How Much Will that Damaged Windshield Cost You?
You car’s windshield obviously keeps you from getting smacked in the face by dust, rain and the occasional bug, but did you know it’s also an integral part of your vehicle’s structural safety system? The windshield provides rollover protection, improves the vehicle’s overall structural integrity and guides the airbag during deployment. It’s amazingly tough and well-designed, but it can still take a beating, even in normal use. Some types of damage can be repaired, while others require replacement of the entire windshield. In this article, we’ll go over the potential costs for various types of windshield damage.
Most Important: Don’t Ignore Windshield Damage
Most people do a great job of taking care of car maintenance basics: washes, fluids, tune ups, and so on, but many don’t take windshield dings and dents as seriously as they should. Ignoring even a small windshield ding for a few weeks can make it nonrepairable, and ignoring more significant damage can put you and your passengers in jeopardy. So how much will it cost? To answer that, you need to know whether it can be repaired or will require replacement.
Repair vs Replacement
A windshield repair may cost as little as $50, while a new windshield can cost hundreds. Generally speaking, small areas of damage that are not at the edges of the glass can be repaired, while larger areas usually require replacement. Here’s what we can fix:
- • Chips up to the size of a quarter
• Small pits and dings
• Small star cracks • Bulls eyes and partial bulls eyes
And here’s what we cannot fix:
- • Old cracks or dings that have “worn-in” dirt
• Damage directly in the driver’s line of sight
• Damage at the edge of the windshield
Windshield Repair Overview
Let’s hope you have a small ding or chip that is not at the edge of the windshield because damage at the edge of the glass compromises the vehicle’s structural integrity—yeah, the windshield is a really important part of rollover protection and several other precisely engineered functions in the vehicle’s safety systems. The other place you can’t repair windshield damage is directly in the driver’s line of sight because, as amazing as this repair process is, it can very slightly distort the optics of the glass, so that’s not allowed under insurability standards. Finally, damage can’t always be repaired if it’s full of dirt because, if contaminants can’t be fully cleaned out of every microscopic crevice, the resins used in the repair will not adhere properly. So, again, don’t procrastinate when you get a windshield chip because it can cost you a new windshield as opposed to a simple repair.
Some insurance companies provide complementary windshield repair with no deductible, so be sure to check with your provider.
How it’s Done
Windshield repair is an interesting invention, and a pretty simple one, as most good inventions are. After VERY thoroughly cleaning the damaged area, technicians place a vaccum frame against the glass that allows them to create a surface mold over the damage that matches the smoothness of the surrounding windshield. They inject into this space an epoxy that closely matches the optical properties of auto glass, then apply pressure to a pump that forces it into all the tiny voids in the glass. It’s a very quick process, which is why you may only have to spend $50 for a windshield repair job.
Windshield Replacement Overview
If the damage is more extensive, you’ll have to replace the entire windshield. For most vehicles, auto glass replacement ranges from $125 to $500. For less common models and specialty vehicles the cost can be as much as $700 – $800.
The good news is that most insurance policies cover windshield replacement (although deductibles vary). Also, the process doesn’t take long. APR will have your vehicle back out on the road the same day you bring it in—often in a couple of hours.
Why are Windshields so Expensive?
Windshields are made of laminated glass (layers of plastic sandwiched into layers of glass), which tends to break in sections and sheets rather than exploding into thousands of razor-sharp pieces. This technology has saved countless lives, but it’s not cheap to produce. Add to that the fact that windshields are precision manufactured to fit many different vehicle models, and their cost starts to make sense. But they work do their jobs, as long as they’re properly installed.
Our technicians know how to install windshields so that they provide the same level of safety as the original. The structural safety of the vehicle is preserved, the optics are clear, and most noticeably, dust, rain and occasional bug stay out of your face while you drive.
Call Now, if You Have a Problem
Bottom line: you’re safer when you take care of windshield damage promptly. Even slight damage can reduce driving visibility, especially at night and in bad weather conditions. And small windshield problems are notorious for turning into big windshield problems that may cost significantly more to deal with. Give us a call when the damage occurs. We’ll work with your insurance company when it makes sense, and we’ll always try to give you a deal so reasonable that you can afford it even when you don’t want to make an insurance claim.
For more information, check out our web page on this topic: Windshield Repair and Replacement in Wichita.