Regardless of the make and model of your car, truck or SUV, you are guaranteed to have at least one thing in common with all other vehicle owners: your auto glass is an important part of the vehicle’s safety and convenience. Not only does auto glass help keep us safe from debris as we drive, but it also helps – in conjunction with the car’s other windows – provide a level of climate control and comfort while driving.
Another important yet often overlooked benefit to a windshield and complete set of auto glass is the reinforcement it offers to the roof if your car suddenly rolls over. These three benefits should be enough to convince any car owner that their auto glass should be a top priority. Understandably, those who understand this will be distressed when they discover damage to their windshield or auto glass.
What options are available to fix the damage?
How much will it cost?
Can the damage be fixed, or will a replacement be needed?
These questions and worries are legitimate, but few know all the answers if they haven’t gone through the experience before. Whether you have damage and you want to know what comes next, or you simply want to be prepared, we’ll discuss the five most commonly asked auto glass repair questions so you can be informed on the answers.
Do I really need to fix this damage?
With so many households tight on cash right now, the first question that comes to one’s mind when they notice damage to their windshield is whether or not the damage actually needs to be repaired. Money shouldn’t be the primary concern here – as we’ll address below – but yes, even the smallest forms of damage need to be addressed in an expedient fashion. The biggest reason for this relates to how auto glass can be damaged even more from a small crack or chip. Potholes, vibrations, and fluctuations in temperature can all cause a small crack or chip to become much larger in a short period of time. If you want to avoid having the entire piece of glass replaced, then you’ll act quickly while a repair is still viable.
Is it safe to simply repair (and not replace)?
An auto glass technician will be more than happy to come out and inspect the damage to your windshield or windows. In the case of small cracks or chips, it is virtually always safe to simply have a windshield repair on the damage and keep your existing windshield. If the crack is less than six inches in all directions, then the repair process will be sound. Only if the damage is large or extends in multiple directions may the windshield need to be replaced. The key to saving your auto glass is to catch the damage early, have the area treated with a powerful resin and prevent any cracks from spreading from that point in the future.
What do I do if the crack is huge?
In the event your windshield has been struck with something that left a huge, running crack, then you will most likely require an auto glass replacement job. This means that the entire sheet of glass is removed from the vehicle and replaced with a brand new, OEE solution. Because glass provides so much strength to the vehicle in an accident, a large crack can wind up compromising the strength of the windshield – even if it were to be repaired. This process usually takes a few hours from start to finish, and that includes the time that is needed for the windshield to cure before driving.
How much does a repair or replacement cost?
This is a big worry for many with auto glass damage and is probably the number one reason why people put off the repairs. Unfortunately for consumers, the delay of repairs can actually cost more money later on down the road. If you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage, then it is almost certain that any repairs done to your windshield or auto glass will be free of charge.
Without insurance, this may cost up to $75. If you need a replacement windshield, however, then your costs will vary widely (depending on deductible and whether you have insurance or not). A complete out of pocket windshield replacement may cost as much as $500, while an insured driver will spend anywhere from $100-250 in most cases. What risks are involved? When you have the work performed by a qualified auto glass technician, the risks to your vehicle are virtually none.
Qualified technicians go through comprehensive training programs to ensure they know what they are doing, while the overall work itself is focused on an area of the car where it is difficult to do any damage to other parts of the vehicle. The most common worry is that the auto glass (during a replacement) will not be installed properly. This risk can be eliminated by always verifying the background and business standing of the shop in question before making any decision as to where to have the repairs performed.