How to Replace a Car Window In Simple Steps

Being a car owner not only requires you to be a good driver but also to be skilled in various repair work. Learning how to replace a car window is one of those tasks. A broken side window could be an accident or someone trying to steal your car. Replacing car window glass is not a small feat, especially for new drivers. However, there’s nothing to be panicked about. You can pull this off with the right directions and tools.

Taking Preparations for Replacing Broken Car Window

To replace car window, you have to prepare the car for the repair task. It involves cleaning the car interior, removing the remaining window, and collecting the parts necessary.

Find out how bad the damage is from inside or outside of the vehicle. Check how much glass has been shattered on either side of this door. Take note if there is any debris, such as dirt or rocks, around because these can get caught in between the glass shards. If both sides have heavy amounts of destruction going all across them then it might be time for an insurance company call. Get your insurance information ready in case you need to file a claim.

Next, you have to clean the shards. Cleaning up broken tempered glass can be a difficult task. Make sure that there are no sharp pieces left on the ground and sweep them away with a broom or vacuum cleaner. Once this has been accomplished, one last step would be checking for bits of remaining debris somewhere near the vehicle’s interior or exterior surface areas.

car window replacement
You have to remove the glass shards. (Credit: Wavy)

Use safety glasses and gloves before getting close enough with your hands to pull out any pieces of shattered glass that might be remaining in between the door frame. Once all visible glass has been removed, grab a wet cloth and wipe down both sides. The safest way would be to use cleaning gel as it can catch even the tiniest shards.

How to Replace a Car Window: Easy Steps to Follow

Replacing passenger window can be intimidating and confusing. So, let’s break down the process into steps that will make it easier for you.

Tools necessary for window replacement.

  • A socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • A trim removal tool
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses

Remove the inner door panel.

The first steps of how to replace a car window are removing the inner door panel and extracting all hardware that secures broken shards into place. There should be nuts and bolts behind the trim. Loosen them to take these things off. Then, you have to remove the remaining window parts and insert the new one. But there is work to be done before installing the new window.

The door panel mechanism can be different from one car to another. It’s better to check the car’s service manual to get a clear idea. In the case of a power window, disconnect the plugs that supply power to and from the window before removing the glass.


Remove the remaining window parts.

After taking off the inner door panel of the car, peel back carefully and you should be able to see inner door fixtures. Lower or raise the height adjustment mechanism to align with the bolts or screws that are holding the glass remnants.

If it’s a power window, plug in the switches on the door that you have been working on. Switch on the ignition and move the window to bring the bolts and access holes to the same level. Strip off the bottom seal to open up space for the window panel to fit into.

replacing car window glass
Handle the glass carefully. (Credit: United Auto Glass)

Install the new window.

Placing the new window into the slot could be tricky, especially if you don’t have any previous experience. Start with the shorter side and place it at a 90-degree angle. Then, push the long side gently into the designated slot. It should slide into the right place after a few tries.

The next step is re-attaching everything: all the bolts, screws, and the glass panel. Move the window up and down a couple of times to see if it’s working smoothly. Reattach the door panel and other parts that you have removed.

Remember not to exert force during any step of a car window replacement. The glass can break down if you handle it carelessly. If it does not easily slide into the slot, it’s because you are doing it wrong. Just check everything again and try to put the glass in the right place. Take help from another person if necessary.


This is how to replace a car window in a few easy steps. The windows of commuter cars don’t cost much but the price tags of a luxury car’s glass and coatings are quite high. If you have an expensive car model, contact an expert mechanic for this repair job.