Windshield Repair and Replacement: DIY vs. Auto Glass Shop vs. Mobile Auto Glass Service
Windshield repair is one of those subjects few think about until it becomes a necessity. You’re driving along and suddenly, a rock hits your windshield, resulting in a tiny chip. Sadly, it’s at that point that most people go about their lives. It’s only when the crack begins to spread that they finally get around to doing something about it.
However, if you wait too long to repair your windshield, even with a tiny chip, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
The longer you wait to get your windshield fixed, the more it’s going to cost you in repairs. You can keep your costs low and save time to boot by taking action the moment an auto glass chip or crack occurs.
Wait too long to repair your windshield and you might find yourself facing a complete replacement, which takes more time and costs even more money. It would be better to get that tiny chip fixed the moment the impact with your windshield occurs so you can save time, money, and frustration.
The police are always on the lookout for automobiles that exhibit road safety issues. One of the signs a vehicle is a danger to the driver and others on the road is a broken windscreen. Even a chip can obstruct your vision, hiding a small child, dog, or fire hydrant from your view, resulting in an unfortunate accident.
Your windshield also needs to be able to withstand an impact, as the strength of the front glass is responsible for up to 60% of your vehicle’s structural integrity in the event of a vehicle rollover. A broken windshield can crumple quickly, injuring you and any passengers in your vehicle. Your airbags might not deploy correctly, and you could be ejected from the vehicle altogether should an accident occur.
The lesson is to act quickly the next time something hits your windshield. The question is, should you do the job yourself, visit an auto glass shop, or call for mobile auto glass service?
The following should help to alleviate confusion and make your decision easier the next time you finally get around to fixing your broken auto glass.
When to Repair or Replace Your Auto Glass
If your windscreen suffers a chip or crack, it helps to understand the extent of the damage. Diagnosing the defect can help you choose the best course of action.
Is Your Windscreen Repairable?
If the defect in your auto glass is teeny-tiny, that’s a great sign. Smaller chips and cracks are easier to fix than larger ones, and some larger ones cannot be repaired at all.
Auto glass professionals look at a few factors to determine if a windscreen is repairable.
If the chip is smaller than a quarter or the crack is less than three inches long, it can most likely be repaired without issue.
Size isn’t the only factor, however, as it really depends on the depth of the defect and where it happens to be located within the glass frame.
An auto glass expert will next determine how deep the crack goes. You can think of windscreen glass as a kind of glass sandwich. There is the outer layer, a plastic interlayer, and an inner layer of glass. If the damage was extensive enough to go through the outer and inner layers of glass, most experts won’t touch it, meaning that a full replacement might be your only option.
Where the defect is located on the windshield matters greatly when determining repairability. If the damage occurs on the outer edge of the glass, the structural integrity of the windshield might be compromised too much to make repairing the glass a possibility.
Another location that makes repairing the windscreen an impossibility is the driver’s line of sight.
If the defect occurs anywhere else on the glass, the defect can most likely be repaired as long as it’s small and not too deep.
Windshield Repair Options to Take Right Now
If, after diagnosing the windscreen damage, you decide that repairing the glass is the best option, you have an important decision to make.
You can definitely go the DIY route. It costs around $15.00 for a repair kit at most auto parts stores. If you have a steady hand and lots of patience, you could end up repairing your windshield in a minimal amount of time.
Auto Glass Shop
You could drive to an auto glass shop to have your windshield fixed. You could even call your insurance company, which may recommend a shop you can visit.
Mobile Auto Glass Service
Of course, you don’t have to go anywhere to have your auto glass repaired. A mobile service can come to you, wherever you happen to be, even on the side of the road somewhere.
Let’s look at these three options in greater detail to determine their pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of DIY Windshield Chip Repair Kits
There are quite a few benefits to repairing a windshield on your own. You don’t have to go anywhere at all. You can simply fix your auto glass in your own driveway if you want. The windshield repair kits sold at many retail outlets come with everything you need to fix your auto glass, and the process only takes around ten minutes.
Now for the downsides to self-serve auto glass repair. You should know that attempting to repair a windshield crack or chip on your own might void your vehicle’s warranty. If the defect leads to additional damage or personal injuries due to faulty DIY repairs, you could be in trouble financially and ethically.
