The glass in your car or truck is made from tempered glass and is durable enough to take a light impact. However, if something hits the glass hard enough, it may shatter, and auto glass replacement will be necessary. Windshield glass is different because it is laminated, but the side and rear windows are not, so how they break can be different.
Side Window Damage
The side windows of your car or truck are often in line with debris coming off the road surface or under a vehicle's tires. Many times, rocks or other debris that do get kicked up, hits the glass at an angle, keeping the glass from breaking.
When the angle is just right, or the rock has a sharp point, the glass will typically break. If it does break, safety glass typically shatters into many small pieces that are less likely to hurt you, but auto glass replacement is the only option you have in that case.
When the side window glass breaks, the auto glass replacement shop will remove the remaining glass from the opening, clean up the glass from the car, and install new glass. The process is not overly challenging, but in newer cars, the seal is made from urethane and often must be heated and scraped off the metal opening.
Prepping The Vehicle
When replacing the auto glass in your car or truck, a big part of the process is the preparation to ensure the new glass will not leak or fall out of the opening. The area around the window needs cleaning and inspection before the new seal is put in place. After removing the old seal, wire brushing the area and applying sealer and rust converter to the bare metal can help protect it.
Once the area is clean and dry, the new urethane seal is placed around the window opening and pressed into place. The new glass can then be set into the seal and held firmly in place until it is secure. Over the next few hours, the seal will strengthen and create a better bond, keeping the glass in place permanently.
Most auto glass replacement shops will suggest you not leave the vehicle in the rain for a period of time to ensure the bond is good, and if the glass leaks, the shop will reseal it for you to remedy the problem. It can also be helpful to use factory replacement glass, though it is not required most of the time. However, the better the glass fits in the opening, the less likely it is to leak after the auto glass replacement is complete.
Contact an auto glass replacement company to learn more.