You’re on your way home from the holidays, a pebble flies up, hits your windshield, and…
Now you have a small crack in the middle of the glass. Not that big a deal, right? Not quite.
Even small damages can grow and get bigger, so you should fix them as soon as possible. We’ve put together this guide to help you better understand the windshield repair cost and know when to go ahead and get a full replacement instead.
So let’s get started!
Breaking Down the Windshield Repair Cost
It’s impossible to put an exact price tag on windshield repair. The average cost lands somewhere between $60 to $130, but the final cost can vary widely depending on a number of factors. You might end up paying closer to $200 to fix major damages.
The best way to get an accurate estimate is to research the prices in your area and get a few different quotes. Then you can shop around and pick the best price (and the best company) for your needs.
Remember, money isn’t the only thing you should be thinking about. It’s worth spending extra cash on a quality windshield repair shop. Otherwise, your windshield may not last as long as it should.
As you start your research, make sure you consider the following things:
Type of Damage
There are several different types of windshield damages, including:
- Star breaks
Some of these damages are more complicated to repair than others. For example, you’ll have to spend more money fixing a bulls-eye than a small chip.
The bigger the imperfection, the more time it will take to repair (and the more money it will cost you!). Small damages, especially ones that can fit under a quarter, won’t be too expensive. Larger crackers, though, can cost over $100 to correct.
A small but deep crack will be more expensive to repair than a longer but shallower crack. Your windshield is made of several layers of glass, and the more of those layers break, the more you’ll have to spend fixing them again.
It’s easier to repair damages on the passenger side of the windshield (where it won’t obscure the driver’s view). Cracks or chips that are closer to the edges of the glass can threaten the structural integrity of the entire windshield, so those will be more expensive to fix.
Where You Live
The average price of windshield repair varies from city to city and state to state. Make sure you’re looking up the prices in your local area so you don’t get surprised if the amount on your receipt doesn’t match up with your expectations. Depending on where you live, the average cost of windshield repair can be at least $100 more expensive than what we quoted above.
Who You Hire
Just like location, different companies each charge their own rates. Even if two repair companies are based in the same city, one can be much cheaper than the other.
That’s why it’s a good idea to get a few estimates from a handful of companies and compare prices before you make a final hire.
Signs You Should Replace Your Windshield Instead
Some damages are too big for you to repair—even if they don’t seem like it. If the structural integrity of your windshield has been damaged or if the repair will obscure the driver’s view in any way, you should always go ahead and replace the entire window. Trying to repair these types of damage will put your safety (and the safety of your passengers) at risk every time you get on the road.
But how do you tell if your windshield needs a repair or a replacement? Here are a few quick tips.
Grab a Dollar Bill
Pull a dollar bill out of your wallet and measure it against the cracks, chips, or other damages on your windshield. If the bill is longer than the damage, you should be able to repair it. Anything bigger than the bill probably means you need to replace the glass.
However, this isn’t a guarantee, but it will give you a better idea of what to prepare for when you take your car to the shop.
Inspect the Edges
Is there a crack that touches the edge? A small chip at the edge that has cracks growing out of it?
Those are both bad signs.
Odds are, if there is any type of damage touching the edge of your windshield, you’ll need to replace the whole thing.
Get a Second Opinion
If an auto repair shop said you need to replace your windshield even though the damage seems small, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. They may be right, but double-checking could help you save some money.
That said, you should always trust the expert advice of a professional. If they say you need to replace your windshield, don’t try to cut corners and avoid the job.
How Much Does Windshield Repair Cost? A Price You Shouldn’t Ignore
Your windshield consists of 45% of the structural integrity of your car during an accident. Driving around with damaged glass makes your risk of injury much higher in the event of a collision.
Because of this, you shouldn’t ignore windshield damage. And don’t focus too much on the windshield repair cost. No matter how expensive the job, investing in the necessary repairs or replacement is worth your safety.
Want to learn some other helpful auto repair tips and tricks? Make sure you take a look at the rest of our blog!