Repair vs. Replace: What is the difference?
WINDSHIELD REPAIR VS. WINDSHIELD REPLACEMENT: DO WE HAVE A CHOICE?
At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced that sense of dread when we’re driving and all of a sudden you hear that “DING” and the darn engine light goes on. The first question that pops into a lot of people’s minds is “how much is this going to cost me now?” That engine light serves as a warning that something is wrong with the vehicle – it may be as simple as low tire pressure, or a sign of a bigger issue, such as overheating or problems with the transmission. When your windshield is damaged in some way, unfortunately there isn’t an engine light that alerts you to the problem. Rather, car owners need to think of chipped windshields as the “engine light” for their windows.
We all know car repairs can be expensive. And often, when we take it into the shop, we try to go the cheapest route possible. But when it comes to windshield repair or windshield replacement, cheaper isn’t always better!
As soon as you notice a chipped or cracked windshield, that is the absolute best time to get your windshield inspected to see if you can have your windshield repaired instead of replaced. Most people prefer to simply repair their windshield because, let’s face it, it’s the cheaper option. And if conditions are right, windshield repair will certainly be recommended over windshield replacement! However, several variables play a role in this decision. Let’s take a look at some of these:
TYPE – do you have a chipped or cracked windshield? While many chipped windshields can simply be repaired, most cracked windshields need to be replaced. Why is this? Cracks weaken the entire structure of the windshield. As we’ve discussed, the windshield is crucial to overall safety of the vehicle and cracked windshields are more likely to compromise the integrity of the windshield.
LOCATION – where on the windshield is the chip or crack? If the chip or crack is close to the outer margin of the glass, chances are your windshield will need to be replaced. Additionally, if the chip or crack in your windshield is directly in the line-of-sight of the driver, it can be a safety issue by impairing driver visibility, making replacement more likely. Ultimately, this decision will be determined based on the windshield’s most important function – keeping the strength of the windshield intact to keep your loved ones safe while driving.
SIZE – you have to ask yourself the age old question: does size really matter? 😉 When it comes to your chipped or cracked windshield, size does in fact matter! The larger the chip or crack is, the more likely you will need your windshield replaced. If the chip is small (less than 1.5 inches in diameter) and there are only a couple of chips, the windshield can likely be repaired. If the chips are larger than this OR your windshield has multiple chips, replacement will not only be the better option, but the safest one as well.
THICKNESS – how deep is the chip or crack in the windshield? If only the outer layer of glass is damaged, chances are a repair will be more than sufficient! If the inner layer of glass has also been compromised, odds are your windshield will need to be replaced to maintain the integrity, and thus the safety, of your windshield.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – get your windshield evaluated when you first notice any damage, even if it seems small. If you wait too long, you might not have much of a choice when it comes to repair vs. replacement.
Windshield repair has many advantages. Not only is it cheaper, it also takes less time to complete, and most insurance companies will give you less hassle, as they usually favor windshield repair coverage over full replacement. That being said, while windshield replacement is typically more expensive and time consuming of a service, it sometimes is the best, the only, and the safest option to get your vehicle operating at 100% and offering the best protection and safety for your loved ones. We will never recommend a full windshield replacement if a windshield repair will suffice, but BE PROACTIVE! The sooner you get your damaged windshield checked out, the better your chances are for a cheaper solution!