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  1. #1
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    Windscreen replacement

    I had to have the windscreen replaced on my 1998 VW Passat TDI a couple of weeks ago and used the windscreen replacement company nominated by my Insurers. After fitting I subsequently found that the glass of the new screen was distorted on the passenger side and a creaking sound had started from the front nearside lower corner of the screen/dashboard when driving on less than smooth road surfaces.
    The previous screen had been made by Pilkington and the new screen was made by Guardian.
    I contacted the company that had replaced the screen and they agreed that it was distorted and replaced with another, again by Guardian.
    Having driven the car with the latest replacement screen, I would say that there is again distortion in the same area but the creaking sound now originates from the whole length of the lower windscreen/dashboard area. When driving fast over an area of uneven road today, I thought the screen was going to crack !
    Has anyone else had experience of this following windscreen replacement ?
    (I am hesitant about returning yet again to the windscreen replacement company as they have already left tools under the bonnet, turned up to fit a non tinted screen when mine is tinted, and have mislaid a rubber grommet from the windscreen wiper spindle !)

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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    Yes, my last one was Pilkington, fitted 4 years ago by Autoglass, it was perfect. I had to have another new one a month ago. This time, Autoglass fitted a Saint Gobain, and it was a load of rubbish and they ruined the rain sensor and a bead of sealer was visible between the glass and pillar trim.

    I called the hotline and they immediately said they would replace it with a higher quality screen, and they ordered one, and came out and replaced it with a VW branded one, which was also branded VW Saint Gobain. To my relief, it was almost perfect, especially around the edges where I noticed the previous one bent/magnified kerbs etc.. and 95% of general distortions were gone. The fitter made a much neater job too.

    I found from other forums that windscreens are a hand crafted product, some are scrapped, the worst are sold unbranded , the OKish ones are sold branded to the aftermarket and the perfect ones go to the vehicle maker. Apparently the vehicle maker will reject a whole consignment if any do not meet their spec.

    I have never had a creak though.
    Last edited by snapdragon; 09-04-2011 at 09:01 AM.
    Audi A8L- 2006 - 3.0TDI

  3. #3
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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    Yes I refused a screen some years ago by autoglass due to distortion. They came out a week later and replaced. It was better but still not as good as the original. Didn't feel as though I could complain again especially as it may be worse than the first replacement.

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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    i had 3 screens in a nissan interstar van in 1 week 3 years ago, no1 cracked as fitter installed it, no2 was a clear screen not tinted, the 3rd was not fitted as there was a mark in the glass [ what we in the trade call a 'seed'] at this point i gave up on the auto guys and went direct to nissan, who ordered the correct screen and fitted it in 2 days at the same price as autow*********s
    1.8 passat.standard at mo'/ mazda mx5 red mk1 loads o' fun

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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    Thanks to all for your comments so far. Over the years I have had many problems with replacement screens - always due to distortion. After 2 unsuccessful replacements in 2 weeks on one of my previous Passats, the windscreen replacement company gave up with the screens that they were trying to fit and said " OK, we will order up a genuine Volkswagen screen " result = Perfect !
    Having now driven for 3 days with the latest replacement screen (Guardian) I can say that therte vis distortion to the left hand side, a mark in the glass on the left hand side, there is far more reflection from the dashboard on the screen, and is less tinted that the Pilkington that it replaced.
    Taking a closer look at the replacement windscreen companys paperwork, I see that the value of the screen is 140.82 + VAT (Of which I had to pay 70.00 insurance excess).
    Would you believe that whilst driving yesterday (and still listening to the creaking sounds), a stone hit the screen and has caused 4 marks directly in my line of vision !
    Now I am not sure what to do = phone my insurance company again with a new claim ? Ask if they use more than one windscreen replacement company ? Any suggestions ?

