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  #1  
Old 06-11-2005, 06:43 PM
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Location: Eugene, OR, USA
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Windshield replacement question

Car: 1986 300E, W124

I had a rock hit the windshield Thursday while on the freeway. It left a large circular crack about 4 inches wide. Definitely gonna need a new glass. While I have searched the archives, I still am not sure whether to take the car to my usual glass shop or to the dealer. Cost is not an object since I have zero deductible on my comprehensive part of my policy.

I've had good results on my Volvos at a locally owned glass shop. However, it seems, from reading the archives, that it is important for the replacement glass and the adhesive to be correct OE. I suppose Mercedes uses some unobtainium in the glass. My wife's sister, who had the car before me, had a new windshield installed and they nicked the insurance company for over $1500!

There are a number of MBZs in my medium sized hometown (Eugene, OR 130,000) but I don't know how many have gone through my glass shop. In any case that shop has different workers every time I go there. On the other hand, the MB dealer might just farm out the job to the same shop, who knows.

Do you folks recommend the dealer? Or the glass shop?
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Old 06-11-2005, 06:55 PM
WANT '71 280SEL's Avatar
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Usually, the dealer contracts the job out. So, just call and ask the dealer who they go to for windshield replacements. They won't give you any trouble for that, at least they shouldn't!

Thanks
David
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2005, 07:32 PM
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I would pick a good independent shop who has done Benzes before. On a 300E, you need to pull the wiper assembly to do the job properly, and I have heard that some of the driveway installers can cheat and not pull the wiper. $1500 for an E class sounds about $900 to high, even with a premium glass.
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  #4  
Old 06-11-2005, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANT '71 280SEL
Usually, the dealer contracts the job out. So, just call and ask the dealer who they go to for windshield replacements. They won't give you any trouble for that, at least they shouldn't!

Thanks
David

That's exactly what I did. Got PPG glass, with a great and careful job, for about $350 3 years ago. Not a big deal for someone with MB experience.

On mine, the wiper arm was removed but not the whole assembly. I watched the whole thing and it was done very professionally.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2005, 04:53 PM
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Location: Redondo Beach, CA
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Windshield replacement

My car took 2 HITS on the freeway within the span of a week!! Never had to replace a windsheild in my life before this!

Just had my windshield changed last week by a local independent auto glass shop for $225.00. They just removed the wiper arm and trims, including the roof trim.

The job was done very well. There's even a lifetime guarantee agains water and air leaks.

Make sure whoever does the job has a good vacuum cleaner beside him to
vacuum off glass bits on the dashboard as it will cause damage if wiped off.
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2005, 07:28 PM
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I did just as one of the others suggested, I asked my dealer's parts guy who does their installs and used them. In this case it was a chain called Binswanger Glass who quoted $250 for an aftermarket Pilkington brand windsheild or about $475 for the OEM MB glass. This was for my 1998 E300 Turbo Diesel.

I went with the aftermarket since I know Pilkington makes glass for MB (as does PPG and Sekurit) and they all make aftermarket replacements which I think are equally as good as MBs.

Oh, yeah, and for $1.50 at the dealership's parts counter I picked up the white "signature" sticker and added it to the aftermarket windshield

The only thing missing is the MB star...is it worth $225 more? I didn't think so, but then again my insurance company was not paying for it.

The installer emphatically denied you have to remove the wiper assembly to replace the windshield, they only remove the arm and do dozens of them a week...they do all of the installs for both MB dealers in NH so I think they have the experience needed to tell the truth. Honestly, after watching them do it I don't see the need to remove the wiper assembly either.
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  #7  
Old 06-13-2005, 12:28 AM
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I have had two cars that suffered windshield damage on the freeway. My last car (92' Acura Legend) had a rock thrown onto the glass on a freeway in southeastern Georgia just before the previous owner sold it to me. It was hit on the lower passenger side. A couple of cracks started spreading toward the driverside, but along the very bottom and I though "smooth sailing". I was hoping it was going to stay low, but the first very hot day we had in March- not one, but both cracks spread up toward the top, directly in front on the drivers view. "Safelite" auto glass quoted $249. for the blue tint and $300 for the gold tint (optional). Since I was selling it anyway, I did not bother with it. Ironically, a week before I sold it, the rear passenger door glass shattered. It was setting in the driveway. I have no idea how it broke, because we have not neighbors on that side- and it was beside of a tree.

My 95' Suburban has a cracked windshield, also from a rock on the freeway, but it is a small crack and has already went to both ends of the glass, but without any visibility problems.

