Front door glass replacement: step by step instructions and tips

by | Tips

Issues covered in the material:

  • Common types of damage to the glass of the front door
  • Front Door Side Glass Replacement Tools
  • Step-by-step instructions for replacing the side glass
  • Replacing the front door glass using the example of Renault Logan
  • Tips for choosing between repairing and replacing your front door glass
  • Risks of self-replacement of the front door glass
  • Reviews of car enthusiasts on replacing the glass of the front door

Vandalism attempted theft; traffic accidents are just a few reasons why the front door glass may need to be replaced. But it is essential to understand that repairs are not easy and have a lot of nuances that differ not only in the brand of the car. What to do in this case: go straight to the car service or take the risk and change the glass on your own?

You will find all the answers below. We have described cases when replacing the front door glass is required and when You can still repair it. Also gave step-by-step replacement instructions and shared tips to make everything pass without a hitch.

Common types of damage to the glass of the front door

Damage to car windows can be divided into several groups, each characteristic. Defects can be easily corrected in some cases, while others require a complete glass replacement.

Depending on the nature and degree of damage, the following types of breakdowns are distinguished:

  • Cracks are long filamentous fractures caused by impact. They impair visibility and may grow in size. The larger (longer) the crack, the more likely the glass will need to be replaced.
  • Chips – funnel-shaped damage to the outer layer of glass. There are several types of defects in shape:
    • Bullseye – a pothole caused by a stone or other heavy object hitting the glass. The damage looks like a crater, with cracks radiating from the centre.
    • Bovine half-eye – a defect with fewer cracks, similar to the previous type of damage.
    • Asterisks – chips without deepening in the form of a cobweb of cracks.
  • The double impact is a defect caused by the simultaneous influence of two factors, for example, a collision and a stone hit.
  • Combined damage is breakage that incorporates several types of damage, usually chipping and cracking.

Cracks are also different; some appear due to a sharp temperature drop. For example, when heating glass in frosty weather. Damage caused by thermal effects of improper glass installation is called stress cracks. Their appearance can recognize them. Typically, these cracks radiate from the edge of the glass and run along with the bonnet.

Front Door Side Glass Replacement Tools

You only need a standard set of tools for self-repair, which are probably stored in your garage or closet.

What you need first:

  • wrenches of different configurations: ring, socket, you may need a ratchet with replaceable nozzles;
  • a set of screwdrivers (regular and Phillips);
  • scissors;
  • vacuum cleaner or cloth to remove dirt.
  • Also, when replacing the front door glass, you will need other materials:
    • a piece of raw rubber (30 x 10 cm);
    • sealant;
    • plastic clips – 10 pieces.

You can get to where the glass is attached only after removing the trim from the car door. First of all, remove the release handle and armrest. To do this, using a screwdriver, carefully remove the caps covering the fasteners and unscrew the screws. After that, You can easily remove the handle.

Next, you need to remove the cover, remove the window regulator handle and unscrew the pin locks of the lock.

Remove the bolts that secure the trim panel. Using a regular screwdriver, pry the material and pull it slightly towards you. If plastic clips additionally hold the panel, it is necessary to unclench them to come out of the grooves. By removing the trim in this way, you will gain access to the lock, the window regulator and to the glass mount itself. At this point, you will need a vacuum cleaner or tissue to get rid of the debris from the car door. Now you can safely change the part.

Step-by-step instructions for replacing the side glass

To replace the front door glass, you do not need to disassemble the entire power window. Remove only the bracket that holds the side glass. You will have to temporarily replace the power window handle and move the mechanism to the lower position to get to the mount. Use a wrench to loosen the fixing bolts and then remove the bracket.

If you purchased a replacement glass complete with a retaining bracket, it must be replaced with the damaged one and assembled in the reverse order. If there is no bracket on the glass, you can use the old one. Use a strip of crude rubber of the required length as a sealant. Pour some adhesive into the bracket. Then glue the cut-out strip to the bottom of the glass where the mount will be. Please note that the sticky side of the rubber is covered with a protective film; You must remove it.

