by Bob Beranek

I received an email last week from a Canadian distribution/installation company. The executive expressed concern about pre-primed parts ordered from Volvo, specifically the FW03156GTY, FW03604GTY and FW03678GTY. These windshield numbers were displaying a failure of the pre-applied primer.

Here is how the issue was described to me:

“We have been purchasing three part numbers from the Volvo dealership chain that are arriving pre-primed … this primer can be scratched off with your fingernail.

We’ve now had two occasions where our technicians clean, activate and re-prime the shield prior to installing, but months later the car comes back because the shield leaks. After removing the glass we find the primer stays stuck to our urethane bead but totally separates from the glass.”

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When Volvo was approached with the problem, they blamed the company for not installing the glass properly and sent instructions from the Volvo Service manual. The document they sent the service center was the MSDS for polyurethane in every language known to man and a 10-frame drawing of cleaning, priming, applying and setting the glass with an old product that hasn’t been in production for years. In the words of our friend, “[W]e were sent these instructions to follow, it would be funny if it wasn’t dangerous.”

Here are my concerns about this issue:

  • OE pre-primed automotive glass parts were addressed by all adhesive manufacturers years ago. They gave us instructions on how to handle those types of parts when they arrive at our shops. Are those instructions still accurate?
  • Is there something wrong with the frits on these parts that would cause adhesion problems with urethane and its primers?
  • Did Volvo fail to properly prime the glass supplied to the distribution arm of the dealership group? If so, what do we do about it?
  • How many of these windshields are out there and how many of them have been installed unsafely?

I have begun an investigation on this issue and plan on making it known to everyone involved that there is a problem with these parts. However, in the meantime, I would suggest that when and if you have to purchase a part from your Volvo dealer, make sure that the frit primer is properly applied and adhered. If it chips off, refuse the part as defective. Maybe that way we will make our concerns known to our vendors.

If you run into any issues similar to those described above, please send the details and a photo of the part in question to

Comments (11)

  1. […] TODAY’S BLOG: A Question about Volvo’s Pre-Primed Windshields […]

    • jaguar417 said on 07-12-2014

      In response too the current situation many seem to be experiencing with Volvo products,( model years 2008-2012, all models), it appears to be a contamination issue on the frit. If I am correct it is only on the frit edges that have an epdm molding attachment. We have removed and reset over 500 of these windshields in the last 18 months. The Volvo corporation has set forth a technical service response regarding this issue. Contact your local dealership and ask to speak with the director of vehical services and they can provide you with this document. Please be aware that Audi is experiencing the same problem with the TT and A8 models.

  2. John R. Allen said on 20-11-2014

    Very Interesting…Thanks for sharing Bob. Can I make a suggestion for a future blog? OEM wind shields…Hondas announcement today in reguards to OEM wind shields, I wonder how many other OEMs will come out with a statement/policy?

  3. Daniel Dinu said on 20-11-2014

    Despite most of the AGRR community members that critise longer vehicle restraint, higher costs and some releasing delays, I double check the new glass. Clean it thoroughly even using a 3000 sandglass 3M disk on the edges, as laminated glass display silicone traces due to vacuum lamination process, an then prime the frit with the appropriate primer. Never ever had an installation falure due to missbonding. Believe it or not, I practice this procedure for merely 25 years and had zero missinstallation claims. I also suggest checking and cleaning of the PAAS lites, as no one can gurantee the manipulation prior to final preparation of the glass was done “by the book”.

  4. Glasseye said on 21-11-2014

    With all these ongoing concerns about direct glazing, I wonder if the time is coming for a major rethink on how glass is fitted to vehicles. In theory there should not be a problem but the need/ability to maintain correct procedure and consistent performance is proving the achilles heel of the process. Glass fitted in frames and bolted to the vehicle might be a safer and more reliable alternative. Discuss.

    • John R. Allen said on 21-11-2014

      Glasseye…The main reason a windshield is urethaned in place is STRUCTURAL. The roof crash roll over test etc…

      • Glasseye said on 22-11-2014

        That is one of the main points I am making. If you cannot guarantee, 100%, that the automotive glass will perform to the required standard on safety tests, then the process is flawed.

    • Daniel Dinu said on 22-11-2014

      My belief is that vehicle manufacturers aim to ligher inert weight, lower production costs, shorter assembly time, and so on. Despite the high security provided by framed non-mobile vehicle glasses bolt&nut applied to the main body, they are far from fullfiling the goals formerly displayed. Not to mention the aerodynamics so much claimed by futuristic body design. However, this might and will be a challenge for the new generation of automotive design engineers. BTW: you launched a very interesting and provocative alternative, Glasseye. I would gladly have a direct chat with you.

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