A windshield is among the vital components in your wrangler that is why it comes with it. There is no wrangler designed to be driven thus it is illegal to drive without a windshield. Only cars designed without windshields are allowed to drive without windshields. However, In here we’re going to see how to replace jeep wrangler windshield.
The windshields in a Jeep wrangler serve different purposes and it is recommended that you replace your windshields if you notice any cracks on them Cracked windshields can break any time when driving especially if there are heavy winds.
The cracks create weaknesses thus the windscreen is likely to break when hit by an object and which causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle leading to an accident.
Windshields protect the driver and passengers from debris and also reduce the drag when driving thus you cannot and should not drive without one.
The front windshield sometimes also acts as a barrier during an accident. If it is strong enough it will keep the front seat passengers inside the wrangler. But this only works in light collisions.
Apart from the usual accidents, other issues may result in windshield damage
What are the main reasons for windshield damage?
Windshields are designed to withstand thermal strains but they get weaker over time and can no longer withstand extreme temperatures. Due to the frequent expansion and contraction of the glass, the bond between the glass particles weakens which causes cracks to form on the windshield.
But this occurs over a long period so you don’t have to worry about it happening after parking your wrangler on one sunny afternoon. Rapid temperature change, for example, when using hot water to defrost your windshield, can cause it to crack due to the immediate temperature change.
You should scrape off the ice slowly and turn on your engine and AC and let the ice defrost slowly. Some windshields have defrosters that heat up when the engine is on to defrost the ice.
This is not something to worry about if your wrangler is new as factory windshield installation is perfect but it is always good to check around the windshield for loose gaps.
Loose gaps on the windshield installation surface result in weaknesses and these weaknesses cause the windshields to crack when driving due to high levels of vibration. If there are many weaknesses, the windshield will crack at the slightest vibrations.
If you notice any weaknesses, get your windshield reinstalled by a professional to avoid extra costs by replacing the damaged windshield with a new one.
Low-quality glass is weaker than high-quality glass. Windshields made of high-quality glass are stronger and more durable than windshields made of low-quality glass.
Windshields with low-quality glass tend to weaken and crack within a short period thus they do not last long. Some wrangler owners prefer going for windshields made of low-quality glass because they are cheaper as compared to windshields made of high-quality glass.
If you are going to do that, only do so if it is a temporary fix before you get a better windshield if a windshield made of high-quality glass is not available at the moment.
If you are buying a windshield made of low-quality glass as a permanent solution then you will end up spending more as you will need to replace it more frequently due to its weak nature.
Bad weather conditions such as when it is raining iced water or hails can cause damage to the windshields. It is recommended that you only drive your wrangler in such conditions only when necessary. Such weather also causes poor visibility leading to accidents.
These are the loose stone-like pieces of tarmac that are found on the road especially on new and re-carpeted roads. When a car in front of you drives quickly on a road with loose chippings, the loose chippings get stuck between the tire treads and get shot off the treads at a high speed and if they happen to land on your windscreen it may lead to a crack. One single crack is a weakness bad enough to cause damage to the whole windscreen
Excess pressure exerted on the windscreen
This mostly applies to the rear windshield when you carry a lot in your boot and you end up forcing the boot door to close. If there is something hard exerting pressure on the rear windshield the probability of cracking and even breaking is high.
If you are carrying extra stuff on your wrangler, you can use a roof rack or lay down the rear seats for extra space so as not to damage your rear windshield.
What are the effects of a cracked windshield?
- A cracked windshield compromises the structural integrity of your wrangler and in case there is an accident, the roof of your wrangler is more likely to cave in if your windshield is cracked.
- A cracked windshield makes your wrangler look unappealing especially if you are looking to sell it. But even to a good wrangler owner something about the windshield being cracked doesn’t look good at all.
- Distraction. Cracks reflect light unevenly and some rays may reflect into your eyes and you might lose control of your wrangler when driving. Police officers know this and you might end up getting ticketed.
If your wrangler’s windshield is cracked and the crack is more than 3 inches, it cannot be fixed and can only be replaced but you can prevent the crack from spreading.
