Around here we consider windshields a consumable wear and tear item on any car, especially after a few years of collecting various amounts of road abrasions, and minor chips.
The windshield on Walter was tired having accumulated a good amount of road abrasion through the years, it might have been the original windshield.
Earlier this spring we noticed a crack at the bottom of the windshield in the black area going the entire width of the car. It was not caused by a stone chip, or salt chip its too low, below the edge of the hood. Could have been a crack caused by some flexing during the winter, or could have been a gazillion other reasons that could crack the windshield.
Why is it not surprising that a windshield would crack on a 2003 E Class that was engineered under extreme cost cutting of the time.
From our experience when a windshield cracks on a Benz, there is a strong possibility that the crack will propagate through the windshield. Obvious that Walter did not disappoint, and the crack started propagating on the left side.
As you can see the crack starts rising in the windshield, and after a wash (cold water/warm glass contrast) starts going across in the line of vision.
A case of Thank You Walter for such an innovative way of dealing with a crack.
Looking back its not so bad, we have had windshields last less than 24 hours on cars. Replacing a windshield, and immediately picking up a stone the same day, and replacing the windshield again.
Replacing an old, tired, abraded windshield not a big deal.
As you can appreciate replacing a windshield on a Benz is not an inexpensive proposition, especially when the car has rain sensing wipers, and a panorama roof. You also need the "windshield kit" which is primarily a tube of black adhesive, and a new Daimler sticker for the right hand side. The older white stickers are no longer available.
We call our friend at Reliable Glass who through the years has replaced a ton of Mercedes glass for us. Obvious you seek folks that have extensive hands on experience, and knowledge base in replacing windshields on a Benz.
The conversation was the following "I need a windshield for my 2003 E500 with rain sensing, and a panorama roof" the reply "Do you want an original windshield?" our reply "No" (its a 2003 not a 2013) the response "Let me see what I can do, I'll call you back".
On the call back they can get an after market windshield and we agree on a reasonable price to replace the windshield.
Yes...corroded metal appears at the bottom of the windshield...another sign of cost cutting from back in the day.
We endured the annoying crack for precisely 8 days, now Walter has a new after market windshield.
We do not suggest that you install an after market windshield on a newer car, get an original windshield from Reliable Glass. In this case its an older car, and with our new windshield track record it might only last a few days. Especially that a road trip on the 401 is in the immediate horizon...
The kilometers? Almost 154,000 we are slowly getting there.
The fuel economy in warmer weather, less than 10 liters per 100 kms on the highway.