Windshield Replacement Time: Safe Drive-Away Time vs. Minimum Drive-Away Time

You see that crack on the edge of your windshield and you know you need to get it replaced. You aren’t alone, 70-80% of windshield replacements are due to a crack less than 2 inches from the edge.

Having your windshield replaced my seem like a time-consuming project. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Many replacement technicians can come right to you. This lets you continue on with your day as your new windshield cures.

That curing part of the windshield replacement time is vital for your safety. We’re going to explain terms you might hear and what they mean.

Safe Drive Away Time

The safe drive away time is how long your vehicle needs to sit before it’s considered safe to drive. This amount of time depends on the glass, weather, and adhesive used.

The range could be anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. You need to wait for the adhesive to cure and harden before driving the vehicle.

Minimum Drive Away Time

Adhesive companies have begun to change the terminology that they use. Instead of saying the drive away time is “safe” they refer to it as the “minimum”.

This change in vocabulary is a subtle one but changes the meaning of the time. Safe implies that the car needs to sit that exact amount of time to be safe.

In reality, this time is the minimum amount of time needed for it be operational. There is also less liability for the adhesive company to say minimum instead of safe.

Regardless of the term, your glass replacement company should stand behind their work. They should not underestimate the influence of temperature and other environmental conditions.

Effects of Weather on Curing Time

Windshield urethane cure time gets shorter during the summer months. The increased humidity and warm temperatures create an environment for faster curing.

When weather temperatures fall the curing time increases. If the temperature goes below 40 degrees your technician will use extra products.

They will aid the curing process. It is best to have the vehicle in a heated location with the atmospheric temp drops below 40.

Specialty Windshields

More often vehicles newer than 2015 have smart windshields. You have a smart windshield if you have one or more of these features.

  • Heads-up display
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Condensation sensor
  • Humidity sensor
  • Solar and ultraviolet light blocking
  • Acoustic interlayer
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Lane keep assist
  • Forward crash alert
  • Night vision

The technician performing your replacement needs to have knowledge of these features. The replacement will likely take longer due to these extra features.

These extra components will have to connect tot he new windshield. This adds to the installation time but should not affect the cure time.

Different Types of Urethane

Some auto glass technicians will use a lower quality and cheaper windshield glue. Another common problem is using the wrong urethane for the region you live in.

These urethanes are going to take longer to cure. The best brands that reputable technicians use are Progrip, Sika MOVEIT, and Dow BEATASEAL.

What Is It?

Urethane is a super sticky black glue that will adhere to everything it touches. It starts out as a soft caulk like material.

Once it cures, it becomes a strong material for holding your windshield in your car. This is different from the rubber gaskets you might find on other glasses pieces.

The urethane gets applied the frame around the opening where the windshield sits. Then the windshield lays on top and pushed into the glue.

Once cured there is a solid seal around the outside edge of your windshield. This method is strong enough to withstand impacts to the windshield.

What if You Don’t Wait?

Your windshield is a main component of your vehicle’s structural and safety systems. Driving before the adhesive cures compromises both systems.

If you are in an accident the adhesive may not hold the windshield in place. Without the windshield in place, the roof can cave in on those inside.

Roll Down Your Windows

You need to do more than not drive your vehicle for the required time. If you plan on getting in and out of your vehicle, roll down the windows.

When you close your car doors you create increased air pressure inside the vehicle. This air needs to go somewhere, and it can create small holes in the urethane seal.

When you go to drive after it cures, you will hear a wind noise or have a leak. This will result in your having to get the windshield replaced again if cannot locate the hole.

It’s Not Only Your Windshield

Your windshield isn’t the only glass installed with adhesive. If you get your sunroof replaced you will have to wait the required curing time before driving.

If you do not wait the sunroof glass can lift out of the top of your car. This is due to the reduced air pressure created from the speed of your car traveling down the road.

The same principles apply to the how a plane takes off. Your sunroof getting sucked out causes a great danger to the person driving behind you.

Windshield Replacement Time

Ask your technician how long does it take for a windshield to cure. If it is during the summer your windshield replacement time could as little as 30 minutes.

Keep in mind that this might be the minimum time. The longer you wait, the more secure and cured the windshield adhesive will be.

Take into consideration what the weather is like. Depending on how cold it is, the curing time will take longer or need special products.

Sure it’s tempting to ignore the wait time, but this can put you and others at risk. If you are in an accident before it cures, the windshield can’t protect you.

Schedule your windshield replacement today at a time convenient for you.

Windshield Repair and Replacement: How Long Does It Take

It’s important not to let a chipped or cracked windshield go for too long. A chip can become much larger meaning replacement instead of a simple repair. A large crack can even impair your view of the road and surroundings. While it may be an inconvenience to schedule these repairs, your windshield plays a vital role in keeping you and your passengers safe in the event of a collision.

With so much riding on your windshield, this is one fix you shouldn’t put off. But how long will a windshield repair or replacement take? Let’s take a look…

Replacing Your Windshield

There are several factors that go into the decision to replace your windshield rather than repair it. If any of the following are true, a full replacement will be advised:

  • The chip or crack is old and can’t be repaired
  • There are more than three chips or cracks
  • The chip or crack is at the edge of the windshield where it can reduce vehicle safety
  • The chip is bigger than a quarter, or the crack is longer than a dollar bill

If you need a windshield replacement, the technician can let you know ahead of time that it is required and why. They will also help to determine the time it will take to go through the whole process from prep work to finish.

