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Can You Drive Your Car Right After Windshield Replacement?

Sometimes unexpected things happen to our vehicles, resulting in the sudden need to replace a vital part. If you are needing to get your windshield replaced soon, you might have a few unanswered questions. Should you be wondering if you can drive your vehicle immediately after the windshield is replaced, we have the answer. We researched windshields in depth so that you'll know for sure how long you will need to wait.

It is recommended that you do not drive the vehicle for at least 60 minutes after the new windshield has been installed. 

Now that we know you should wait an hour after replacing the windshield to drive your car, we'll take a look at the rationale behind this recommendation. You might also be curious how long you need to leave the tape on after the new windshield is installed or if the rain will damage the installation. For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has shown us.

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Automobile special workers glazier replacing windscreen windshield of car in street or work place - Can You Drive Your Car Right After Windshield Replacement

Why You Need To Wait An Hour After Windshield Replacement

Most professional auto glass companies can install a new windshield in less than an hour. This delicate process is best left to the experts. There is potential for a layperson's error during the installation, and the last thing you'd want is for the new glass to pop out.

There are adhesives used by these technicians to hold your windshield in place. These industrial-strength glues do not cure immediately. Once applied to the glass (which is inserted into the frame), it will take about an hour to completely cure.

Several factors impact curing time. Heat and humidity are the most significant. The hotter the climate, the faster the curing time. Many professionals will not allow you access to your vehicle until this curing time has passed.

The Dangers Of Driving Before The Adhesives Have Cured

You will be subjecting yourself to a good number of risks if you do not heed the proper curing times. The windshield will shift in its frame. Your vehicle roof uses the windshield as part of its support. Your roof will now collapse easier upon impact.

The airbags might not deploy properly if the windshield has shifted. This will expose you to greater injury during a collision. The windshield might pop out during a minor fender-bender and fail to protect the occupants from debris.

The windshield protects you and your passengers from danger. If you do not ensure that the adhesives have completely cured, you will be subjecting yourself and your passengers to unnecessary risks.

Automobile special workers replacing windscreen or windshield of a car in auto service station garage.

How Long Do I Need To Leave The Tape In Place?

If you just left the auto glass shop with your brand-new windshield, you might have noticed the tape around the edges. There might be some temptation to pull the tape away immediately. But experts warn that you should leave it in place for at least 24 hours.

It only takes an hour for the adhesives to fully cure. But the tape is in place to protect the seal around the glass. The seal will take 24 hours to dry.

Dirt, debris, and the elements pose a danger to the seal before it is dry. These items can invade the seal and weaken it. You should keep this tape on for the full 24 hours before you gently remove it.

Glazier repairman mechanic worker replaces windshield or windscreen on a car in automobile workshop garage

Will Rain Impact The Installation?

If you take your vehicle to a shop for windshield replacement, rain won't be an issue. But what about mobile glass replacement services? Experts warn that rain in the forecast might delay your plans.

Do not ever allow the adhesives to get wet. Replacing a windshield in the rain, even if it is merely sprinkling, poses some serious risks to the glues. The windshield will shift in place if the adhesives are defective.

Cracks, pits, and other windshield damage cannot be done in the rain, either. Wait for a clear day or move the vehicle to a dry covered area before the repairs begin. You can drive your new windshield in the rain when the repairs are finished.

What Should You NOT Do With A New Windshield?

Earlier in this post, we outlined the proper waiting time for driving with a new windshield. We also provided information that encourages you to leave the tape on for 24 hours. 

You should never take a new windshield through a power car wash. It's best to wait a few days before doing so. The high-powered jets can make the glass shift. 

Take good care of your windshield and it should last. Get any cracks, pits, or damage repaired immediately. Delaying repairs will only make the damage worse.

Foam on the hood of the car in the car wash

How Do I Know If My New Windshield Has Been Installed Properly?

You might have some concerns about your new glass replacement. You can inspect it on your own and make sure the job was done right.

The Glass Should Fit Snuggly

Look for any place where the glass protrudes. Does the new windshield fit evenly into place? Properly installed glass will not stick out anywhere.

Make Sure There Are No Gaps In The Seal

Look for gaps in the seal. This should be even as well. The seal is important, as it protects the adhesives that keep the glass in place. The seal should also be free of bubbles or defects. 

There Should Be No Noise

When you drive the vehicle, listen carefully. If you can hear the wind coming in through the seals, it's a problem. This means the seal isn't even.

You might hear a rattling sound, too. This is not a good sign. This means the adhesive isn't holding the glass in place.

What Adhesive Did They Use?

The best adhesive on the market for auto glass is Urethane. This high-quality glue will hold up to 600 pounds per square inch. This is more than enough to keep your glass in place. 

The Old Adhesive Is Still In Place

Every trace of the old adhesive should be removed before the new windshield is installed. If not, the new adhesive will not adhere properly. It can also mean that the windshield will not seat correctly.

The Glass Has A Wavy Appearance

Your new glass should look clear and without any defects. But if the glass distorts your vision in any way, then the glass is defective. 

This is a fairly rare problem, but it's worth looking for when you get your vehicle back. Defective windshields will sometimes escape the watchful eye of the manufacturer and even go unnoticed by the technicians that install them.

Be sure you look through the new windshield from every conceivable angle. This will make sure that you have a quality piece of glass protecting you and your passengers.

If you notice any of the above issues, you should inform the glass technicians immediately. The glass is under warranty. But you will void that warranty if you do not report any errors in the installation.

Mechanic workers hands changes broken windscreen on new windshield on car in service station close up.

Final Thoughts

When you get a new windshield, you should wait an hour for the adhesives to cure. Failure to do so will result in the windshield shifting in its position, exposing you and your passengers to great risk. It's important to do your inspection after installation. Leave the tape in place for the necessary amount of time for the best results. Drive safe!

We hope this post on windshield replacement answered all of your questions. For more helpful information, we recommend reading the following automotive posts:

Best Polarized Glasses to Wear When Driving into the Glaring Sun

Can Your Car Pass Inspection With A Cracked Windshield?

Driving with a Cracked Windshield: Should You Be Doing That?

Richard York

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

I was once tempted to pull the tape away when I changed my windshield; luckily, the auto glass expert warned me. You should know the risk when changing your windshield and always ask for an expert to avoid accidents. https://www.westonautoglass.com/