How to prevent the windshield crack from spreading?
NOTE: these are only temporary solutions while you are looking for a windshield replacement. If a replacement is available immediately, you should not hesitate to change the cracked windshield for a new one.
- Apply nail polish or super glue. Clean the cracked area to remove any loose glass that might be in the crack and let it dry. Using a dropper squeeze the nail polish or super glue and make sure it spreads evenly on the crack.
- If you are using nail polish, make sure you use clear nail polish due to visibility issues that can be caused by colored nail polish
- Tape the crack with clear tape to prevent moisture and dirt particles from getting into the crack as these cause the crack to grow bigger.
- Always park your car in an enclosed parking area or a shade. Intense sunlight, dust particles, and rain cause the crack to expand.
Front Windshield Glass for Jeep Wrangler
How to replace a damaged windshield on jeep wrangler?
The front windshield is more likely to get damaged as compared to the rear windshield but you need to replace either or both depending on the damaged one as any cracked windshield is not good to drive with.
- Remove the wipers if you feel they’ll act as an obstacle when working. You can lift and pull them away from the windshield if you don’t want to remove them
- Also remove the old rubber trim because this holds the windshield in place. To remove the trim, you will need a sharp blade preferably a razor blade or a windshield trim removal tool.
- Insert the razor blade or the tool between the glass and the trim and slice gently for an opening. Then insert your finger to create a wider opening and continue slicing between the glass and the trim while pulling the trim off.
- If you are going to reuse the trim, remove it carefully but it is recommended that you use a new trim for the new windshield.
- Next step is to Remove the windshield, Even though it is damaged it should be removed slowly and carefully. Use a windshield wire removeal kit. Slide the wire throughout the cornors of the windshield and to separate it from the frame.
- Using windshield suction cups and tapes, make sure it doesnt fall off and break.
- After removing the windshield, you have to clean the pinch weld to prep it for the new windshield. The pinch weld is the small gap lining between the windshield and the body.
- Urethane and dirt build-up in the pinch weld over time and it needs to be cleaned so that the new windshield can fit. Use a pinch weld cleaner and a soft brush to clean the pinch weld.
- Once the pinch weld is clean and dry, apply urethane to the edges of the pinch weld. Urethane is a special glue used for windshield installation and strongly holds the windshield in place. Apply it carefully, evenly, and quickly to ensure that it does not begin to dry before you install the windshield.
- Ask for a hand to install the new windshield. Use suction cups to hold it and make sure you hold it in the right face and direction and then carefully place it over the windshield pillars. Move it slowly and easily to ensure it fits over the pinch weld.
- Let the urethane dry and remove the suction cups only after the urethane had dried. Removing the suction cups before the urethane completely dries with cause a disturbance and the windshield might shift.
- Some windshields come with a rubber trim already glued onto them and if your replacement windscreen doesn’t have a rubber trim you need to get one and glue it onto the edges of the windscreen. Some windshields do not require a rubber trim and so there is no need of having one installed.
Types of Glass to choose from when getting a Windshield wiper
- Laminated glass – This type of glass is made by joining two layers of glass together using polyvinyl butyral. Windshields made out of laminated glass absorb impact and if it breaks it will not shatter thus ensuring the safety of the driver, passengers, and interior components. If a passenger has not tied a seatbelt, he will hit the windscreen on impact but will remain inside the car.
- Tempered glass – This type of glass is toughened with temperature treatments and is a windshield made out of tempered glass that breaks in an accident, it will shatter into blunt pieces thus making it a bit safer for the driver and any passengers.
Jeep wrangler windscreens are likely to get damaged especially if you drive off-road often due to the heavy debris found in off-roading conditions especially in rocky driving terrains. Some drivers remove their windshields when off-roading while others have a protective grill covering their windshields.
Both methods ensure that the windshield is safe but the latter works better as it does not compromise the structural integrity and safety of your wrangler. If you are not able to replace a damaged windscreen, have a certified mechanic do it for you.