Is your back car window cracked or broken? Getting it replaced can be expensive, with dealerships and auto glass shops charging several hundred dollars for the repair. But you don’t have to break the bank to get your back window replaced.
With some handy DIY skills and budget shopping, you can take care of this repair yourself for under $100.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: You can replace a back car window yourself for around $50-100 by buying an aftermarket window, auto glass sealant, and basic tools. Carefully remove old glass, clean the area, install new glass with sealant, and let it cure overnight before driving.
Assess the Damage and Prepare for Repair
Check if the window glass is actually damaged or just came out of place
Before you start the process of replacing your back car window, it’s important to assess the damage and determine if the glass is actually damaged or if it simply came out of place. Take a close look at the window and see if there are any cracks, chips, or shattered glass.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s likely that the window is damaged and will need to be replaced. On the other hand, if the glass is intact but has come out of place, you may be able to fix it without replacing the entire window.
In either case, it’s best to consult with a professional to ensure proper repair.
Make sure you have all the necessary supplies before starting
Replacing a back car window can be a challenging task, but with the right supplies, it can be done efficiently and effectively. Before you begin the repair process, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand.
This may include a replacement window, adhesive or sealant, gloves, safety goggles, a razor blade or scraper, and a clean cloth. Additionally, it’s important to have a well-ventilated area to work in and to take all necessary safety precautions.
If you’re unsure about the supplies you’ll need or where to find them, consider consulting with a professional or visiting a reputable automotive parts store.
For more detailed information on assessing the damage and preparing for repair, you can visit Car Bibles. They provide step-by-step guides and helpful tips on car maintenance and repairs.
Remove the Old Back Window
Take out interior door panel
To begin the process of replacing your back car window, you’ll need to remove the interior door panel. This will give you access to the window and allow you to work on removing it safely. Start by carefully prying off any plastic covers or trim pieces on the door handle or armrest.
Use a screwdriver or trim panel removal tool to remove the screws or clips holding the door panel in place. Once you’ve removed all the fasteners, gently lift the panel away from the door frame. Be cautious not to damage any electrical connections or wires that may be attached to the panel.
Cut away existing sealant around window
After removing the interior door panel, you’ll need to cut away the existing sealant around the window. This can typically be done using a utility knife or a specialized window sealant removal tool. Carefully run the knife or tool along the edges of the window, separating it from the sealant.
Be sure to wear protective gloves and goggles during this step to avoid any injuries from broken glass or sharp edges. Once you’ve cut through the sealant, you can gently push the window out from the outside of the car.
Remove broken glass carefully
When removing a broken back car window, it’s important to exercise caution to avoid any injuries. Start by clearing away any large pieces of glass from the window frame using gloves and a vacuum cleaner.
Then, use a putty knife or a similar tool to carefully remove any remaining glass fragments and adhesive from the frame. Take your time and be thorough, ensuring that all the broken glass is completely removed. Dispose of the broken glass properly to prevent any accidents or injuries.
Install the New Back Window
Clean window opening thoroughly
Before installing the new back window, it is important to clean the window opening thoroughly. Use a glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth to remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the area. This will ensure that the new window fits properly and is securely sealed.
Apply new sealant around window
Once the window opening is clean, it’s time to apply a new sealant around the window. This sealant will help to create a watertight and airtight seal, preventing any leaks or drafts. Choose a high-quality automotive sealant that is compatible with your car’s make and model.
Apply the sealant evenly around the entire perimeter of the window opening.
Place in new glass and press firmly to seal
Now it’s time to place the new glass into the window opening. Carefully position the glass and make sure it is aligned properly. Once in place, press firmly on the glass to create a tight seal with the sealant. Use gentle but firm pressure to ensure that the glass is securely in place.
Replace door panel
With the new back window installed, it’s time to replace the door panel. Carefully line up the panel with the door and press it into place. Make sure all clips and screws are secure. This will not only complete the installation but also provide a finished look to your car’s interior.