Next, install the glass with the side where the seal is glued into the bracket. At this stage, it is essential to correctly determine the location of the glass attachment so that you can fix the frame to the window regulator. Be careful not to confuse the inside and outside of the window. Remove any excess sealant.

Then replace the glass with the bracket and secure it to the lifter mechanism. Do not rush to tighten the bolts, first check if everything is level. Move the window regulator to the upper position; if the parts are crooked, you need to align them. Next, you must lower the mechanism again, and the bracket tightened with bolts. Remove the power window handle before replacing the trim panel.

After that, replace the faulty plastic clips, fix the trim in the grooves and tighten the bolts. Replace the decorative plugs, handles and bollard pins. Lift the glass and leave for the time required for the sealant to harden.

Tips for choosing between repairing and replacing your front door glass

It is more challenging to repair ordinary or double-layer car windows than a shock-resistant triplex. Such glass is less susceptible to damage even under direct mechanical stress. It is used for glazing the windshield and, less often, the rear window. The three-layer system allows you to correct some defects on such surfaces. They often replace other glasses with which the car’s front doors are equipped. Usually, it is salinity – simple tempered glass. Such material is lighter and cheaper than imitations; however, it breaks into many fragments upon impact and cannot be restored.

When choosing the type of repair (elimination of a defect or replacement of glass), it is necessary to consider the nature of the damage. You can fix such kinds of destruction as:

  • minor scratches or abrasions. They slightly interfere with the view but spoil the appearance. You can remove them using GOI grinding paste;
  • Small chips (bull’s eye, half-eye, asterisk). Such a defect makes the glass vulnerable to further damage; in particular, it can provoke the appearance of cracks diverging from the centre of the chip. The hole can be filled with UV polymer using a special pump (injector) for glass repair;
  • a crack is a more complex defect that can make it difficult to see and quickly grow in size. To eliminate breakage, an adhesive with high penetrating ability is also used.

When is it necessary to replace the glass of the right or left front door:

  • Extensive damage in the heating area. The glass can burst when blowing warm air.
  • Scuffs that significantly interfere with the view. Yes, you can fix such a defect by polishing, but replacing the glass will be easier and faster. In terms of cost, such services are approximately equal.
  • Damage more significant than 5 cm. Large defects remain visible even after careful repair. They weaken the glass and make the vehicle unsafe to use.
  • Voltage cracks. You cannot repair them until the problem that caused them is resolved. In addition, it is more difficult for the polymer to penetrate such a defect. You can correct the situation only by eliminating the cause of the voltage or replacing the glass of the front door.
  • Cracks that extend beyond the boundaries of the glass. The repair will not solve this problem since the rigidity of the entire structure is violated.

In these cases, glass replacement is the best option to repair the damage. Sometimes it takes a bit longer but makes a four-wheeled vehicle safer. It is recommended to change the auto glass in case of cracks on the seal. You can try to cover such damage with a sealant. If this does not help, it is better to completely re-glue the existing glass. In this situation, you will need professional help.

Risks of self-replacement of the front door glass

Do-it-yourself glass replacement will save on car service services, but it does not exclude unforeseen risks and costs. Such repairs are thorough and require patience. Be prepared to set aside a couple of days to find the necessary parts, new glass and replace it.

You also need:

  • Find suitable premises.
  • Purchase high-quality tools, sealant, polymer and other materials necessary for repairs (you need to know which ones).
  • Follow the glass replacement instructions strictly.
  • Have the skills to work with the purchased equipment and consumables. Otherwise, there is a risk of damaging the skin, glass or car body.
  • You need to understand that no one guarantees you quality in the case of an independent replacement of the front door glass. The result of the finished work, including unsatisfactory ones, is your responsibility.