the right criteria. It usually doesn’t take long. They also use an honor system, but I haven’t felt compelled to try to test its outer limits.

The wife has had pitting issues on her Subaru, but she has always had a knack at “finding” a star ding that turns into a crack about when she has needed a replacement, anyway.