Monday, September 8, 2008

Civic Window Replacement

I've been working on replacing the rear passenger-side quarter panel window in my Civic for quite a while now, and today I think it's finally done. The window and mirror were damaged beyond repair in an accident on the way to work one morning, and the cheapest online quote I found was $288 for just the glass. Added with labor costs, this would be more than what I paid for the whole car! (I bought this 1995 Honda Civic EX for $300 from my friend Matt Hathorn). It took me over two months and extreme hassle to finally find a window at a junkyard, but I only had to pay $50.

I thought about trying to buy some sealant and put the window in myself, but I figured that after all the trouble I'd gone through to get the window I wasn't about to break it doing something I had no experience doing. After calling around to auto glass shops near Columbia, I found Advance Auto Glass who said they'd install it for $65. It was a good decision because these guys were great! The owner let me work with the technician, Eric, who did an outstanding job.

Lessons learned:
1. Don't assume you're going to get a better deal on auto glass at a junkyard than at an auto glass shop. In this case, Eric said that he could have ordered a brand new glass panel for around $25 more that what I paid, and it would have looked better. It also might have come with a warranty.
2. If you buy auto glass at a junkyard, make sure the seal wasn't damaged when they cut it out of the car. Such was my case, and although Eric did a great job minimizing the damage you can still see where the junkyard guy screwed up.

Overall it was a great experience and I learned the basics of auto glass repair from seasoned experts. I'm excited to see how much my gas mileage improves now that my window's in! For more pictures and details on this project, go here.


Tyler said...

Well I guess I found my way to your have some great projects on here and the pics are great!! keep it up! Good luck with your architectural studies, i am studying to be a transportation designer so i feel your pain =P.
-Tyler Sylican

Tom said...

thanks for the comment Tyler and good luck with your studies!