A broken car window is something every driver faces once in their life. If you are patient and have basic knowledge of tools, you can replace a car window thus saving money on window repair. Replacing a car window is not a difficult task, but simply one with many small steps. Many of these are listed in the vehicle repair guides you can find at the local auto parts store. Here are the steps on how to change a car window.
Gather your supplies and tools. Put everything near the car so items are within easy reach of the project. Make sure there is no debris or other unneeded items around where you are working.
Place the tarp on the outside of the window or the ground along the exterior of the door. This will help catch any debris which falls outside of the car. Place the new glass on the tarp in an area which will be out of the way of your work.
Open the door of the window you are working with unless the window is in a sliding door which must be closed to proceed. If the window isn’t in a door, skip to the next step.
Using a screwdriver, remove the screws around the inside panel under the window you are working with. Put the screws in a container for easy keeping. For electronic windows, the screws underneath the inside door handle must also be removed. Then pop off the top of the door handle to locate the wiring by wedging a flathead screwdriver under the handle and pushing the handle away from the door. Unscrew the screws holding the wiring inside the door handle and unhook the wires from the posts.
Wedge a flathead screwdriver under one corner of the interior panel. Push the screwdriver head towards the car wall, pushing the head away from the wall. This will pop the corner of the panel out. Repeat this step with the other panel corners. The panel should now fall out of place. Put the panel aside.
Check the glass to see if it is fractured. If it is, proceed to the next step. If the glass is partially cracked, you need to remove the inside weather-stripping to take the window out in one piece. Remove the weather-stripping by cutting through it with a razor blade. Once cut, pull the weather-stripping out of the opening. When you get near the end, have one hand on the window to hold it in place until you are able to safely remove it with two hands.
Hold a towel over the glass and tap the glass with the soft end of a screwdriver to break the glass outward onto the tarp. Use needle nose pliers and gloves to remove the larger pieces of broken glass first. Place the glass in a plastic bag for disposal. Use a vacuum hose next to remove smaller pieces and other debris from the opening; vacuuming out the wall underneath the window also to remove dust and dirt.
Remove the brackets and clips from inside the window opening. These held the window into the panel and will be replaced. Throw these away.
Wash the replacement glass with window cleaner before using it. Dry the glass with a towel to avoid it from slipping out of your hands. You will be working to get a two foot square piece of glass into a two inch wide slot.
Locate the bar inside the outer panel which holds the window in place. Loosen the bolts which hold the panel bar using either an Allen wrench or screwdriver depending on the vehicle. Push the bar forward. This gives you added space to maneuver the glass to slide it into place.
Read the directions for the weather-stripping kit. Using the weather-stripping kit, install the new seal along the window opening. Follow manufacturer’s directions for this step. Allow the seal a few minutes to set and dry before proceeding to the next step.
Slice the clamps and the brackets for the new window into the weather-stripping using a scooping motion. Use two clamps for each side of the window. These will hold the window in place.
Pick up the glass and look for a small sticker in one corner. This marks the bottom of the window. Have this sticker on your left to place the window in the correct position. Carefully slide the window into the slots under the opening. Slide the window up through the slots using both hands.
Fit the window snug into the weather-stripping. While holding the glass, place the panel bar back into position and tighten the bar into place. Check to see if the window is aligned. If the window isn’t aligned, loosen the bar and check the weather-stripping. Realign the window and replace the bar.
Place the panel back into position, making sure the holes line up along the way. Replace the screws and hand tighten them. For electric windows, you need to fasten the wiring to the posts and tighten the fasteners for the window crank to work. For a hand crank, fit the crank to the gear and screw on. Test the window crank or switch before completing the assembly. Reassemble the door handle. If everything works, tighten the screws with a screwdriver and the job is finished.