Removing a windshield is a job best left to professionals, but in the event of an emergency, you may need it taken care of immediately. You can actually tackle this task yourself with patience and the right tools. Simply follow the advice listed below.
Both you and your assistant should wear safety gloves and eye protection while doing this job. Windshields are made of safety glass, which will splinter into tiny pieces if it sustains a large crack. Those pieces can easily lodge in eyes or penetrate skin.
Completely remove all pieces of your old windshield if you are going to install a new one. An improperly installed windshield can cause injury or contribute to a vehicle accident, which will void your auto insurance.
Step 1 - Cover the Car Hood for Protection
Using large towels or an old flannel sheet or blanket, cover the car hood so it will not be scratched when the windshield is removed.
Step 2 - Remove the Windshield Wipers
With the correct size of socket wrench, release the nuts holding the windshield wipers in place. Remove them and set them aside to reinstall later. Tuck the nuts into a small Ziploc bag to make sure you don't lose them.
Step 3 - Release Clips Around Molding and Lubricate the Perimeter
Find and release all the clips that keep the windshield's weather stripping and interior molding in place. Discard these as you will not be able to reuse them. Then, coat the entire perimeter of the windshield with silicone putty lubricant so it will slide easily out of the window frame.
Step 4 - Pull Away the Old Molding with a Pry Bar
To get to the glass, you will have to pull away the old molding and weatherstripping around it. Discard this, as you will want to replace it when you put in a new windshield. If you are recycling the car, it is best to remove it so it will not contaminate the recyclable materials.
Step 5 - Place the Suction Cup Handle on the Windshield
Press down firmly on the windshield with a suction-cup handle to create a tight seal. Ask your assistant to get up on the hood and grasp the handle tightly, and direct him or her to pull when you push.
Step 6 - Push the Windshield Out of the Window Frame
Recline the car's front driver and passenger seats. Then, lie back in the driver's seat, tilt the steering wheel out of the way, and push steadily with your feet on the driver's side upper corner of the windshield. Change seats and push on the upper corner of the windshield on the passenger side. Your assistant should now be able to pull on the suction-cup handle and pop the windshield right out.
If you're working with a cracked windshield, try to put pressure on an area away from the damage.
Step 7 - Dispose of the Old Windshield
Take the glass to landfill or make arrangements to recycle it at a facility in your area that takes automotive glass.