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Old 04-23-2001, 10:51 AM   #1
avni_01SL2
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Default Windshield Replacement quest.

Well, living here in the Bronx certianly has its interesting days. Some may remember that a few weeks after I got my SL2, something fell or was thrown from a buildng, and dented the roof of my car. (Still, thank god, that's all that happened, could have been worse.)
This time, I'm driving up the Sheridan Expwy, and as I pass under an overpass, BAM! something falls or is thrown hitting the windshield of my car, causing one major gouge with starring, and some smaller deep scratches. (Still, lucky that's all that happened)

So, now I have to get my windshield replaced. My insurance company tells me (since I have glass coverage), that they can send someone from "Safelite" to replace my windshield at my home.
I feel reluctant. It looks to me like a pretty major job to replace a windshield. As I understand it, the windshield is a sturctural component of the car, bearing a lot of the stresses. I wouldn't want any problems down the road because of this.
Furthermore, do these guys use the actual Saturn part, or do they just find a replacement that fits? The original Saturn windshield (on the '01) has a black pattern 'printed' on it for sun protection where the sun visors don't block. I like that, and wouldn't want some generic replacement.

Any thoughts on this?

Avni
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Old 04-23-2001, 10:55 AM   #2
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i'd have saturn or the supplier that saturn uses to replace it. in the past i used the glass shop that my insurance company told me to use and they did crappy job of centering the glass and eventually leaked(!) on top. your saturn store should have the oe glass on hand to do it. either way it's about $500-600 to replace so have saturn do it, since they know what they are doing.
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Old 04-23-2001, 12:16 PM   #3
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There's no question that original equipment glass must be used, but installation by qualified personnel is equally important. Since the removal operation is a cutting process, any bare metal scrapes on the leading edge of the roof (not visible with the upper glass weatherstrip in place) should be touched up with primer to avoid future rusting. Also, the black border within the perimeter of the glass must be there. Without it, sunlight will break down the sealant and the windshield will loosen and leak. I suspect a dealer would sublet this job to a good shop.
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Old 04-23-2001, 12:22 PM   #4
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They would sublet it. I assume to a reputable shop. And insurance won't pay the sublet fee. No idea how much that runs. Insurance will only pay what is reasonble and customary... We'll have to see if Saturn's price falls into that category.

Oh and would not using Saturn void my warranty?
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Old 04-23-2001, 12:35 PM   #5
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Shouldn't affect your warranty at all. Actually, some states have laws that allow you to insist on original equipment body parts for collision repair - windshields shouldn't be any different. Poor quality glass, in addition to fit problems, can also visually distort - no fun.
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Old 04-23-2001, 03:42 PM   #6
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I would contact the installer your insurance company gave you. Ask if they have worked on Saturns. Ask if they do use or can optionally use OEM Saturn parts. Ask if they give a warranty on their work. As other posters mentioned, there is skill involved and you don't want a leak or to be driving down the road and have your windshield fall out when you hit a huge pothole (I bet it is still pothole season in NYC, just like here in Philly - 365 days a year!).

Good luck (and I'm glad you were not injured in either incident). Life in the big city.
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Old 04-23-2001, 05:23 PM   #7
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Safelite makes most of their own glass. I'd demand an OEM part and a proper install in the shop. Don't let them sell you an inferior windshield which may have optical distortion.

The install is critical for structural integrity in a wreck. Poorly installed windshields can pop out.

You just gotta get out of NY before dey moider ya.

Bob
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Old 04-24-2001, 02:58 PM   #8
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I had a deer crash into my winshield. I went to a shop I know and trust and State Farm covers it for the life of the vehicle (All of the repairs). I don't know if it is OEM but they did a great job and yes the Black sun shield was installed. The Glass cost a little over $300 and the winshield kit was $70+. Labor extra
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Old 04-24-2001, 03:13 PM   #9
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I know it may be apples and oranges, but for what it's worth I had two windshields replaced on my Toyota Tercel (try the Dan Ryan x-way in Chicago after a winter thaw!) by Safelite, and I never had a problem with a single one. Of course, maybe that's just because I didn't have any one windshield long enough to develop problems!
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Old 04-24-2001, 03:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies.

I'll update this thread when I finally get it done.

Avni

(And we're getting out of the Bronx and landing in Queens. Maybe better, maybe not...)
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Old 04-24-2001, 04:02 PM   #11
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I would pick a trusted shop. Saturn would farm the install out most likely but you may get the part. Again, with State Farm all repairs are guarenteed for life of the car. It's been about six months no problems.
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Old 04-24-2001, 08:11 PM   #12
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RE: The windshield as a structural member

I would think that there should be little direct load path into the winshield. The windshield is bonded in with a somewhat compliant sealant to help accomplish both sealing and isolation of the windshield from low cycle fatigue. The other reason that I would think there is no real load path into the windsheild itself is due to the mechanical properties of ceramic materials. Ceramic materials are very weak in tension strength, high in compressive strength, and with extremely short elongation or compression offsets between yield and ultimate. The only load path that could be sustained would have to be purely compressive.

Also remember in terms of ultimate strength, the windshield is the weakest of any exterior glass on a vehicle. All other exterior glasses are tempered, resulting in a residual compressive stress on the outer layer of the glass (as evidenced by the spots that you see in side and rear windows when you are wearing polarized glasses, the stresses are greatest where the cooling was the greatest). This residual compressive stress is why those windows are harder to break, but when broken, the failure is instant and catastrophic. The windshield on the other hand is a sandwich construction of two annealed soda-lime glasses with an intermediate platic sheeting to help hold it together on fracture.
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Old 04-24-2001, 08:14 PM   #13
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Under NY state law you have the right to take your car anywhere you want to have your windsheild replaced. It is actually illegal for an insurance company to tell you where to go in our great state. In Syracuse, we do send our vehicles needing windsheilds to a professional glass installer that we have worked with since we opened in '91. However we always send the OEM Saturn windsheild along with the vehicle to the shop which is actually only 2 blocks from our store. There should be NO additional fee to sublet the work and if for some ridiculous reason there was the dealer could bury this cost in with the glass replacement. That windsheild is quite an expensive peice of glass but I would always recommend the OEM part...maybe I am a little biased but what can I say, I have seen and had some pretty bad glass jobs done before.
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Old 04-25-2001, 02:25 AM   #14
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They dont have any choice but to use an OE windshield on a Saturn. Only Saturn makes them, thats why they're so expensive. I've had to replace two. It sucks that you can get a Honda windshield for about $100, but you can pay as much as $700 for a Saturn one.

-Mike
 
Old 04-25-2001, 08:37 AM   #15
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Safelite will do a fine job & they guarantee all work for the life of the car.
 
Old 04-26-2001, 10:55 PM   #16
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Check the following link involving CBC Marketplace. The information will help although it aired in 1995.

http://cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/cars/windshie.html
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