2012 Volkswagen Passat

Windshield removal and replacement instructions
By Bob Beranek
January 30, 2012
AUTO

© 2012 National Glass Association. All rights reserved. Visit GlassMagazine.com for glass removal and replacement instructions for more than 450 vehicles. To sign up to receive the For Technicians Only e-bulletin, email FTO@glass.org.

Vehicle type: Four-door sedan

NAGS numbers*: Windshield part number FW3419 acoustical, molding

Note: The 2012 Passat windshield was not exactly an FW3419 as listed in NAGS.  We had to order the glass from the dealer and received a windshield with a lower retainer for the cowl panel and a bracket for the mirror and light sensor.  The light sensor looks like a rain sensor but the vehicle’s sticker lists only a light sensor. The FW3419 is listed as acoustical with a molding. In reality, it is acoustical with a lower retainer and a light sensor bracket.  There is no PAAS or underside molding on the three sides.  It is a true exposed edge.

 Helpful tools or supplies: Thin double-faced tape, tape for protecting the pinchweld paint around the glass perimeter

 Watch for: The glass appears to have a rain sensor mounted in the base of the mirror, but in actuality, it is a light sensor. There is no need to purchase a new pad for the light sensor. It is salvageable as long as the glass is relatively warm.

*With permission from National Auto Glass Specifications. Call NAGS at 800/551-4012 or visit http://glass.mitchell.com/.

A. Windshield

Preparation

1. Cover the front seats, floorboards, dash and steering wheel with a clean drop cloth or disposable plastic covers. Note: Always wear eye and hand protection when working with glass. Make sure you have the right glass and moldings and that the urethane systems you are about to use are current. Windshield part number is FW3419.

2. Drape the fender with a fender cover and tape up any vulnerable areas on the vehicle to protect against possible damage. Tape up the defroster vents to prevent debris from falling into the openings.

3. Remove the interior mirror and light sensor, following these steps:

  • First, remove the two-piece decorative cover at the base of the mirror.
     
  • Disconnect the electrochromic mirror wiring harness.
  • Use a pick or pocket screwdriver to pry out slightly the side clips on the mirror.
     
  • Wiggle the mirror down off the bracket.
  • Use a pocket screwdriver to lift the lower wire cover from around the light sensor.
     
  • Remove the top portion of the wire cover.
  • Disconnect the light sensor wiring from the sensor.
     

4. Remove the windshield-wiper nut covers.

5. Remove the windshield-wiper nuts using a 14-millimeter wrench or socket.

6. Remove the hood bulb seal from the front leading edge of the cowl panel.    

7. Remove the two cowl corner caps from the top of the fender.  It is held in place with double-faced tape.  There is a little tab that inserts into a gap in the fender mounting near the base of the A pillar.
 

8. Starting in one of the corners, pry up the edge of the cowl from the base retainer and separate the cowl panel from its retainer at the lower edge of the glass.
 

9. There is no PAAS or underside molding on the sides or top of the windshield.  It is a true exposed edge. Note: Before beginning windshield removal, verify the new windshield is the correct one and the urethanes and primers are current. Never use outdated products as this could jeopardize the structural integrity of the vehicle and the safety of its passengers.

Removal

10. Make sure cutting blades are sufficiently sharp.

11. The exposed edge is far enough away from the pinchweld wall to cut out the windshield using a cold knife, but it is highly recommended that you cover the painted surface between the glass edge and pinchweld wall with protective tape. If scratches occur, they will be visible.
 

12. The interior garnish moldings are coated with fabric and susceptible to damage during cutout.  Remove and set aside before beginning cutout.
 

13. Remove contaminants from the glass and pinchweld to prevent contact with the urethane. Because the glass is a truly exposed edge mounting, it is recommended that you measure and record the gap between the glass and pinchweld wall so you can replicate it during the installation process.

14. Use the cutting tools of your choice to remove the glass from the adhesive bead.  The OE bead is very thin and easily cut out.  We noticed on the vehicle we completed that there was a 6-to-8-inch gap in the urethane bead just to the left of the VIN plate.

15. There are no gravity stops, so preparations must be made for holding the glass in place until the urethane cures.

16. Take the windshield out of the opening using vacuum cups. Make sure the vacuum cups do not overlap a crack in the glass.

