How Long to Leave Tape on After Windshield Replacement?

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how long to leave tape on after windshield replacement

Retention tape plays an important role in holding the windshield onto its frame, ensuring the windshield remains in proper position while the adhesive and sealant dry. But how long to leave tape on after windshield replacement? The answer is around 24-48 hours.

But you must also consider the weather, as cold weather would delay the drying, which would require you to keep tape on new windshield for 72 hours. In hot or dry weather, you can remove it after 24 hours.

What Is a Windshield Tape or Retention Tape


Windshield tape, or otherwise known as retention tape, is usually a blue tape on new windshield used during the process of windshield replacement.

During the process, a windshield glue and sealant would be used to attach the windshield to the windshield frame. The retention tape would then be stuck across the roof and replaced windshield to secure the windshield in its proper place so it won’t move while the adhesive and sealant cure on the surface.

Another purpose a retention tape serves is to protect the adhesive and seal while they dry. It helps keep away particles that can ruin the windshield installation, such as water, dirt, dust, and debris.

How Long You Must Leave the Retention Tape on the Windshield

It could take a while before you can finally take the retention tape off your car. Toknow how long you should leave tape on new windshield, it’s best to ask a technician. But generally, you should leave it on for at least 24 to 48 hours.

How long it should be left in place would also depend on the weather. If you’re in hot or dry weather, it’s safe to remove new windshield tape after 24 hours. However, if you are experiencing cold weather, it’s best to wait 72 hours before removing the tape. Also, when removing the tape, do it gently.

The tape may not appear very aesthetically pleasing, but it’s best to bear with it for some time. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy a proper windshield in the long run.

Other Post-windshield Replacement Care Tips to Keep Your Windshield in Good Condition


Apart from the right duration to leave the tape on windshield after replacement, there are other proper post-windshield replacement tips you need to follow. See them below.

1. Don’t Drive Immediately After Windshield Replacement

Wait for some time after your windshield replacement before driving your car once again. If not, some gaps might be created and the windshield wouldn’t be installed firmly, which could be dangerous for you, your passengers, and others on the road. This waiting period is called driveway time.

Most car glass technicians would recommend a driveway time of at least an hour. But the required driveway time could also vary from 30 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Some adhesives and sealants or circumstances may even require 24 hours. It would depend on the type of adhesive and sealant, type of windshield, temperature, and humidity.

When you get your windshield replaced, the car glass technician will recommend the driveway time for your car. So, just follow the technician’s instructions.

Also, to be safe, be careful in driving straight home, as the adhesive and sealant still won’t be strong enough to secure the windshield in case of collision.

2. Drive Carefully and Keep Away From Rough Roads


Rough and gravel roads can cause the windshield to shake and prevent it from setting properly on the frame. So, after having your windshield replaced, avoid driving on those types of roads for a few days by going on a different route that’s smooth with no rubble. But if a bumpy road can’t be avoided, just drive slowly and carefully as much as possible.

Also, it’s advisable to drive or park somewhere else if your windshield replacement was broken due to vandalism or falling debris. This would prevent it from happening again.

3. Leave a Window Open


An increase in pressure within the car caused by the closing of doors may not allow the windshield to set properly. It could also result in the popping out or dissociating of the windshield.

To prevent that from happening, you can lessen the pressure in the car by leaving at least one window open by an inch for 24 to 48 hours after the windshield replacement.

4. Don’t Put Heavy Items on The Windshield

The windshield must be free of any pressure that would interfere with the curing of the adhesive and sealant for two days following its installation. So avoid putting anything on your car’s dash like a sun shield or any heavy objects. Also, do not put any cover on the exterior of your car.

5. Avoid Slamming the Door

Slamming the car door can bring a strong force onto the new windshield. It could destroy the seal, shift the windshield, or make the windshield pop out. So, keep in mind and remind your passengers to be extra careful and close the door gently within 2 days after the windshield replacement.

6. Avoid Extreme Temperatures


Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can adversely affect the setting of the adhesive and sealant. So it would be advisable to park your car in your home or a roofed area with temperature control.

7. You Can Only Wash Your Car After Two to Three Days

You need to let the adhesive and sealant dry first before washing your car. Wait two to three days after you had your windshield replaced before washing your car.

8. Avoid Going to Automatic Car Washes and Using Pressure Washers


Automatic car washes can be very harsh, especially with the very high pressures they usually use for spraying water and soap and the highly abrasive detergents for cleaning contaminants off cars.

Going to an automated car wash can break the adhesive and sealant or loosen the windshield from the frame. So automatic car washes and even just the use of pressure washers must be avoided.

Rainwater, on the other hand, won’t ruin the newly installed windshield, so don’t worry about that. Just avoid high-pressure sprays.

The safest way to wash your car after a windshield replacement would be handwashing. You must also only use a regular hose for rinsing and a mild cleanser.


Hopefully, this article enlightened you on matters of post-windshield replacement care. After the car glass technician replaces your windshield, he will instruct you on how long to leave tape on after windshield replacement and other must-dos.

Regardless, this article serves as an online source in case you may have missed some information or forgotten what the technician said. If it’s not too much trouble, kindly help us reach other car owners by sharing this article.

For more tips & tricks to take care of your car windshield and windows, click the following articles to learn more:

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