How Long Does it Take to Replace a Windshield? What to Expect From the Process

Written by Oliver

September 1, 2022

Most people don’t think about their windshield until it’s cracked or chipped. Then they wonder, how long does it take to replace a windshield? The short answer is: it depends.

Replacing a windshield is a process that can sometimes be done in as little as 30 minutes, but on some cars, it can also take up to 2 hours. On most vehicles, an experienced technician is able to do that within 1 hour. 

Professional auto glass technician mounting rubber seal around new windshield

Factors That Can Determine How Long it Will Take to Replace Your Windshield

  • The size and type of your vehicle will make a difference. Larger vehicles have larger and heavier windshields, which means that they will take longer to replace;
  • Covers and moldings around the windshield. To properly replace the windshield, the technician has to carefully remove the plastic trims and moldings around it. Sometimes, this can be time-consuming and often requires special tools. As a result, windshield replacement can often take longer time than expected;
  • On older vehicles, the wiper blade arms can become seized to the spindle. This can add extra 10-15 minutes to the windshield replacement time, as the technician must carefully remove them without damaging the spindle or the whole mechanism;
  • ADAS Cameras and sensors calibration. Newer vehicles often have sensors and cameras hiding behind the windshield. Windshield glass plays a crucial role in how well those sensors and cameras work. An experienced technician will always perform the calibration process after the replacement, so it can add extra time to the overall process.

What To Expect From The Process

Replacing a cracked or chipped windshield is not something most people have experience with. Many are wondering what to expect from the process. There are a few things you should keep in mind:

The average windshield replacement cost is 300-600$

When you get a quote for a new windshield, you might be surprised by how much it costs. However, several factors can influence the price of a replacement.

The type of vehicle you drive, the damage’s severity, and the parts’ availability are just a few things that can affect the price. We made a separate blog post for you that explains in-depth what you are paying for 🙂

How Much Does Windshield Replacement Cost?

You can’t drive the car right after windshield replacement

After you get your windshield replaced, it’s essential to give the adhesive time to set and cure before driving. If you drive too soon, the pressure from the wind can cause the entire windshield to come loose.

Even if it doesn’t come completely loose, driving can reduce the effectiveness of the adhesive, making your windshield more likely to leak. As a result, it’s best to play it safe and wait at least an hour before hitting the road.

With a bit of patience, you can rest assured that your windshield will be firmly in place.

The technician won’t replace your windshield in rainy or snowy weather

Even the most experienced auto glass technician will tell you that replacing a windshield in the rain or snow is impossible. The conditions make it difficult to work. Water can cause the adhesive used to attach the new windshield less likely to adhere properly.

For these reasons, most technicians will ask you to reschedule your appointment if it is raining or snowing outside. While it may be inconvenient, it is essential to wait for optimal conditions to ensure that your windshield is replaced correctly.

Mobile windshield replacements usually is a better choice than in-shop replacement

Us Auto Glass logo

There are many advantages to mobile windshield replacement. First and foremost, it is much more convenient for you. You don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to drop your car off at the auto glass shop and pick it up again when it’s ready.

With mobile windshield replacement, the technician will come to you. That means you can get your windshield replaced while you’re at work, at home, or wherever you like. It’s a much more efficient use of your time.

In addition, mobile auto glass service is usually cheaper than traditional shop-based replacement. That’s because we don’t have the overhead costs of maintaining a physical location.

So if you need a new windshield, don’t hesitate to get a free quote on our website. We’ll be happy to come to you and take care of everything!

How To Prepare Your Car For Windshield Replacement

Replacing your cracked windshield is a big job, and it’s one that you’ll want to be prepared for. Here are a few tips to help you get your car ready for its new windshield:

Wash your car or at least make sure the area around the windshield is not very messy.

By washing your car you will help the technicians to keep the process clean and prevent any dirt or debris from getting into the car and on a new windshield.

Remove any items from the dashboard

These can get in the way of the replacement process and could potentially damage the new windshield.

Park your car under the roof, if possible

If you use a mobile windshield replacement service, park your car under the shed or in the garage, if possible. This will help the technician a lot in case of windy or rainy weather.

Leave replacement area

When you need to replace your car windshield, it’s important to provide the technician with the keys and then step away from the work area. There are a couple reasons for this.

The first reason is safety concerns: there’s a chance you could be injured by broken auto glass from a cracked windshield if you stay too close. Second, technicians usually find it annoying when someone stands around watching them while they work.

By staying out of the way, you’ll help the process go more smoothly and safely.

How Long Does Each Step Of Windshield Replacement Take

Replacing a windshield is not a quick fix, but it is certainly not a job that will take all day. We’ll break up all the steps and how much time they usually take:

  • Preparation of working area and all necessary tools – 5 min
  • Inspecting of the area around the windshield for damage – 2 min
  • Removing windshield wipers and plastic trim under them – 5 min
  • Removing rubber seal and plastic moldings from outside the windshield – 3 min
  • Removal of plastic trims, rearview mirror, and rain sensor around/on the windshield – 10 min
  • Cutting the urethane adhesive that holds the windshield in place – 5 min
  • Removing old windshield from the vehicle – 1 min
  • Preparation of windshields frame surface – 8 min
  • Applying new urethane adhesive on the car – 5 min
  • The installation process of the new windshield – 2 min
  • Assembling back all parts around the windshield (plastic trims, rearview mirror, wiper arms, rubber seal, etc.) – 15 min
  • Cleaning up the tools and area – 5 min

Conclusion

We hope this article has helped inform you about the process of windshield replacement. It’s important to know how long it takes and what to expect so you can be prepared for it.

If you have any additional questions or you need a free quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We provide mobile windshield replacement services throughout most of the United States, and we would be happy to help get your car back on the road as soon as possible!

Oliver

Oliver

Oliver Nordsve is a unique individual with bilingual skills; he speaks five languages and is a father of 4 lovely children. In his spare time, he loves to prepare big meals for the family, go for long walks and meditate every morning. He has worked in the auto glass industry for 15 years and is a company veteran. At carglass.io, he is the head of business development which, during his time, has evolved into a business with several branches globally. Oliver used to replace windshields on trucks and buses during his time with MAN.

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