by Bob Beranek
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My friend, Steven Rossetti at American Auto Glass Administrators in Rhode Island, recently emailed me a link to a website that professes that automotive glass replacement is so easy anyone can do it. The site advises that, “You may also prefer to replace the windshield yourself rather than spend the time and money to take it in to an approved auto technician.”

Maybe the people who developed this site (which I will not name) should “spend the time and money” to research the facts before they post nonsense. They add, “If you don’t replace your cracked windshield immediately or don’t do it properly, it could potentially shatter into tiny pieces into the faces of you and your passengers. You don’t want that to happen, right? We hope not.” Are you kidding me? Really?

Don’t worry though; this website gives you step by step instructions to replace your windshield. Items in italics are their recommendations; my comments are in bold parentheses.

Please Note: I do not recommend this website.

“To replace the windshield on your car, all you have to do is purchase the correct windshield for your car, and then detach all of the items attached to the windshield. This includes the wipers and the rear view mirror. (Since when are wipers attached to the windshield?) You should then separate the rubber gasket from the glass carefully using a screwdriver or a knife, (What?) and then squeeze away the glass from the frame gently by pushing it from inside. (Again, what?) Carefully remove the glass and set it aside; the windshield is much heavier than you most likely think it is, and it can break apart as you hold it (this is why removing and replacing the windshield on a car is largely a two-person job for safety reasons).

Simply proceed to wipe the rubber gasket clean and then place it around the new windshield. Apply a sealant to the rubber gasket and the frame, and then push the windshield firmly in the frame, so that it fits tightly.”

Wow, I wonder how many people driving on our roadways today have replaced their own windshields using this method.

Now get off the floor and dry your eyes. I know this stuff may seem funny to a professional, but there are people that read this and think that it is for real. The people who follow this advice are putting their friends and family in danger.

The Internet is a wonderful thing. I use it daily to research and verify information, but I do not use just one site to give me the facts that I need. Nor do I take the articles that I read as fact. I do consider the source and the timeliness of the information and compare what I am reading to the facts that I already know as true.

I know that many of you cruise the Internet to watch videos or find articles to help with your preparation for upcoming installations. However, I hope you will take the information you find with a little skepticism and find confirmation from an authority you can trust.

Those of you out there reading my blog that are not automotive glass industry professionals, I have a word of advice. All of the things you find on the Internet are not necessarily true. There is no law or restriction on publishing falsehoods. The Internet is for a free sharing of ideas, opinions, sometimes facts and sometimes complete fabrications. Surfer beware.