Critical Car Window & Glass Replacement Safety Rules In Manitoba

Jan 25, 2024

Frozen rearview mirror and wiper of the car with icicles, ice and frost
Properly replacing and installing auto glass is critical for vehicle safety. At Exact Auto Glass, we follow all provincial auto glass installation rules and only use approved materials to ensure repairs meet the highest safety standards; this protects both ourselves and our customers.

Auto glass replacement safety is something all Manitoban vehicle owners should understand. To maximize public awareness, we are basing this article primarily on the Vehicle Equipment, Safety and Inspection Regulation under the Manitoba Highway Traffic Act. This exhaustive government reference outlines the various standards and rules for proper windshield installation and materials, visibility levels, required inspections and more. As Manitoba’s top glass repair specialists, we want to explain some key details of this vital safety content. What follows comes mainly from this regulation material, with added insights from our trained technicians. We aim to educate you on best practices that follow provincial recommendations regarding your essential auto glass upkeep and safety.

Who Sets Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards in Manitoba?

In Manitoba, vehicle safety standards, including those for safety glass, are rigorously enforced to ensure the safety of all road users. The province’s regulations, overseen by Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), require vehicles to meet specific safety criteria before being registered and operated on the road. The key aspects of these standards are:

  • Vehicle Inspection Standards:
    • Certificate of Inspection (COI): Necessary for vehicle registration in Manitoba, confirming adherence to safety standards at the time of inspection.
    • Inspection Components: Includes checks on brakes, suspension, tires, lights, exhaust system, seat belts, steering, and safety glass.
    • Safety Glass Standards: Ensures the durability and integrity of glass components in vehicles.

These regulations are part of Manitoba’s commitment to maintaining a high road safety standard. The COI verifies the vehicle’s compliance at the point of registration and encourages ongoing adherence to safety standards through periodic inspections. You can refer to MPI’s resources on Vehicle Inspections and the Certificate of Inspection for detailed information. This approach reflects Manitoba’s dedication to ensuring that all vehicles on its roads are safe, reliable, and equipped to protect both their occupants and other road users.

Safety Glass Codes

  • AS1: This glass is typically used for vehicle windshields. AS1 glass must be laminated, meaning it consists of two layers of glass with a plastic layer in between. It must allow no less than 70% of light to pass through it​​.
  • AS2: This code describes tempered glass, a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared to normal glass. AS2 glass also allows 70% light transmission and can be used in any non-windshield application in a vehicle​​.
  • AS3: AS3 glass can be either laminated or tempered but does not permit more than 70% of light to pass through. It’s not suitable for use on windshields or the driver’s or passenger’s front side windows​​.

Ensuring Proper Visibility

There are rules around obstructions and light transmittance levels that aim to ensure proper visibility for drivers in Manitoba [reference items 8.7b, 8.8]:

  • Windshields cannot have any obstruction in the critical viewing area swept by the windshield wipers.
  • Substances other than clear UV-blocking tint cannot be applied below the windshield’s top 127 mm / 5 inches.

Windshield Tinting:

  • The top 127 mm / 5 inches of the windshield can have window tinting applied.
  • The light transmission should not be reduced to less than:
    • 25% if the tinting is applied as a uniform shade band.
    • 5% in the top 64 mm / 2.5 inches and 25% in the remainder if the tinting is applied as a graduated shade band​​.
  • Side Windows:
  • Window tinting must not reduce light transmission to less than 50%.
  • Light reflection cannot be increased to more than 35%​​.

Properly marked safety glass is also required. These visibility rules aim to provide drivers with a safely unobstructed view and avoid hazards from glare or low visibility. Tint levels, films and markings aim to strike a balance between visibility and protection.

Secure Installation Rules

  • Use of Approved Safety Glass Types: The glass installed must be of approved safety types, marked with codes such as AS-1 or AS-14. These codes indicate that the glass meets specific standards for strength and safety.
  • Proper Seating of the Windshield: The windshield must be correctly positioned in the frame with no gaps or spaces. This ensures a proper seal and structural integrity, which is critical for the windshield’s safety and functionality performance.
  • Use of Approved Adhesives: Special adhesives designed specifically for automotive glass bonding must be used during installation. These adhesives are formulated to securely bond the glass to the vehicle frame, ensuring it remains in place under various conditions.
  • Ensuring Adequate Bonding Time: The glass must be held in place securely until the bonding adhesive has fully cured. This time is essential for the adhesive to achieve its full strength and ensure the glass is firmly attached to the vehicle.
  • Utilization of Specialized Tools: Proper installation often requires specialized tools to prevent damage to the glass and ensure a secure seal with the vehicle’s body. These tools help in the precise placement and alignment of the glass.
  • Following Manufacturer-Specific Procedures: It is important for installers to follow the recommended procedures provided by the vehicle manufacturer. These procedures are tailored to each specific vehicle model and consider each vehicle’s unique design and requirements.

Required Inspections After Replacement

Manitoba has rigorous inspection rules for vehicles that have undergone modifications like auto glass replacement:

  • For windshield replacements, inspectors must check that [8.7]:
    • Proper safety glass markings and types are present
    • There are no hazardous cracks, cloudiness, or sharp edges
    • Visibility meets requirements and transmittance levels
    • The windshield is properly seated with approved adhesives
    • Wipers, washers, and defrosters function correctly
  • If improper tint levels are suspected, light transmittance is measured with a dedicated meter.
  • General system functionality checks assess wipers and window rolling.

These inspections ensure that post-replacement vehicles meet the various equipment, visibility, and functionality standards mandated by the Highway Traffic Act regulations. A vehicle must pass inspection to be registered to drive on Manitoba roads legally. This protects public safety by enforcing modification rules.

Conclusion

At Exact Auto Glass, we make safety our number one priority by adhering to Manitoba’s vehicle inspection regulations and OEM recommendations. We undergo specialized training and only employ qualified technicians to service all car makes and models.

Don’t trust just any auto glass shop to replace your windshield or window glass. Come talk to our experts first about the proper marking, materials, secure bonding procedures, and inspection rules that must be met. We take all steps necessary to maximize visibility, safety, and long-lasting quality. Our work and compliance with provincial standards are guaranteed.