Is windshield repair or replacement the right option for your car?
On average, it costs more than $255 to replace a windshield. If you have a crack or chip in your windshield, letting it go could end up forcing you to replace it. The problem can, and probably will, get worse over time.
How can you tell what you need for your car? How can you pick the right windshield repair company that won’t rip you off?
Read on to find out.
What Exactly Is a Windshield?
Do you know why your windshield can withstand dirt, debris, and the force of the air from the speed of your vehicle?
You’re probably thinking, “I didn’t know they can make glass that strong. “ The thing is, your windshield isn’t all glass. Think of having a Coke bottle or drinking glass as your windshield. How long do you think it would last? Probably just a few minutes if you’re lucky.
There are actually three layers in a windshield. There’s a layer of tempered glass, a layer of rubber in the middle, and another layer of tempered glass. These layers are fused together to create your windshield.
How to Tell If You Should Repair or Replace Your Windshield
There are a few common types of damage to your windshield. The most common ones are chips and cracks.
You’ll have to take a few minutes and survey the damage. From there, you can decide what needs to happen next.
How big is the crack or chip in your windshield? Chips that are about one inch across have an excellent chance to be repaired. Same with cracks that measure 3 inches long.
Next, look at where the damage is. Is there any damage around the edges of your windshield? If so, you’re going to be looking at a replacement.
Do you have more than one chip or crack in your windshield? In this scenario, it’s likely that you’ll have to replace it. You can learn more about getting your windshield replaced.
Before you jump to any conclusions, you’ll want to have an experienced auto glass shop take a look and help you make the best determination.
Will Insurance Cover You?
Before you start looking for a windshield repair shop, there’s one call you need to make. That’s to your insurance company. Depending on the company and your policy, you may be covered by your insurance. It’s in the insurance company’s best interest to send someone out to repair the damage for free than to pay for the entire replacement.
Finding the Best Windshield Repair Shop
How do you go about finding the best windshield repair shop? Start with Google.
Do a quick search for windshield repair shops near you and note what comes up. Read the reviews, and see what the positive reviewers say. If a business has a lot of negative reviews, then skip them. If a business responds to any reviews by blaming the customers, you’ll want to skip them, too.
Take a look at the websites for the various repair shops. You’ll get a quick impression based on how up to date their site is to decide whether you want to do business with them or not.
After you have a few repair shops that look like good candidates, you’ll want to call each one up and ask a few questions.
What Kind of Certifications Do They Have?
Ideally, you want your repair shop to be certified by the Auto Glass Safety Council. This is the industry standard for auto safety, and they have very stringent qualifications to certify technicians.
Are They Licensed and Insured?
You’ll want to make sure that they’re licensed and insured. If there is any damage or injury caused by the work performed, you want to know that you’ll be covered in such an event.
If They Need to Replace Your Windshield, What Type of Material Will They Use?
This is a very important question to ask. You want to make sure you’re up to speed on the different types of windshields to ensure you’re getting the best quality at a fair price. If a replacement cost seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Types of Windshields
You can break down the types of windshields into two categories: those that come from the manufacturer and those that don’t.
The types of windshields that come from the manufacturer are called OEM. These are manufactured only by an auto glass maker contracted by the auto manufacturer to produce these parts. You can only find these at car dealerships and expect to pay dealership prices.
The ones that don’t come from the manufacturer are aftermarket parts. Not all aftermarket parts are created the same. You’ll want to get original equipment equivalent (OEE) parts, which are typically made by auto glass manufacturers that didn’t win the contract to make the parts from the auto manufacturer.
These are going to be close in quality, and the OEE parts will also take into consideration all of the technology that’s involved with the car. A lot of aftermarket windshield makers won’t.
If you do have to replace your windshield, it’s very important to ask the shop that’s replacing the windshield where they’re getting the parts from.
Repair or Replace Your Windshield Without Getting Scammed
The more you know about windshields and how windshields work, the better off you are. With that knowledge, you can protect yourself from getting scammed by an unscrupulous windshield repair company.
You’ll want to avoid going with the cheapest option possible since you usually get what you pay for. Instead, call around and find a licensed and insured repair shop with a good reputation.
You’ll be glad you took the extra time to do so.
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