Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pearl Gets a Band-Aid


I have really been enjoying my “new” car. It has air conditioning, so it is a giant step over what I was driving. I still smile every time that I climb in. I guess that I am still in shock that something so beautiful is mine to drive!

Taking care of Pearl is of great importance to me. I want to keep her this nice as long as I can.


Imagine this…I’m driving this gorgeous machine on the freeway to get to the airport for work. I am following behind lots of traffic…I hate rush hour! All of a sudden, I hear the unmistakable sound of  a rock hitting my windshield.

No biggie. But then I find where it hit. And a large chunk of my windshield is already scarred!


I tried to be very careful over the next few days by not driving Pearl. Luckily, I was sick in bed and didn’t have that as an option. I called my insurance company. I can’t believe how blessed we are that we bought total glass coverage on the insurance that we just switched to!

Four days later, I went outside and found this. Despite sitting in the garage without being driven, the little ridiculous chip had spread in either direction about a foot. There was no repair option now…this puppy was going to need replacement.

Sniff sniff.


When I talked to my insurance agent, she set everything up for me. I called their recommended replacement company to get the ball rolling. Thankfully, they were available to come replace Pearl’s windshield the very next morning.


First, he got the windshield wipers out of the way to assess the damage. Already, I was feeling worried about Pearl’s vulnerability in this situation. Nobody likes to be poked and prodded and torn apart.



I was his first stop of seven today. And he had a brand-new 2012 Ford Explorer windshield hanging out on his truck.

By the way, though I didn’t want any of this to happen, I was totally impressed with how wonderful Auto Glass Excellence was in my entire predicament. I highly recommend them!

And I now have them on speed dial.


He got my windshield out and placed it on his padded stand. Then he cleaned it and removed the stickers and storage pads. Then he wiped a giant glue stick around the edges. It wasn’t really glue, because he didn’t do anything with it for almost an hour. Maybe it was to clean the edges to ensure that they would catch to the adhesive properly?

Either way, it was cool. And now I want a giant glue stick.


I made conversation with the nice gentleman making the windshield switch. He was very helpful and friendly. Man, I wish that I spoke Spanish!

Here he has already removed the rearview mirror. He held it up to me so I could guess how expensive that one piece of my car was…

I was right. $500. Glad that it was just a stinkin’ windshield that was broken today! Sheesh!


So then he started to take things apart. The windshield sits directly on the car frame and is held in place with some heavy-duty adhesive. Then it is covered on each side with lots of screws and panels to help keep it in place even more. But the adhesive is what does the hard work.

Here, we are taking off the side panels on my side of Pearl. I say “we” very loosely here, of course.


It’s always fun to see the innards of anything, but I was not thrilled about any of this. It was a terrible feeling that I didn’t know if my car would ever be the same again.

Melodramatic, I know. I’ve never had to do this before, and I didn’t realize that a windshield replacement happens to some people several times a year.

Knock on wood.


After he cut away the old adhesive and pried away the glass with a giant pocketknife, the cracked windshield was ready to come off of Pearl.

I wish I had asked his name. We will call him Henry.


Talk about an awful way to see your new car! Look at my poor little baby!


On the plus side, this option could give lots of natural breezes during driving…


Here you can see the old adhesive. It is the black squished stuff and was pretty intense to pry loose. At least, it looked like Henry was working pretty hard.


After wiping away all of the tiny shards of glass and scraping off the old adhesive as much as possible, Henry then squirted some new adhesive from this awesome gun. A giant tube of new black stuff when all the way around.


Oh, pretty little Pearl. I’m so sorry about this.

Why on earth do they allow trucks on the freeway, anyway?!


Sweet! Here is the new goop going down! See how thick it was? I think that the gun was heating it as it came out to ensure a proper line.

This was a loud process. I think that it made the neighbors jealous. Not just moats dug around the front yard can accomplish that, apparently.


It’s so smooth that it looks like a rubber tube, but this is the new sticky adhesive ready for a the new windshield to go on top!


Henry placed the new adhesive all the way around without any holes. He wanted to make sure that everything sealed properly when the new windshield was put in place. I’m personally glad that he was so diligent.


Now for the really cool part, and not just because he put on plastic gloves. It was time to get the new thing in where it belonged!


With a really cool plunger handle, Henry made this entire process look a little too easy.


But he lowered the windshield into place on top of the awaiting adhesive. Bam! New windshield!


He pushed and squished and tapped it into place until he was satisfied that it was done right. Then, he started to reinstall the panels that had been removed on the side.

Henry actually broke the passenger side when he was removing it, but he didn’t immediately have the replacement part. So he glued the old one on until a week later when I was back from work. He came over and removed the old panel and popped the new one in place. It took about five minutes. No hassle from them!


This is the cool suction cup plunger thing that he moved around to get a proper fit.

And now I want one of these, too. So neat!


For some reason, two tiny strips of painters tape were supposed to keep this puppy in place until it cured twenty-four hours later. I decided not to drive in that time, just to make sure that it was properly sealed. And then, for the first few days, I drove around with the back two windows cracked to alleviate some pressure on the windshield.

His idea, not mine. I wish I would have thought of that when I had the tiny crack!

Moral of the story: don’t skimp on glass coverage. This would have been about $470 out of pocket, but it just paid for my entire year of insurance alone. I am so happy to not have to worry about paying for something like this.

Thanks, State Farm. I’m glad that we have you now!

And I’m glad to have Pearl back to new.


  1. Poor little Pearl! Yes, insurance is a good thing!

  2. Glad Pearl is better now.
    I love your appreciation for every bit of the job Henry did. Most people take other people's work for granted. I am sure that your appreciation helped Henry take pride in his work and made him a better worker all day long.


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