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Should I Repair or Replace My Windshield?

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should i repair or replace my windshield

If the damage to your windshield is severe, you’ll need to replace it
Photo: ReflectedSerendipity

Driving around in your car and being hit by a flying object is one of the worst feelings in the world. You likely experience panic, because you might have no idea what hit your car or where the flying debris came from. If you are driving at the time, it may even cause you to swerve or drive dangerously for a brief moment. The best thing you can do is to remain calm, because modern windshields are very strong and almost nothing can get through them and hit you while you are driving.

But a lot of objects can cause damage to windshields, especially if they are thrown at speed or if you were driving at a high speed when the incident occurred. If you see a crack on your windshield, you might assume you have to get it replaced. But that is not always the case, especially these days. There are many windshield repair companies that can get your windshield looking good as new in no time. While they also offer to replace your windshield if necessary, they will do everything possible to repair the existing windshield to save you time and money.

Repair or Replace?

The replacement vs. repair question depends on a few factors, such as the size of the crack, the location of the crack and how much damage occurred. If a quarter-sized rock chip hit your windshield, or if the crack is no more than three inches long, you should be able to get your windshield repaired. However, a crack bigger than that will eventually become an issue. There are even some facilities that can repair damage to the windshield that is as much as 12 inches long, but going with such repairs is not recommended unless the shop can guarantee your windshield will be in tip-top condition when they are done.

One of the problems with repairing windshields is the fact that you are left with some blurriness in the area where the repairs occur. The glass gets distorted, which means you cannot see through those sections of the windshield as well as you could before the damage occurred. So any incident that occurs on or near the driver’s line of sight is going to mean a windshield replacement. Reputable companies are not going to repair your windshield in those areas, because they know the repaired windshield may impair your ability to see what is going on while driving.

Windshield repairs are not expensive, depending on the extent of the damage. Getting a new windshield is more expensive, but you can check to see if your vehicle’s warranty and/or insurance policy cover the cost of the replacement. But even if you have to pay out of pocket, it is better to get a new windshield that lets you see with 100% clarity, instead of putting yourself and others at risk to save a few dollars. So repair when it is safe, but replace in all other situations.