Here is a photo taken a few months ago, of how the Acura window busted:
The side window photo was too "large" to post.

Glass Doctors came and installed my fathers glass in his 69' Camaro that he restored. They did a very professional installation.
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  #8  
Old 06-13-2005, 12:32 PM
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Thanks to all

Well I called the local MBZ service manager and he nicely told me the shops they sent their glass work to. It turns out one of the two is the same one I've always gone to. Now that's on my to-do list. Thanks to all who replied.
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  #9  
Old 06-13-2005, 12:53 PM
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Toofast45

If you recommend the shop, would you please post it. I will need to have a windshield replaced in the near future. Thanks.
Ed
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2005, 11:47 AM
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Location: Eugene, OR, USA
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New windshield

Well I got the new windshield installed. It hasn't rained so I can't tell if it will leak. I don't expect it to leak since I've had this shop do 4 or 5 windshieleds and none have leaked.

The cost to the insurance company was $335.51 which seems reasonable. They got the glass installed in about 4 hours. Actually it took 1 hour to install but they wanted to have the adhesive set for a few hours befor driving.

The shop is A-1 Auto Glass here in Eugene. That's a bit far for you to go. You might try what I did and call the MBZ service manager and ask who they have do their glass work.
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  #11  
Old 06-16-2005, 01:55 PM
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I think you're supposed to wait 24 hours if possible to let the window adhesive settle. Basically, if possible, avoid a thunderstorm.

Thanks
David
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  #12  
Old 06-16-2005, 08:10 PM
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I bought our SL with a cracked windshield (original). I went with aftermarket glass and took it to a place that installs Pilkington, Sekurit and PPG. The glass that their warehouse sent them was Pilkington, which I was fine with since I had seen this brand on BMWs. I paid in the high 300's and it is beautiful glass, no ripples where the glass bends. Haven't driven the car in the rain since I had the glass done well over a month ago.
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  #13  
Old 06-17-2005, 12:53 PM
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The difference between aftermarket and OE windshield prices ( other than the dealer bump ) is easy to explain. The OE glass and adhesive is crash tested. In fact, when the MB Starmark program began in the late 90's, one of the requirements for certification was that the vehicle be equipped with OE glass all the way around. MB dropped this requirement about two years ago though.
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  #14  
Old 06-17-2005, 09:23 PM
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This whole "crash tested" glass is another of those rumors which does not have any basis in fact. All of the glass is the same type, tempered and designed to shatter into a billion pieces when it breaks. This is all controlled by DOT specs and no car or glass manufacturer makes anything different than what the DOT requires. The important thing about the "special" adhesive is that MB requires a special non-conductive urethane formula made by 3M (and others). It is described by 3M on their site as:

"Many European cars manufactured after 1995 use this specialty urethane to impact stiffness/rigidity into the vehicle. Specifically the high modulus characteristic helps transfers the rigidity of the glass to the body of the vehicle. The low conductivity characteristic is necessary to prevent the adhesive from interfering with electronics and to prevent galvanic corrosion in aluminum bodied vehicles."

MB does not make their own glass or adhesives nor do most dealerships do the install themselves but contract it out to specialty shops who only do glass work. If you go to the glass shop which your dealer uses you will get the exact same job that you would get if you paid the dealer to do it, but will save the profit the dealer makes. You can specify that the shop use OEM or let them use aftermarket glass. Based upon my experience the aftermarket will be almost 50% less than the OEM and based upon the glass they put in my car it is perfectly fine. If your insurance will pay for OEM then maybe it is worth insisting on it (or trying) but I would have no problem recommended aftermarket glass.
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  #15  
Old 06-17-2005, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhdoc
This whole "crash tested" glass is another of those rumors which does not have any basis in fact. All of the glass is the same type, tempered and designed to shatter into a billion pieces when it breaks. This is all controlled by DOT specs and no car or glass manufacturer makes anything different than what the DOT requires.

Well said. I am always skeptical of such claims -- hard to believe that PPG would make 2 different grades of glass, depending solely on whether they get to etch the star on a windshield or not. I have heard from someone who worked in the PPG factory and saw windshields coming off the line -- some get stars, some don't -- but are otherwise identical. Certainly there is no obvious difference in resistance to pitting between OE and aftermarket glass in my experience.

The other point that my glass installer told me was that MB does specify that the vehicle should not be driven for 24 hrs after a windshield is installed to allow the polyurethane adhesive to set well without a lot of body flexing; the windshield is considered to be part of the crashworthiness of the vehicle.
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