How to Replace a Broken Side Window

Having a broken side window on your car is hopefully something you face only once in your life, if at all. When or if it happens, though, you must go through the grueling process of replacing the broken glass with a new window. To get insurance to pay it, you have to file a claim, and still pay the deductible, which is probably not much less than just paying for the repair yourself. Then, you must bring the vehicle in for repair, and wait for that as well. The bureaucracy alone is enough to make you pull your hair out, but this guide will help alleviate the problem!

If you are looking to bypass the system, and just do it yourself, you might end up saving a lot of time and effort, not to mention some money. Take a look at our step by step guide, to help you replace the broken glass of your car’s side window.

  • To start, you will want to clean up any leftover broken glass shards and pieces, using a shop vac that is powerful enough to suck up large chunks of glass. Use caution, so that you don’t cut yourself or get any pieces in your eyes.
  • Next, you will need the necessary parts and tools for replacing the side window. For starters, you will be needing the side window itself. Buying retail price can be costly, so if you can find used glass elsewhere, such as a junkyard or aftermarket, then you will really be saving money on the project. The necessary tools include: a few screwdrivers, a socket set and a trim removal tool. You will also want to wear proper safety equipment such as gloves, safety glasses and long-sleeved clothes.
  • To begin the process, you must remove the inner door panel. Do this by unscrewing al bolts and latching all clips from the inside.
  • Once the inner panel has been removed, and you can see what was behind it, go ahead and crank the broken glass window in the position for servicing. You should see the bolts align with the access holes, making it possible to unscrew the broken side window, and reinstall the new one. If your car has manual windows, then aligning the screws should be relatively easy. If it has automatic locks, then you must plug in the connectors that conduct power to the locks, allowing you to align the screws up. Then, reattach the connectors again.
  • Reuse the vacuum inside the door panel, in order to get any stray pieces of broken glass.
  • Now, you can remove the seal at the bottom of the window. This will open up the slot for the glass panel. Also free one of the window tracks, making it easier for installing the new one. You should be able to pull the old side window out by now, as well.
  • Once the old broken glass is out, it’s time to start the installation process. To do this, you must make sure the new glass is going in the right way.
  • First, you must install the shorter side first, trying to make the long part fit in the track. Then push the short side into its designated spot.
  • Second, you need to attach the side window to the regulator. You may need to enlist someone’s help. Make sure the fit aligns perfectly and then bolt the window and window track down.
  • Third, once the new glass is installed, you should test it to make sure the motion of the window is good. You should do this before you start reattaching everything and before you begin the clean-up portion of the project. (Power windows with one-touch and pinch protection may require a special procedure to reset pinch protection. Check with your local factory service center for instructions.)
  • When you see that the window is now working correctly, and that the broken glass has been completely removed, you can start closing the door panel and cleaning up. It is a good idea to have pictures taken throughout the project, so that you can reference them when putting everything back where it came from.

Replacing a side window can be hard work, but it can also save you a lot in cost and time. If you follow this simple guide, you should be able replace your side window like a pro.

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