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Windshield Damage, Repair or Replace?

It happens. There’s a speck of dirt on your windshield that won’t wash away.

You’re at a car wash and an attendant alerts you to multiple specks on your windshield.

You’re driving down the highway and that marble size pellet is dead ahead. A new crack rears its ugly head on an extremely cold or hot day.

We’ve all seen or heard the scenarios. When it happens to you, what do you do?

A chip in your windshield can be harmless or it can deplete you of several hundred dollars if you ignore it. A windshield crack must be repaired to ensure the safety and integrity of your automobile.

What do I do?

Your first step is to get an assessment. Find a reputable and professional dealership or auto glass replacement facility in your area. Check the online reviews and the Better Business Bureau history before you choose just anyone.

An honest and professional facility will be more than happy to estimate the damage for free and give their professional opinion on whether the glass can be repaired or replaced. The cost at dealerships and glass repair facilities are usually commensurate. Mobile glass repair service charges will be slightly higher due to having to compensate for gas, mileage and convenience.

Make sure to check the cost. A second opinion is always a good idea. Not only will you get verification of the ability to repair versus replace, you will also get a better idea of the correct pricing for the cost of repair.

How much will this cost me?

The cost to replace a windshield depends primarily on the type of vehicle and the type of glass used. Auto glass is available as an Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM) product which is generally more expensive. It is also available as an aftermarket or non-OEM product. Aftermarket products offer similar quality and safety at a less expensive price. Consider it like the concept of brand name groceries versus your “off brand” groceries. It’s all a matter of preference.

Windshield replacement has a very broad range for cost. Some windshields can be just a few hundred dollars while others can be upwards of $1,500.00.

Will my insurance cover it?

When replacement is on the higher end of cost, many consumers will choose to consider their auto insurance for payment. However, the standard deductible can be about $500. If the deductible is not much less than the overall cost of the replacement you may want to consider paying the entire cost. The insurance industry is a fickle one. Numerous claims, even when the incidents are of no negligence of your own, can adversely affect your risk as an insurance consumer resulting in higher rates. What you thought was just a windshield incident could result in increased premiums over a period of time. See: How To Cover Windshield Repair Through Car Insurance

Repair of a windshield is much more economical making the importance of acting on a crack or chip quickly a crucial decision. Typical charges for repair range from $40-50 for the first chip and $10 for each additional chip. Also, most auto insurance companies will waive the deductible for windshield repair if you need to consider that option. If you see a chip or crack, get it check as soon as possible. Extreme heat or cold can cause the pressure on the glass to increase turning what could have been a repair into a replacement.

How does the repair work?

Windshield repair is a fairly quick and easy process. Some entrepreneurs have turned it into a parking lot business. It can be done while at a car wash, at the mall, anywhere you are, all in a matter of minutes. The repair simply involves injecting a special resin into damaged area of the glass. The finished product is nearly good as new.