If you damage your windshield, you will need to replace it, but knowing how much does it cost depends on several different factors such as the type of glass you are using, the make and model of your car, quality of your wipers, special windshield features, the type of damage and whether you want to opt for factory or aftermarket windshields.
Sometimes you are able to just repair your windshield rather than replace it completely. However, repairs such as these are not long-term solutions because replacing a windshield completely is always the best course of action.
On average, you are looking at a $200-$500 bill if you want to replace rather than repair your windshield. Different types of glass shops also charge differently which means that determining the correct amount is rather difficult.
However, your windshield can be repaired in some instances, but the price is even harder to gauge. Finally, it’s better to insure your windshield beforehand because if you do that, your insurance will cover all the costs and you have nothing to worry about.
Replacing the windshield completely – OEM vs aftermarket windshields
As previously mentioned, if you damage your windshield the best thing you can do is to replace it completely. This way you will ensure that all the seals are correct, you will not impair your visibility and your overall windshield safety is also going to be intact once again.
However, replacing an entire windshield is not exactly an easy thing to do because it involves lots of delicate and precise work to do it properly. This means that you will have to pay a decent amount of money in labor costs alone to replace it.
This opens up the possibility of going for an original or an aftermarket windshield. Aftermarket windshields are not necessarily bad, but if they only cost a fraction of the original cost, they are most likely not up to the task. As such, it’s better to opt for an original windshield no matter how you look at it.
Aftermarket windshields differ when it comes to thickness, durability, and even color which means that they are not always designed preciously enough to fill out the gaps an original windshield otherwise would.
Repairing the windshield – Effectiveness, and costs
As previously mentioned, you don’t have to replace the windshield every time because you can often opt to mend it. This means that your windshield can technically be repaired and returned to its original structural integrity, but you will never be able to delete the crack entirely.
However, if you keep on driving the car with a broken windshield, chances are that the crack is going to spread no matter what you do. Even if you repair it according to many specialists, it is still not a guarantee that the crack is not going to spread further.
A single chip in the windshield can cost more than $100 to repair while more thorough windshield repairs can cost more than twice as that. In order to repair a cracked windshield, you need to fill out the cracks with a special resin that completely seals the crack and should in theory stop the crack from spreading.
Tips and tricks for a stronger windshield
If you are reading this because your windshield is cracked, the best thing you can do is to replace it. However, in order to keep your new windshield from cracking, you should consider these factors to proactively solve any issues that might arise in the future.
Before anything else, be sure to insure the windshield itself. Be sure to opt for comprehensive car insurance which covers a wide variety of potential risks including windshield cracks. Insurance policies such as these usually cost around $150-$200 per year for “regular” cars.
Paint protection film is a thin invisible layer of reinforced material that is often used to protect your car from various dents and scratches. However, there are specific PPF materials that are designed specifically for glass surfaces.
Finally, never spill hot water onto icy glass because rapid temperature changes can crack all sorts of glass surfaces including windshields.
Can I replace a car windshield myself?
Technically you can, but you should leave such tasks to trained professionals because glass replacement jobs usually require you to have the right tools for the job and the experience needed to safely handle broken glass. The best thing you can do is to find a glass shop near you and ask for a quote on how much it should cost.
Specific aspects you should keep in mind are how expensive the windshield is and how expensive the labor costs are. Sometimes it makes more sense to invest in a brand new windshield yourself and ask for a windshield replacement job separately. Either way, be sure to investigate multiple different options beforehand.
Can I repair a car windshield myself?
As stated above, don’t try to replace the windshield yourself if you are not experienced enough, but you can repair the windshield yourself if the crack is small and easy to get to. This means that you can buy a set needed to repair the windshield online but only do so if the windshield crack is not extending towards the sills.
If the crack extends beyond the visible area of the windshield, it means that you are not able to fix it without taking it off. As such, don’t even attempt to repair it, and just go through the professional route.
What makes windshield replacements so expensive?
Modern-day cars are equipped with all sorts of features that are located within the windshield such as all sorts of weather sensors and cameras, radar sensors, and infrared beams. This means that these can often be damaged with the windshield itself, and most of them cost a lot of money to replace.
Furthermore, if these features are intact, they still need to be removed from the old windshield and installed in the new one. Windshields such as these are more expensive to make because they are not made in large quantities.
Furthermore, some cars are limited in production which also means that replacement parts including windshields are also limited.