Knowing when to repair or replace auto glass is essential to a safe environment for your car. In many cases it can also be the difference between spending $40-$50 for a couple of chips to nearly $500 or more for a replacement windshield. There are a few important things to note when considering repair vs. replacement. The place of the crack or chip, size, and severity of damage all affect which option you end up choosing.
The first thing to remember is that if the chip or crack is small it can usually be repaired quite easily and is typically inexpensive compared to waiting and having that chip turn into a long crack across the entirety of your windshield. Say for instance a rock leaves a small chip in your window, most places will charge you around $40-$50 to have that repaired. However, if you were to wait and have that chip turn into a crack across your entire windshield you would likely have to have it replaced, which as much as ten times more. When something happens do not wait to have it repaired, compare prices quickly and find a place that will give you a deal and do quality work.
Many windshield repair and replacement shops will be able to fix chips and cracks up to 3 inches, but after that many recommend having the windshield replaced, though there are certain shops that use specialized techniques to fix cracks up to 12 inches long.
Location of the damage is also an important aspect of determining whether you will be able to have it repaired or must have it replaced. Cracks near the edge of the windshield tend to spread rather quickly, which means if you are not able to catch it before the damage becomes to great your only option will be to have it replaced.
There are also many shops that will not repair auto glass in certain places on the windshield because it distorts certain viewpoints. If the crack is in direct view of the driver they may advise you to replace the windshield altogether. This is because that when auto glass is repaired the glass is left slightly distorted. This can be a hazard to the driver so the shop may choose to replace it rather than risk the chance of the driver not being able to see properly.
Cost is also a big factor in having it repaired or replaced. The cost, as mentioned earlier, for small chips and cracks will be around $40-$50 depending on the location and severity of damage. Of course cost will vary depending on the place you choose to get it repaired. That is why you should always get a few different quotes before making the purchase. This will give you a good idea of the best place to go.
There are some areas of the country where chips happen on a regular basis due to road conditions. This typically occurs when the highways are made out of asphalt. The ground can freeze and thaw several times in one winter, which loosens the rocks that compose the road. If you live in a place like this, you might be better off learning how to fix your own windshield chips. You will need to invest in a special kit and spend a couple hours practicing, but that is far better off than having to call someone every time this situation happens.
Also be sure you consult your insurance company before having the repairs or replacement done. Many insurance companies, depending on your policy, will be better suited to deal with repairs rather than replacements. This is because in many cases repairs are less expensive, meaning the insurance company will likely pay for the repair in whole and wave your deductible. With replacements you usually have to pay the deductible before the repair takes place, which is of course more money out of your pocket.
Always be sure to get repairs or replacements for auto glass done quickly because you will always have to pay more if you wait longer.
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