In the past, when your windshield got some cracks or chips, you had to replace it immediately. Fortunately today, through modern technology, windshields with damages such as these can still be repaired. This allows car owners to save their windshield as well as their money, which they would have spent on a replacement.
However, there are also some limits to the most technically advanced glass repair systems. When a windshield gets severely damaged, it needs to be replaced with new glass.
To repair or to replace the windshield
To know whether a windshield has to be repaired or replaced, the size, site and extent of the damage need to be considered. Most repair shops can fix cracks as long as 3 inches and chips that are the size of a quarter. If the damage goes beyond these sizes, the windshield will require immediate replacement.
There are a number of facilities that allow the repair of cracks measuring up to 1 foot. Therefore, it is best to look around before proceeding with windshield replacement.
Another important factor to consider when choosing between repair and replacement is the site of the damage. When the windshield acquires cracks at its edge, these can easily spread and affect the glass' structural integrity. When they are seen right away, these can still be repaired. In a major of cases, though, it would be best for the windshield to be replaced.
Keep in mind that there are a number of facilities that do not repair chips that are directly in front of the driver's field of view. Repairing chips on the windshield can cause some small distortions in its glass. Instead of compromising the driver's vision, some shops would rather opt for a windshield replacement.
No matter how big a crack or chip may be and where it might be located, it must be repaired right away. When you wait too long for this, dirt can find its way to the area that has been damaged, and this can have an effect on the efficiency of the repair. Damages as a result of accidents and other major impacts can go beyond repair. In these cases, the windshield needs to be repaired.
The cost of repairing a windshield
The cost of repairing chips in the windshield is, more or less, the same across the country. It costs $ 40 to $ 50 to repair a single chip and an additional $ 10 for every extra chip.
The price of repairing cracks is just about the same, but when the crack is more than 3 inches, this requires a costlier treatment.
The costs of replacing a windshield costs much more and varies, depending on the vehicle. Aside from the price of the windshield, the total replacement costs include the molding kit and the labor of installing it.
There is a difference between the price of dealers and independent glass shops. This is because they use different kinds of glass. It is common for dealers to charge more because of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (or OEM) windshield. The kind of glass is the exact same one that was originally installed in the car.
Independent glass shops charge less than dealers because they use windshields coming from suppliers that are non-OEM. Nonetheless, they are made of glass that is similar to OEM windshields in terms of quality, clarity and safety. Non-OEM glass should conform to the safety standards just like OEM glass, if not exceed them. Whenever windshields are replaced, every glass shop advises the use of sealers and adhesives recommended by OEM.
Best Places to Have Your Windshield Repaired or Replaced
There is a variety of options with regards to the repair or replacement of windshields, based on your specific requirements.
Automotive glass specialists
Facilities such as these are experts in repairing and replacing automotive glass such as windshields, rear and side windows. They try to exhaust all efforts to repair and save the windshield before they consider replacing it.
Windshield repair facilities
These are nationally franchised shops that only do windshield repair jobs, such as fixing chips and cracks. They do not replace windshields.
New car dealers
If your windshield has to be replaced, you can go to your local dealer and let them install an OEM windshield. Lots of dealers sub-contract mobile glass services and they do on-site windshield replacement. There are times when dealers also offer non-OEM windshields.
Mobile services for repairing and replacing glass
Instead of going to a facility to have your windshield either repaired or replaced, you can get these services conveniently at home or work, where your vehicle is parked.
General glass services
Aside from repairing and replacing automotive glass, they offer other services like the installation of residential and commercial glass.
Almost all companies that offer automotive insurance cover the replacement and repair of windshields. However, since windshield replacement costs up to ten times more, there is a difference between the coverage of repair and replacement.
When your windshield is replaced, you will be asked by your insurance company to pay the deductible while they pay the cost of replacing it.
The deal is better when your windshield is repaired. Since the cost of repairing a windshield is more affordable than replacing it, a number of insurance companies are willing to forgo your deductible and at the same time, pay for the full repair.
With this kind of arrangement, more customers are encouraged to have their windshields repaired rather than replaced every time they get small chips or cracks. This means considerable savings not only for you, but your insurance company as well.
However, if your windshield badly needs to be replaced, do not hold back. Have a new one installed. It is difficult to see through a damaged windshield and this can make you prone to accidents. The damage may have affected the glass' structural integrity and when this is not replaced immediately, this could further weakened.
To know whether your windshield needs to be repaired or replaced, it has to be carefully examined by a certified glass specialist. In addition to this, before agreeing to any windshield service, verify your coverage terms with the help of your insurance agent.
How windshield repair works
A windshield is repaired by injecting a special resin to the crack or chip by means of a tool attached to the glass. The moment it is injected, the resin is cured then polished. This restores the glass' durability and clearness.
When a windshield gets chipped or cracked, this spreads to the innermost layer of plastic that comes between two glass sheets. There are times when a drill is utilized to create a clean path towards the plastic and the damage is repaired by injecting the resin into it.
Repairing a windshield, just like first-aid, is a preventive measure that keeps losses from becoming worse. The results may be almost flawless in some cases and slightly blemished in others. Whatever the case, windshield repair can effectively prevent the damage from becoming worse.
Chips are different from one other, so some of them will have a better response to glass repair than others. However, a windshield that has been repaired will not be as clear as a newly installed one.