Average Costs

The Average Cost To Repair Or Replace Your Windshield $20 - $500

Windshield repairs can vary depending on the type of repair and the auto glass service that you use. A damaged windshield poses a danger to drivers and passengers that can be avoided by having repairs completed as soon as possible.

The average to repair a windshield will cost between $20 and $60. The cost to repair a chip or crack is on a per incident basis - that is you will pay for every crack or chip.

The majority of replacements range from $200 to $300 for older model models from the 1990’s. Expect to pay $300 to $400 for quality replacements of most car makers 2000’s models.

Basic Information

Replace Or Repair A Broken Windshield

Windshield repair or replacement depends on the size, location and severity of the damage. The majority of repairs can be done up to quarter-sized chips, and cracks up to three inches long. Anything bigger and you should have the windshield replaced. However, some windshield repair companies use a special technique that allows them to repair cracks up to 12 inches long. So it pays to check around before committing to a new windshield.

Location of the damage also plays an important role in determining whether you should repair or replace. Cracks at the edge of the windshield tend to spread very quickly and can compromise the structural integrity of the glass. In this instance, it's usually advisable to replace the windshield. Also, some windshield repair companies may not repair a chip that appears directly in the driver's line of vision. In this event, you should just have the windshield replaced

Regardless of the size and location of the damage, it's always advisable to have it repaired quickly. If you wait  to repair it, dirt can work its way into the damaged area, affecting the effectiveness and clarity of the repair.

Repair

Repairing one chip or repairing one crack typically takes about 30 minutes. Windshield repair involves injecting a clear, curable resin into the outer layer of glass in order to restore its integrity and improve the appearance of the glass. The resin is cured and polished, leaving a smooth surface, and the crack or chip is unable to spread and cause further damage. 

A deep or slanted crack or chip may have damaged the intermediate PVB layer. In such a case the crack or chip is slightly enlarged or deepened with a drill to make the hole smoother and more even so that in the subsequent step resin can reach the intermediate PVB layer. Any dust or debris in a chip needs to be thoroughly removed first; this is usually done with a small vacuum.

For repairs, an ‘injector’ is attached to the windshield around the damaged area and a small quantity of a special resin is injected into the chip or into and along the crack. The excess is removed after which UV light is applied for curing and hardening the resin.

Replacement

A chip that is bigger than two inches across or a crack one foot or longer will (almost surely) require your windshield to be replaced.

Windshield replacement is a four-step process :

  1. The areas of the car body around the windshield and the nearby interior are protected with canvas or such. 
  2. The windshield is then cut from the edges and removed, as are the seals and glues, leaving behind the bare frame.
  3. A primer is spread on the inside of the frame where the windshield will be fitted after which the new windshield’s edges are coated with a special adhesive sealer with a polyurethane base.
  4. The windshield is carefully fitted and bonded to the frame.

This replacement process usually takes from half-an-hour to 60 minutes. Then another 60 minutes is needed to allow the adhesives to set and bond.

Back Windshield

Repairing or replacing of back windshield is very important.The back windshield functionality is same, in the sense that, it also prevents the occupants from the outside elements, giving them the feel of calm and quiet climate.

The only difference is that, it does not need wipers, and it is just as important in terms of safety. It does not play much role in offering drivability to the driver of the automobile.

However, there are chances that if the glass is exposed to hits or extreme temperature changes, it may shatter, harming the back seat occupants of the vehicle. Also, during rollover, the back windshield plays a role in not allowing the passengers to get ejected out of the vehicle.

Insurance Coverage

If your windshield is damaged by something other than a collision, you’ll likely pay for it using comprehensive insurance coverage. However, understand that this coverage is optional and if you don’t have it, you may be on your own when it comes time to pay for repairs or replacement.

Before filing a windshield repair claim, compare the cost of the repair/replacement with the size of your deductible. If your deductible is greater than the cost of the estimated repair, it won't be worth your while to file a claim.

Comprehensive insurance coverage covers

  • Storms
  • Fires
  • Vandalism
  • Animal collisions

Check to see whether your car insurance company includes windshield repair and replacement in your comprehensive coverage. Auto glass replacement on some comprehensive coverage plans only covers the side and back windows, but not the windshield.

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