How To Change BMW Windscreen
A BMW windscreen isn’t the easiest thing to change, but it’s not nearly as difficult as many people make it out to be, either. If you have average-to-good mechanical skills and can follow directions, changing your BMW’s windshield won’t take you long at all and will result in an aesthetically pleasing addition to your vehicle. Here are the steps you need to follow to replace your BMW’s windshield with minimal hassle and effort.
Removing the Old Windshield
- Remove All Moldings Around The Windshield.
The moldings can get in your way as you’re working. Also, removing them helps protect them from scratches when you remove and install new windshields. It may seem counterintuitive, but these plastic parts are pretty easy to remove. Start by carefully prying up a corner of one piece with a flathead screwdriver. Once you have one corner lifted, use your fingers to peel off or snap off all of it at once.
- Assess The Best Angle For Separating The Windshield From The Pinch-Weld.
The windshield is held in place by two metal pinch-welds at either end of it. The pinch-welds are both stuck to your vehicle’s body and your car’s hood, requiring you to free them from one surface before working on the other. As a result, you’ll first have to determine which surface—the hood or body—needs to be freed up first.
- Cut The Urethane.
With a utility knife, carefully cut around all of the edges of your old windshield. You can remove just a piece at a time or make quick work of it by using long strokes along one edge. Work slowly and avoid damaging any adjacent parts such as headlamps or wipers.
- Remove The Windshield From The Car.
You should do this with two people. You can gently push the glass away from the pinch-weld by opening either front door on either side of the car. Lift the glass straight up from the pinch-weld by grasping it on the outside of the car.
Preparing the Pinch-weld
- With A Brush, Remove Any Visible Dirt, Then Rinse With Plain Water.
This helps to make sure that no detergent is wasted during application—you can follow up with just plain water later on if you don’t want to use soap.
- Razor Off Any Excess Urethane.
You’ll want to trim off any excess urethane that’s covering your pinch-weld so it sits flush against your new glass.
- Remove Any Rust From The Pinch-Weld.
Using a wire brush and sandpaper, remove any rust around the pinch-weld where you’ll be drilling. This is to ensure that your drill bit doesn’t get stuck in any of those crevices, leaving you with a broken windshield. Cleaning out all traces of rust also ensures that you won’t damage your car when using your drill on it. An ounce of prevention saves you lots of grief!
- Prime Any Bare Metal.
If there’s dirt or rust, you can use an abrasive like sandpaper or a wire brush to make it smooth before priming. Primer will help any exposed metal to stick when you apply paint.
Installing the New Windshield
- Apply A Primer To The Frit Band.
The primer will help create a tight seal between all three components of your windshield. Failing to do so could leave you with a leaky windshield or, worse, an accident. Apply primer to the frit band before installing your new windshield.
- Use An Electric Caulking Gun To Apply The Urethane.
Apply a heavy bead of urethane around all edges of the windshield frame and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Be sure to apply it in a well-ventilated area, and carefully follow all of your manufacturer’s instructions when applying adhesive.
- Install The Windshield.
First, position a towel on top of the dashboard and lay down a sheet of cardboard to protect your car’s finish. Next, place pressure against each corner in order to bend out one small section at a time. With some windshields, you may have to start from both sides; but with other models, it will only be necessary to stretch from one side as long as you do not try too hard.