5 Frequently Asked Questions About Windshield Damage and Repair
Even the most careful of drivers will eventually experience a damaged windshield. When this happens, questions normally arise, such as:
- How do I know if my windshield needs to be repaired or replaced?
- What kind of glass should I use?
- Will my insurance cover the costs?
Managing costs, choosing the right replacement glass, and navigating insurance policies can become time-consuming issues. But while the process of assessing damage and repairing or replacing auto glass is often stressful, it doesn’t need to be.
Here are answers to five frequently asked questions about windshield damage and repair.
1. How Do I Know When My Windshield Needs to Be Replaced?
Many people wonder if their windshield needs to be replaced or simply repaired. While an honest repair shop will not replace your windshield when a repair will do just fine, you can use the “quarter test” on your windshield beforehand so that you’ll have an idea about whether you’re looking at a repair or a replacement .
Take a quarter and place it on the dents and/or chips on your windshield. Any chip that is smaller in size than the coin may qualify for repair. Dents or chips larger than quarters are difficult to fix well, and it is likely that your windshield will need to be replaced. When it comes to scratches on your windshield, surface-level ones can often be polished out, whereas deep scratches will require a windshield replacement.
A crack in your windshield should never be repaired, as cracks can cause structural instability in a windshield. If your windshield is cracked, replacement is definitely the way to go. Whether your windshield needs to be repaired or replaced, it’s important to always have the work done by an experienced, licensed professional.
2. Can I Use a DIY Windshield Repair Kit for Minor Damage?
DIY windshield repair kits are inexpensive, but this is because they don’t work well. DIY windshield repair kits are tricky to use correctly, and they can end up obscuring your visibility even more than the crack or scratch you were trying to fix. DIY repair kits do not fix the structural integrity of your windshield, and generally shorten your windshield’s lifespan.
They can also make your windshield wipers stop working, will not prevent further cracking, and will likely void any existing warranty that you might have on your auto glass. Lastly, DIY windshield repair kits only delay the inevitable, in that you’ll still have to get your windshield replaced in the future, so in the long run you are just incurring extra expense.
3. How Long Does It Take to Replace a Windshield?
Windshield repair generally takes between 15-30 minutes, and windshield replacement can be completed in 45-60 minutes. While you can usually drive a car immediately after a windshield repair, if your windshield has been replaced, you are going to want to wait a few hours before driving.
This downtime is needed to allow the adhesives used in the replacement process to cure and bond with the frame of the windshield. Driving a car immediately after replacement can cause the windshield to loosen, meaning another repair will likely be needed soon.
Note that many auto glass repair specialists will come to your home or place of work to replace your car windshield, so you won’t have to wait around the repair shop for hours. Rather, you can go about your day and wait to use your car once it is safe to do so.
4. How Much Will a New Windshield Cost?
The cost of a new windshield will vary, depending on the kind of glass your vehicle requires, and whether you prefer dealer, OEM (original equipment manufacturer), aftermarket, or performance quality glass.
Many newer vehicles are equipped with embedded windshield features, such as condensation sensors, rearview mirror auto-dimming, lane departure warnings, anti-collision sensors, and built-in cameras. Not surprisingly, all of these devices could affect the cost of windshield replacement.
5. Will My Insurance Cover the Cost of Windshield Replacement?
The possibility of your insurance company covering the costs for repair and replacement completely depends on your type of insurance coverage. People with premium insurance packages can usually get 100% coverage on replacement costs without deductibles. Standard insurance coverage, however, may cover the costs of replacement but charge you with a deductible fee for filing a claim.
Insurance coverage may also be dependent upon how your glass was damaged. Some insurance policies cover broken glass that resulted from theft, vandalism. or inclement weather, but won’t cover broken glass that was caused by driver error. Because insurance policies differ so widely, it’s important to choose auto glass professionals who have experience working with insurance companies and can help you file your claim correctly.
Find an Experienced Auto Glass Professional
If you are in need of a windshield repair or replacement, and you live in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona, or another nearby city, book a service appointment with Prime Windshields today!
We’ll work with you to provide options that fit your needs and budget. With over 30 years of auto glass experience, lifetime warranties, free mobile service, and help negotiating insurance policies, Prime Windshields promises expert service, competitive prices, and quality craftsmanship.
Contact us today for an estimate or to schedule an appointment to get back to a safe and comfortable ride!