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.
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.