Remember, if you’re unsure about any step in the process, it’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional help. Installing a new back window may seem daunting, but with the right tools and a little patience, you can successfully replace it on a budget.
Cure the Sealant and Test for Leaks
After replacing your back car window, it is crucial to allow the sealant to cure properly before hitting the road. This step is essential to ensure the effectiveness and longevity of the replacement. Generally, it is recommended to let the sealant cure overnight before driving the vehicle.
This allows the sealant to bond securely and create a strong barrier against air and water leaks.
Let sealant cure overnight before driving
While it may be tempting to get back on the road as soon as possible, it is important to exercise patience and give the sealant enough time to cure. Driving the vehicle before the sealant is fully cured can compromise the integrity of the window replacement and increase the risk of leaks.
It is always better to be safe than sorry, so plan your replacement accordingly to allow for a sufficient curing time.
Check for air or water leaks once cured
Once the sealant has cured, it is essential to test for any potential air or water leaks. This can be done by using a garden hose or a spray bottle filled with water. Gently spray water around the edges of the replaced window and observe if any water enters the vehicle.
Additionally, you can also listen for any unusual whistling sounds that may indicate air leaks. If you notice any leaks, it is important to address them promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards.
Make any necessary adjustments
If you find any air or water leaks during the testing process, it may be necessary to make some adjustments to the sealant or the window installation. This could involve reapplying sealant in certain areas, tightening the screws or bolts, or consulting a professional if the issue persists.
It is crucial to address these leaks promptly to maintain the integrity of the replacement and ensure the safety of your vehicle.
Remember, proper curing of the sealant and thorough testing for leaks are crucial steps in the process of replacing your back car window. By following these steps, you can ensure that your replacement is successful and budget-friendly.
DIY Back Window Replacement vs Professional Service
Pros and cons of DIY repair
Replacing a back car window can be a daunting task, and many car owners may consider doing it themselves to save money. One of the main advantages of a DIY repair is the potential cost savings. By purchasing the replacement window and tools needed, car owners can significantly reduce their expenses compared to hiring a professional service.
Additionally, some car enthusiasts may find satisfaction in completing the repair themselves, gaining a sense of accomplishment.
However, there are several cons to keep in mind. First and foremost, DIY repairs require a certain level of technical skill and knowledge. Car owners who lack experience in car repairs may find themselves struggling to properly install the back window, potentially leading to further damage or water leaks.
Furthermore, without the proper tools and equipment, the process can be time-consuming and frustrating. It’s important to assess your own abilities and resources before deciding to take on a DIY repair.
Average costs of professional replacement service
For those who prefer to leave the job to the experts, hiring a professional service for back window replacement is a viable option. The cost of professional services will vary depending on factors such as the make and model of the car, the type of window being replaced, and the location of the repair shop.
On average, car owners can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $600 for a back window replacement.
While this may seem expensive compared to a DIY repair, it’s important to consider the expertise and convenience that professionals bring to the table. Professional technicians have the necessary skills and experience to ensure a proper installation, minimizing the risk of future issues.
Additionally, reputable repair shops often provide warranties for their work, giving car owners peace of mind.
Factors to consider when deciding
When deciding between a DIY repair and hiring a professional service, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, assess your own level of expertise and comfort with car repairs. If you have prior experience and feel confident in your abilities, a DIY repair may be a cost-effective option.
On the other hand, if you lack the necessary skills or tools, or if you simply prefer the convenience and assurance of professional service, it may be worth considering hiring a professional. Additionally, take into account the time and effort required for a DIY repair.
If you have a busy schedule or limited free time, it may be more practical to let the experts handle the job.
Ultimately, the decision between a DIY repair and professional service will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. Consider the pros and cons, weigh the costs, and choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.
Replacing your back car window is a project you can tackle yourself with some basic tools and an aftermarket window kit. Just take your time removing the old glass and sealing the new one. Let the adhesive cure fully before driving to ensure a solid window installation.
With a little care and patience, you can save big bucks doing this repair on your own versus taking it to a shop.