  6. #6
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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by alang498 View Post
    Thanks to all for your comments so far. Over the years I have had many problems with replacement screens - always due to distortion. After 2 unsuccessful replacements in 2 weeks on one of my previous Passats, the windscreen replacement company gave up with the screens that they were trying to fit and said " OK, we will order up a genuine Volkswagen screen " result = Perfect !
    Having now driven for 3 days with the latest replacement screen (Guardian) I can say that therte vis distortion to the left hand side, a mark in the glass on the left hand side, there is far more reflection from the dashboard on the screen, and is less tinted that the Pilkington that it replaced.
    Taking a closer look at the replacement windscreen companys paperwork, I see that the value of the screen is 140.82 + VAT (Of which I had to pay 70.00 insurance excess).
    Would you believe that whilst driving yesterday (and still listening to the creaking sounds), a stone hit the screen and has caused 4 marks directly in my line of vision !
    Now I am not sure what to do = phone my insurance company again with a new claim ? Ask if they use more than one windscreen replacement company ? Any suggestions ?
    Whatever you do don't mention the new chips.
    I would call the fitters and kindly say that you are having problems with distortion distracting you, such as when mortar on a wall wobbles and if you have distortion in the lower corners say it makes parking against the kerb hard and going round roundabouts in the right hand lane distracting. They will probably just offer to get a better screen. They only pay 70-80 for these duff screens.
    Audi A8L- 2006 - 3.0TDI

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    alang498 (10-04-2011)

  9. #7
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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    My winscreen problems in 2011 were solved with the faulty Guardian screen being replaced with a Saint Gobain. Now, after almost 2 years I have just had another windscreen fitted due to a lengthy crack originating from a large stone chip. Following the problems with the last replacement, I asked for a Saint Gobain screen instead of a Guardian. (Given the age of the car, I doubt if my Insurers would be agreeable to an OEM).
    With previous replacements the fitters docket has stated that the car should not be moved before a specified time, but on this occasion I was told that the car could be moved after 30 minutes as the sealants " have moved on a lot and that the curing time is much faster "
    As it happens, I had to drive the car for 90 miles after it had sat for 1 hour after the screen replacement.
    Given the previous circumstances I now start looking for faults: There are distortions in the replacement screen but so far, not what I would call irritating, but I am now wondering if there is a slight draught on my face since the new screen was fitted - although I cannot feel any obvious draughts from around the edges of the screen.

    Is it possible that the glass could be thinner and does not have such good thermal properties and/or is it possible that the sealant had not cured and that there is a gap and/or during the replacement of the screen and removal of the scuttle is there anything that could have been disturbed to create a slight draught ?

    Any advice would be gratefully received.

  10. #8
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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    There are too many questions here for me to answer all of them but I should be able to shed some light on it. No manufacturers make their own glass, it is subcontracted out. Many windscreens from big named glass companies should be OEM quality, in many cases we have seen screens that have been sent out with the OE logo blanked out, distortion will happen towards the edges of the glass due to the heat of the addition of the obscuration band on the edge of the glass. Glass has to be a standard thickness IIRC it was 7.2 mm, 3mm of glass with 1.2mm laminate in the centre, the creaking someone experienced was because the bottom of the glass was sitting too close to the body work and was rubbing on the rubber surround of the VIN plate. Sealant will take up to a week to completely cure through to centre, the drive away time is that it has sufficient adhesive power that if you have an accident the windscreen will remain in place as the airbags go off, 1 airbag 30 mins more is 1 hour and other general glass related questions pop me a PM!

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  12. #9
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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    Thank you for all the information. There appears to be distortion in the middle of the screen on the nearside (this appears visible to me when looking across from the drivers seat but not so noticeable when looking straight ahead when sitting in the front passenger seat) It also appears distorted in a band of approx 2 or 3 inches at the bottom of the screen, but I am going to see how I get on, as I am hesitant about having yet another replacement, in case it is not as good as this one.
    I am thinking of at least reporting the situation to the windscreen replacement company and advising them that I may contact them again if I cannot get on with this screen.

  13. #10
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    Re: Windscreen replacement

    Still have the draught in the car at face level but cannot detect where it is coming from = Have checked what grommets I can see in the bulkhead under the bonnet and all seem secure.

    Whilst looking, I also jotted down the markings on the replacement windscreen:

    Saint Gobain Sekurit. DOT618. M451. AS1. E20. 43R. 00348. //

 

 
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