17. Lift the glass and place it on a windshield stand or suitable workstation.

Installation

18. The new glass came to us with a lower retainer for the cowl panel and a special bracket for mounting the light sensor and mirror.  It also came pre-primed from the dealer.

19. Remove the light sensor from the old glass using a pocket screwdriver to pry it out of the bracket. It is best if the glass is warmed before removal. 
 

20. Insert the sensor into the new bracket and press firmly. There will be some bubbles in the sensor window but the pressure applied by the installed mirror clears them up once it is installed.
 

21. The new glass does not have a PAAS or underside molding so no special low-conductive urethane or special bonding procedures are necessary.  Normal urethane products can be used.

22. After cutting the windshield out, remove contaminants such as dirt, moisture and debris from the pinchweld. Clean the dashboard.

23. Dry fit the new glass to the opening. Mark your glass using a grease pencil or retention molding tape.

24. Place your vacuum cups on the new windshield in the appropriate location.

25. Set the windshield onto the old urethane.

26. With the windshield resting in the opening, make sure it is in the right spot.

27. Adjust both sides to the correct setting, marking the passenger side, then the driver side. Lift the glass and place it on a windshield stand or suitable workstation.

28. Follow the urethane manufacturer’s recommendations for installation with OE primed glass.

29. Clean the inside of the windshield using a urethane manufacturer-recommended product. Do not touch the bonding area of the windshield after cleaning, prepping or priming it.

30. Wear powder-free Nitrile gloves to protect against harsh chemicals.

31. Apply the glass prep and primer following the urethane manufacturer’s instructions, if applicable.

32. Using the tool of your choice, remove the original urethane bead, leaving 1-2 mm of urethane on the pinchweld. Make sure there are no contaminants and do not touch the pinchweld after you have prepped the area.

33. Apply the pinchweld primer only to the areas where needed, and follow the urethane manufacturer’s recommendations. Allow preps and primers to dry as recommended by the urethane manufacturer. Make sure to carefully cover any scratches outside of the original OE bead so the primer is not visible once the glass is installed.

34. Apply a triangular bead of urethane to the same path as the freshly cut urethane on the pinchweld. Before cutting your V-notch, cut the tip off of your nozzle with a nozzle-cutter. With the cut nozzle, measure to the top of the roofline, and at 1/16-inch higher than the roofline, make a mark on the nozzle with a pen or marker. Notch the nozzle up to the marked line; this will give you the appropriate triangular bead.

35. Lift the windshield from the windshield stand or workstation using vacuum cups. Set the windshield on the urethane at the mark you made during your dry fit. Adjust the glass to mimic the original gap between the glass and pinchweld wall. Lower the driver’s side of the windshield onto the urethane and line it up with the dry-fit mark; it is now in place.

36. The windshield is now ready to be decked. Press firmly to ensure a good seal.

37. Before re-installing the parts, check for leaks. Use a leak detector to go over the perimeter of the windshield. If you find a leak, apply more pressure or add more urethane to the spot and ensure that the glass makes contact with the wet urethane.

38. Reconnect the light sensor and mirror, following these steps:

  • Connect the sensor wiring.
  • Position the top portion of the wiring cover.  It inserts into a hole in the headliner.
  • Insert the lower portion into the same hole as the top portion. Position the lower portion of the wire cover, and snap the top and bottom cover together.  Then snap the lower portion around the sensor.
  • To force-fit the sensor tighter to the windshield to avoid bubbles, we inserted a 1/16-inch-thick rubber shim―cut from a setting block―between the lower wire cover and the back of the sensor.
  • Slide the mirror up onto the bracket and seat it firmly in the far up position.
     
  • If bubbles are still present, warm the glass from the exterior, and the bubbles should disappear.

39. Re-install the removed parts in reverse order.

40. Allow the urethane to cure according to the urethane manufacturer’s recommended cure time before returning the vehicle to the customer. Warning: Disregarding the safe drive-away time that your urethane manufacturer recommends could jeopardize the structural integrity of the vehicle and the safety of its passengers.

41. You have completed the removal and replacement of the windshield.

 © 2012 National Glass Association. All rights reserved. Visit GlassMagazine.com for glass removal and replacement instructions for more than 450 vehicles. To sign up to receive the For Technicians Only e-bulletin, email FTO@glass.org.

The author is president of Automotive Glass Consultants in Sun Prairie, Wis. Write him at bob@autoglassconsultants.com.