What kind of vehicle do you have?

It used to be that a windshield was a windshield and the year, make, and model of your vehicle didn’t have much to do with it other than making sure you had to right one. Newer cars, however, often have sensors and other features. This can lengthen the time it will take to replace the windshield since all of these features need to be connected or calibrated to the new windshield. Some windshield replacements also need more prep work. The technician will let you know what needs to be done.

What are the environmental factors?

Both the temperature and the humidity will impact how long it takes to go from chipped or cracked windshield back to the driver’s seat. This is because the urethane adhesive used to keep the glass in place is highly sensitive to environmental changes. Most often, the replacement itself won’t be the longest part of the job. The technician will let you know how long you should wait before driving the vehicle again.

Do you have to wait at the shop?

If you bring your vehicle into the shop, you don’t need to wait there for the replacement to be completed. While you won’t be able to take your car, you can have someone else drive with you so you can head out in their car, avoiding a lengthy wait at the shop. Some shops will even come to you, however. If you are at work, at the park, or even at home, mobile windshield repair can make this inconvenience more convenient. Then you can relax wherever you happen to be while a technician gets to work on the replacement.

Repairing Your Windshield

If the chip or crack in your windshield can be repaired instead of the whole windshield needing replacement, it not only saves money but also time. Chip repairs don’t take long at all compared to a replacement so this is a much more convenient for those who are short on time.

What are the environmental factors?

The resin that is used to fill in small chips or cracks in your windshield is impacted by the temperature. This means that a repair during summer won’t take as long as a repair during the winter. This is because the heat helps the resin to flow more smoothly into all the jagged edges. The sun is used to cure the resin through UV rays. However, to complete the repair faster, the technician may use a UV light to cure it.

How complex is the repair?

There are several factors that go into a repair of your auto glass, determining how long it will take. If the repair is small, with very few jagged edges that need to be prepped and filled, it may take as little as 10 or 15 minutes. If the chip or crack is larger, but not large enough to warrant a windshield replacement, the repair can take up to an hour, with all factors taken into consideration. The prep work includes cleaning the inside and outside of the windshield and this must be factored in as well.

What will the technician do during the repair?

You will most likely see your windshield repair technician using both a drill and the resin he will use to fill it. The drill is used to clean up the area inside and around the chip or crack. This allows the resin to bond more solidly with the auto glass. Based on the weather and the repair to be made, the technician can give you an estimate of how long it will take to complete.

Do You Need Your Windshield Replaced or Repaired?

You most likely still have questions about windshield repair or replacement and speaking to a technician may be your best bet. If you don’t know whether you need a repair or a replacement, give All Star Glass a call. After determining which is necessary, you can make an appointment to come in to the shop or have a mobile technician come to your location. That technician can give you more information on just how long it will take and what will make it take that long. Don’t put off repairing or replacing your windshield any longer, now that you know what will go into the job and you know it won’t take very long to make your vehicle safe again.

The Dangers of DIY Windshield Repair Kits

When your windshield is cracked by rocks, pebbles, or debris, you have a few different options to repair the damage. You can take on the job yourself, or you can hand your car over to the professionals.

One of the more popular methods for repairing a cracked windshield is to buy a DIY windshield repair kit and do the job yourself. A DIY repair kit seems to be the happy medium of all the options; crazy glue seems like a desperate attempt, and taking your windshield to get professionally repaired sounds like a chore. Unfortunately, windshield repair kits aren’t the miracle solution that they may appear to be. Even if you claim to be the world’s best DIY windshield repairman, store-bought kits can end up costing you more money than you expect.

Before you visit a shop for a windshield repair kit, know what you’re getting into.

Confusing Directions

Let’s start with the hard truth; if you buy a windshield repair kit, you are not guaranteed to correctly use the repair kit as intended. Whether the directions are confusing or car owners incorrectly apply the epoxy in the kit, DIY repair kits don’t always do the job.

What Happens When DIY Kits Fail?

If the epoxy is not applied as directed, you might not be able to see out of your windshield. One of the more common problems with DIY kits is that car owners apply too much epoxy or it drips out of the crack and onto the windshield, obscuring the driver’s vision and compromising the safety of the car.

It’s Only a Temporary Fix

Even if you follow the directions and fill the crack in your windshield, your problems aren’t over. Windshield cracks eventually spread to the point where they need to be replaced. Damage can spread further when your windshield comes into contact with rocks, pebbles, and other debris. Changes in the weather can also cause cracks to spread. Don’t neglect your windshield after you’ve repaired it with a kit, and do not expect for your problems to end completely after a DIY repair job.

You May Waste Money

DIY kits are not as convenient or cheap as they may seem; if they are applied incorrectly, a DIY kit can end up costing you a lot of money in the long run. When chips spread to be larger than a quarter or cracks spread longer than four inches, the windshield will need to be replaced.

Auto glass repair shops can repair a cracked windshield for a lower price than you might think, and the process will take a manner of minutes. If you don’t have time to go out of your way and visit and auto glass repair shop, Allstar Glass has mobile repair services that bring high-quality glass repair to wherever you are parked.

Take Your Windshield to Allstar Glass

If you are a car owner in the Houston area with a cracked or chipped windshield, you don’t have to worry about the dangers of a windshield repair kit. The auto glass experts at Allstar Glass can repair your windshield in minutes and get you back on the road before you know it. Reach out to one of our experts today.

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