Identifying Options for Windshields

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class forward facing cameras.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class forward facing cameras.

Automotive windshields have changed a lot since the start of the automotive industry. In the past, there were some variations in windshields, but nothing like todays windshields. One particular model of vehicle can have dozens of different options when it comes to ordering a windshield. Let’s take a look at some of these options, and how to identify them.

Options on a modern windshield can range from different frits, tints, shading, acoustic properties, mounts for forward facing cameras, and more. When examining the windshield for replacement, look closely at the frit of the windshield. Here you may find different manufacturer logos, such as the OEM name or an image, that will need to be matched. Logos may indicate that the windshield has acoustic or sound deadening built-in. You may also find a heater grid, located at the bottom of the windshield, under the wiper blades. This is to keep snow and ice from building up on the wiper blades.

Near the rearview mirror area of the windshield look for camera lenses, rain sensors, or light sensors. The windshield generally will be shipped with the camera bracket and rearview mirror button already installed on the windshield. Something else to take note of, some OEMs do not service windshield mounted camera brackets separate from the windshield. Make sure to use caution when removing the forward facing camera from the bracket. If the bracket is damaged, the windshield will need to be replaced, if not available separately.

One more thing that is becoming common is heads-up-display (HUD). If the vehicle is equipped with a HUD, look for the projector on the top of the dash on the driver’s side. Another HUD indicator is that there may be an area on the driver’s side windshield that has a blurry appearance.

When ordering windshields, you will likely need to be able to identify all of these options to get the correct replacement windshield. Make sure to consult the OEM procedures, as many of the options may require calibrations after the windshield is installed.