When a window gets broken in your car, truck, or SUV, replacing the glass is vital to the vehicle's security and to protect occupants from weather, road debris, and noise. The glass is often not difficult to change, but working with an automotive glass replacement technician to ensure the job is done correctly is generally the best solution.
Assessing The Damage
One of the first things you need to do when a window is broken in your vehicle is to check the area around the glass to ensure there is no damage to it. If something broke the window by impacting the glass directly, you might only need to replace the glass itself. However, if something large, like a falling tree limb, hit the vehicle and broke the glass, it is possible that the sheet metal around the window could be damaged and require repair as well.
If you can't tell how bad the damage is, take the vehicle to an automotive glass replacement shop and have them inspect the damage for you. Most shops do not charge for the initial inspection, and they will be better able to give you a repair estimate if they look at the vehicle instead of generalizing the cost of the glass and installation.
Repairing The Damage
Once the automotive glass replacement technician inspects the vehicle and determines the work required, they can replace the glass. Flat glass is generally easier to replace than moving glass, but both can require some specialized tools and training to do correctly.
The flat glass is typically held in with a rubber gasket or a urethane sealer, and depending on the age of the vehicle, the interior trim will need to come off to access the body to replace the seal. The glass will often fall into the panel below it when it breaks, so taking the trim off to vacuum out the space is necessary.
Once the tech removes the remaining glass, the sheet metal is inspected to ensure there is no rust on it, the seal replaced, and the new glass installed in the vehicle. The entire process typically takes a couple of hours to complete, and as soon as it is done, you can use the car without concern for leaks or other issues.
Most automotive glass replacement shops that offer mobile windshield repair also offer mobile side glass service. The tech can complete the work in your driveway, at your job location, or anywhere that allows them access to the vehicle to work in and around it unimpeded. If you are considering mobile service, make sure the car is parked where the tech can get to it and in an area that allows mobile glass repair on the property.