Do you know everything there is to know about UTV windshields? Probably not. And with so many different styles, materials, and designs, we’re guessing you might have a question or two about them. We’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions from real customers, online forums, and more. So take a look at our answers on topics ranging from proper cleaning procedures to seal installation tricks.
Side-by-side windshields can be made from a few different materials:
Polycarbonate is incredibly strong and lightweight. It’s 250 times stronger than glass and 25 times stronger than acrylic. Even if it breaks, it doesn’t shatter. It’s easier to scratch than glass, but often comes with a scratch-resistant hard coating.
Glass is heavy and prone to cracking from heavy impacts. But it’s extremely scratch resistant. Constant exposure to sand, branches, and other debris will rarely scratch glass. That also means you can run windshield wipers with glass windshields.
Acrylic is a cheap material that’s not offered by most UTV windshield companies. It is fragile, scratchable, and tends to shatter into dangerous shards when broken. However, acrylic is often used on slow-moving vehicles like golf carts where they can be used safely and effectively.
You should only use warm water and gentle dish soap or baby shampoo with a microfiber cloth to clean polycarbonate. Never use any cleaner that contains ammonia or alcohol. These chemicals will cause the poly to permanently fog up.
For detailed instructions on cleaning polycarbonate, check out our guide on How to Clean and Care for Your Polycarbonate Windshield.
You can use any glass cleaner to clean glass windshields.
We do not recommend keeping your glass or polycarbonate windshield installed without straps while transporting on an open air trailer.
You should always remove it or secure it tightly with straps. Securing your side-by-side in the forward-facing position will help keep your strapped-down windshield safe on your machine.
Our flip windshields use top-of-the-line gas struts and heavy-duty clamps. You can keep your flip windshield open no matter how fast you ride.
Yes. Our scratch-resistant windshields are hard coated on both sides so you can enjoy excellent clarity for longer. We know that hands, tools, helmets, and sometimes dust can get on the inside of a windshield. If it weren’t hard coated inside and out, it would be like having no hard coating at all.
“Scratch resistant” and “scratch proof” are not the same thing. A scratch-resistant windshield means that it’s harder to scratch than a non-scratch-resistant windshield. This is achieved by applying a hard coating over the polycarbonate.
Without getting into too much detail, something that’s harder than the hard coating can still scratch the windshield. Your pocketknife can scratch it for instance. It is in no way “scratch proof.”
“Scratch proof” means that the material will not scratch. Your pocketknife will not scratch it, nor will keys, rocks, rollovers, bullets, or anything else.
Here’s a list of all known scratchproof materials:
That’s right, it doesn’t exist.
Even glass will collect micro scratches over time. And it’s the most scratch-resistant windshield material you can get.
Wipers are not recommended for use with polycarbonate windshields. While dust, dirt, and mud won’t normally scratch a scratch-resistant windshield, they can scratch one when cleared with a wiper blade. Wiper blades push abrasive material into the windshield as they drag it out of the way. It will lead to scratches.
Check out our guide on How to Clean and Care for Your Polycarbonate Windshield to avoid ruining your windshield when you clean it.
Whether you’re sweaty, soaked, or it’s just a cool winter day, fog happens—and it sucks.
If you’re fogged up because it’s cold out, adding a cab heater to your machine will help. The extra heat and airflow can lower the humidity in the cab, heat up the windshield to reduce condensation, and carry some of that moisture elsewhere.
Another trick that people have been using for years is to clean your windshield with lemon-scented Pledge furniture polish (or the ultra-cheap dollar store alternative). Just make sure whatever brand you use doesn’t have alcohol or ammonia in it. We recommend cleaning your windshield normally before using a method like this. But with a few layers of Pledge applied inside and out with a microfiber cloth, some have reported a reduction in fogging. Your mileage may vary.
There are a few tricks to make bulb seals easier to work with when you’re fitting them to your side-by-side windshield. Namely, heating them up will make them easier to work with and fit to your windshield.
The easiest way to heat up a seal is to fill a bucket with hot water—the hotter, the better. Let your seal soak in it a few minutes, and then take it out to install it. You’ll find that is perfectly malleable and easy to work with.
Alternatively, if it’s hot and sunny enough, you can leave it out on the ground for a while to warm up.
Some people throw them in the dryer for a few minutes to heat them up, but that’s generally more noisy and annoying than it’s worth.
We don’t include bulbs seals on the sides of some side-by-side windshields because they’re not always necessary. Typically the sides of our windshields are not locations that rattle or allow much air in. This is something we pay attention to on each and every windshield we design.
If we decide it needs a seal on the side to stop vibration, we’ll include it. If not, we won’t. We love making our windshields super easy to install, so giving you an extra step without any real benefit isn’t something we’re going to do.
Yes. Almost all polycarbonate side-by-side windshields have room to fit a side-view mirror. You have to take the windshield off, install the mirrors, and then reinstall the windshield.
However, mirrors that use a tube clamp do not fit on most glass windshields. This is due to the way glass windshield frames rest against the roll cage. Bolt-on style mirrors can be used instead.
There are several reasons why a UTV windshield could have a gap between the top and the OEM roof. For two-piece flip windshields, there needs to be some clearance for the windshield to lift.
We also include a bend at the top of many windshields to add rigidity. This can lead to a gap in some instances.
In all cases we try to keep the gap to a minimum. If there is a gap, it’s because eliminating the gap would fundamentally interfere with the strength, function, or practicality of the windshield.
Check out SuperATV.com. We’re the industry’s leading side-by-side windshield manufacturer with the widest variety and highest quality windshields you can get.