It's not as hard as you might think it is to replace a window. Usually, I prefer to have an experienced glass company take care of it when I need a window replaced, but sometimes, they can't get to me as fast as I'd like, or I can't afford a new window right away. I keep a few inexpensive panes of glass and some supplies in my garage so that I can temporarily replace a window until I can get the glass company to my house to install a better one. This is definitely something that anyone could learn to do, so I decided to start a blog about it to try to teach others how to replace windows. Whether you're temporarily replacing a window or you want to do a permanent job, you can learn the basics here in this blog.
When an accident occurs and there is damage to your windshield, if you're like most people you will simply take your car into the auto glass repair shop, not knowing what you will pay or should expect. A few guidelines will help you to better anticipate what you'll be paying, and why.
Replace or Repair?
The first question on your mind may be whether you need your windshield replaced, or just repaired. Each accident and each car is different, but a helpful guideline is the dollar bill rule. If the damage to your windshield is smaller than the size of a dollar bill, in most cases it can be fixed by repair rather than a replacement. Assuming the damage is smaller, you'll also want to know if you have a chip, scratch, or crack.
Chips vs Cracks
A chip in your windshield can often be caused by rocks or debris flying up from under another car's tire and landing on your windshield. Usually a chip is small and round, and does not go all the way through the glass of the windshield. You'll want to make sure that you get a chip repaired as soon as possible, as chips can quickly spread and turn into larger cracks in your windshield.
Often a scratch in a windshield is mistaken for a crack, which can be a more difficult (a.k.a. expensive) issue to fix. A scratch is a line in the windshield that does not go all the way through the glass. A crack, as it does go all the way through the glass, is more likely to spread quickly, and should be repaired right away.
The next thing to consider is what your car insurance company is able to pay to cover the cost. As each policy varies, be sure to check with your agency right away. Chips and/or cracks may be completely covered in the Comprehensive section of your policy, which means you will not be responsible for a deductible before they pay. Your deductible for a replacement of the windshield will most likely be higher, but this cost is often regulated by state law.
The cost for a chip in your windshield is naturally higher than that of a windshield replacement, or even a crack. Chip repair is generally about $50 for your first chip, and $10-15 for any additional chips. A crack will be more expensive, depending on its length, up to $150. A windshield replacement is much more expensive, in the range of $350, but can be over $1000 if you choose an OEM, or Original Equipment Manufactured, windshield. Most insurance companies will cover only the cost of an aftermarket windshield, but will allow you to pay the difference if you prefer OEM parts.
What is the difference between OEM and aftermarket windshields? OEM windshields have a higher safety standard when they are made than do aftermarket windshields. The difference is a standard of 100 percent windshield retention in frontal crash tests, verses 80 percent for the aftermarket alternative. This may be something you will want to consider, as the windshield in your car is responsible for 60 percent of your roof stability in a roof crash or rollover. Additionally, the windshield absorbs some of the force when an airbag deploys, so it can mean added security in almost any crash. If you want to make sure your windshield is replaced with OEM parts, be sure to discuss this option with both your insurance agency and the windshield repair shop (such as M S Glass Outlet).