Fixing Your Car

What You Need To Know About Replacing The Windshield In Your Classic Car Or Truck

If you drive a car or truck no longer in production, parts and accessories can be harder to find. Original auto glass for windshield replacement or side window repair can be rare for some of these vehicles, but there are ways to work around that and get the new glass you need for your car or truck.

Curved Auto Glass

Many older vehicles have curved glass in the front and rear, and windshield replacement glass may not be readily available for the car. Working with a glass shop that has the resources to get reproduction glass for these vehicles is often the best option when you need a windshield replacement of this type.

The windshield replacement glass must meet the USDOT (department of transportation) standards for the glass, so the reproduction glass must meet the specs of the original glass. It is vital to check that the reproduction glass meets the standards, and working with a glass dealer that has used these manufacturers in the past can be your best resource. 

When buying a curved glass windshield replacement, the construction needs to be perfect, and the bends in the glass correct, or the windshield may not fit when you are ready to install it. Inconsistencies in the glass can result in damage during the installation or failure of the glass, but the windshield replacement service will check the windshield carefully before attempting to put it in the vehicle.

Flat Auto Glass

A car or truck old enough to have flat windshield glass is sometimes easier to work with because the glass can be custom cut to fit the vehicle. If a windshield replacement is no longer available, you may be able to take the vehicle to the auto glass shop so they can measure the opening and cut the glass for you or order a custom piece if they do not have the windshield glass you need on hand.

Older windshield glass is often thinner than modern glass, so the windshield replacement shop will need to measure the old glass or frame to determine how thick the new glass can be and still fit in the frame. If the glass is thinner, it still must meet the DOT requirements for safety, or the vehicle may not be street legal in many parts of the country. There are cases where this is less of a concern (for example, if the car is being restored to show and will be moved on a trailer and not driven on public roads).

If you register the car as an antique, some requirements will change, so you should check with your local DMV for the rules. For instance, the car or truck only needs to meet the safety requirements at the time of the original construction, so the windshield glass you use can be thinner as long as it meets the original specs.