If your vehicle’s windshield gets chipped or cracked, choosing a solution between windshield repair vs replacement is definitely going to be a question that pops ups. However, regardless of other aspects which you might take into consideration, the key things to keep in mind here are, of course, your budget, but also the severity of the damage. Generally speaking, if a crack isn’t longer than 3 inches, or if a chip isn’t deeper than ⅛ of an inch, they can be safely repaired. Still, such damage must be carefully assessed by an expert in the field, before a solution can be safely chosen.
That’s because unless properly fixed or replaced, your car’s windshield can severely impact not only your safety, but those of your passengers as well, and potentially of other drivers and pedestrians. Even the smallest auto glass damage can negatively affect your visibility of the road, and it can only take a split second for something tragic to happen.
There’s good news though! No matter a glass crack’s source, be it from construction site debris, small rocks on the highway, hailstorms, or really any other weather-related problems or even accidents, there’s a way to address the problem. By contacting your auto glass repair & replacement shop of choice, a customer support team is going to explain to you the differences between windshield repair vs replacement. Afterwards, technicians are going to be sent your way in an established time-frame, and the problem will be gone before you know it! That’s the standard procedure of our business in any case.
But with all that out of the way, let’s get right into the specifics of these two procedures, and even how to identify the best deal on windshield replacement.
Windshield repair is a relatively quick process that involves the use of a special type of resin that covers the area of the glass that’s chipped or cracked.
Even if it might cause a slight reduction in visibility, compared to replacing the entire windshield, it provides a much more affordable alternative. Repairs are a valid option if the chip measures 1 inch in diameter or less, there are no more than three chips on the whole surface of the windshield, and they are located away from the edge of the windshield.
As such, if you’re informed by a certified technician that the best and fastest way to fix the problem is a repair, do it right away, because as soon as some pressure will be applied on that small crack, it’s definitely going to start spreading. This effect is known as “spider-webbing”, and refers to the tendency of cracks to gradually worsen until they reach the corners of your auto glass.
If you have a full coverage glass plan with your insurer of choice, the damage is most likely going to be covered by your policy, or you might also have a deductible. For example, if you choose to work with us, your total Out-of-Pocket cost would be $0, all of the time. Moreover, this is true for replacements as well. Yep, the deductible is waived there too, as we’re a preferred installer! And speaking of replacements, let’s get right into them.
If it’s determined that fixing your windshield isn’t a safe option, because a crack is too wide to have it effectively repaired, it may be time to replace the glass. Just be sure to take it to a professional, rather than trying to approach the problem on your own. Though it might be tempting to do it yourself to save money, especially if you already have some DIY skills in this area, you don’t want to compromise the integrity of the glass, the seal, and the overall strength of the windshield.
An improperly installed windshield may not hold up as well in case of an accident, and it can actually cause more damage by allowing both the driver and passengers to be ejected from the vehicle more easily than if the windshield remained intact. Alternatively, if your windshield is damaged, its structural integrity can be completely compromised, and it would shatter inwards in case of a collision, instead of protecting you.
A professional windshield replacement is reliable and long-lasting, and it usually doesn’t take as long as you might think. For example, our technicians usually finish installations in about 30 minutes. That being said, you’ll need to wait a bit longer before driving the vehicle, in order to guarantee that the adhesive is all dried up, and the windshield is seated properly. The total cost of the windshield replacement might be a bit more expensive, but it’s a much safer option that could also be completely covered under the comprehensive section of your insurance policy.
If you are not sure what option is required in your case, you can always call a professional team that deals with such issues on a daily basis, and ask for advice regarding the best solution for your particular vehicle.
How to Spot the Best Deal on Windshield Replacement
- Make sure your auto glass shop of choice offers a lifetime warranty;
- Check if they use glass from first-rate suppliers, and if their installation procedure is OEM approved;
- See if their mobile service is free of additional charges;
- Ask if they work with your insurer of choice, and if you’re going to have anything out of pocket.
While these aren’t all the applicable criterias, they’re still some surefire ways to know that you’re dealing with experienced professionals. And that pretty much sums up the topic windshield repair vs replacement. As a rule of thumb, remember that minor damage can be repaired as long as you call the technicians ASAP, and this is going to be cheaper if you’re paying with your own cash. Serious damage, or cracks that expand in time, will require your windshield to be replaced, in order to guarantee your safety. If you don’t have insurance, this will be more costly, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be a fortune. At ProLite, we’ve always agreed with our clients on plans that didn’t exceed their budget.
If you’re having auto glass issues and would like to work with us, get in touch with our friendly customer care team at (480) 525-6554.