Volume 11, Issue 6 - November/December 2009

Ask the Doctor
pros who know

Acoustic Windshields
by Korey Gobin

Acoustic windshields are designed to reduce the amount of noise that is heard inside the cabin of modern vehicles without adding mileage-robbing weight to the glass. Acoustic windshields are more expensive than traditional laminated windshields, and this fact can be used as a selling point for repair techs.

As acoustic windshields become more popular, I continue to receive an increasing number of calls from windshield repair technicians wanting to know if such windshields are repairable and, if so, if there are any special precautions that they need to be aware of.

One Difference
Regardless of brand name, acoustic windshields currently are no different any other windshields with one exception: the polyvinyl butyral (PVB). In an acoustic windshield, the PVB inner-layer is enhanced acoustically for more efficient sound reduction. This does not affect the ability of a technician to repair the windshield and does not affect the quality of a successfully completed windshield repair.

So, the simple answer is: yes, acoustic windshields are repairable and require no special precautions.

Although acoustic windshields pose no new problems for windshield repair technicians, I recommend checking the identification markings on a windshield, often called the “bug.” In most cases the bug will identify the glass manufacturer, the American Standard number, the DOT number, the M number and as shown in the photo to the XX, a name or logo identifying the glass as acoustical-grade. You may see the word acoustic (or simply an “A” for acoustic) and sometimes manufacturers get creative, so you may have to use your imagination. The vehicle manufacturer, an E Code (required to identify the country in European Union), solar control identification, and heated identification are also typically found in the bug.

The bug can be found on the bottom center or bottom passenger-side of the windshield.

However, glass replacement and repair technicians should not rely on the bug to identify acoustic windshields.

Korey Gobin is an account executive with Delta Kits in Eugene, Ore. Mr. Gobin’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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