If you screw up the DIY project, the defect cannot be fixed by a professional. That ship will have sailed by that point. That means that you have to follow the instructions that come with the windshield repair kit exactly as they are written, or else you may have to replace the auto glass entirely.
Finally, when you do the job on your own, you can’t really be sure if the defect is in a safe spot. What if it’s kind of near the edge, but not really? Do you really want to make a judgment call that could negatively affect your safety and your passengers’ safety?
Having a professional diagnose your auto glass defect is always recommended, even if you are considering repairing the glass yourself. You could save your life and the lives of everyone else in your vehicle.
DIY Auto Glass Repair Can Offer Risks
It is very important that you understand the risk of do-it-yourself windshield repair. Even if the defect is incredibly small, there is always the chance the crack can spread, which is extremely dangerous in the event of a wreck.
Even if you DIY, please take your windshield to a professional for a complete diagnosis to make sure you’re doing the best thing possible for you and those you love.
Pros and Cons of Visiting an Auto Glass Shop
Visiting an auto glass service may take time out of your day, but it’s a very safe option. For one, you can rest easy knowing that your auto glass professionals are taking great care of your vehicle. Your auto glass will be repaired or replaced according to the most current Federal Motor Vehicle Standards (FMVSS) and you will be doing the right thing according to your vehicle’s warranty.
A professional can tell you if your windshield can safely be repaired or replaced, and most will even work with your insurance companies on your behalf.
The downsides to auto glass shops are minimal when compared to the DIY route. The costs may be more than you would pay for a windshield repair kit, but the peace of mind you get in return makes the higher fees well worth the investment.
Other cons include the fact that you may have to wait longer in an auto glass shop, depending on how busy the location is that day. You could get an inexperienced tech, leading to mistakes to be made, and you could end up with a temporary fix that requires a complete replacement in short order.
You can mitigate these downsides by doing your homework on the auto glass repair shop in question. Look for a shop that gets excellent reviews, and make sure each of their auto glass technicians is certified so you can expect greatness during every visit.
Pros and Cons of Mobile Glass Service
Many auto glass repair and replacement shops offer mobile service as well. These auto glass professionals on wheels can come to your home or office for your ultimate convenience. Your windshield will be inspected, and the repair or replacement conducted while you work or watch TV (or whatever else you do at home). You can save time and money, and your daily life will suffer minimal interruption, allowing you to get safely back on the road with intact auto glass.
The downsides to mobile glass repair and replacement depend on where you live. Those who live in extremely hot or cold climates might find that mobile service is ineffective, as the adhesives might not stick as they should. If the adhesive is compromised, the auto glass repair or replacement may not hold, putting safety at risk.
You also run the risk that your mobile glass technician won’t have what you need by the time he or she arrives. That could require the tech to return to the shop, wasting more of your time.
You can mitigate these concerns by only calling for mobile glass service when the temperature is moderate, and by being thorough with your description of your vehicle when calling for repair or replacement.
Which Repair or Replacement Option is Right for You?
You now have a big decision to make. If your auto glass damage is minimal, you could get away with a self-repair kit. Pick one up, spend an hour or so doing an excellent job, and you could be well on your way with a safer vehicle and fixed-up auto glass defect.
On the other hand, if the defect is larger than you first suspected or it’s in an ambiguous location and you’re not sure if repair is an option, you should drive your vehicle to an auto glass repair shop. See if your insurance company recommends a shop and do your homework so you have the best experience possible.
If the defect is larger than you expect and you don’t have time to drive to a shop, or you simply don’t want to take time out of your day while also getting professional service, call a mobile repair shop nearby.
Mobile auto glass service can get you back on the road while you work, play, or relax, and you are nearly guaranteed the same quality service as a nearby repair shop.
Just as you would when visiting an auto glass repair shop, do your homework so you’re not surprised by low-value service when the mobile technician arrives.
Of course, you could choose a service that offers both a repair shop and mobile service. There just so happens to be one located nearby.
Save Time & Money with Auto Glass Experts – Come to Us or We Can Come to You!
If something hits your windshield and you’re not sure where to turn, and you don’t trust yourself to go the DIY route, call Sir Auto Glass in Portland, Oregon.
We offer the services of trained, certified, and experienced auto glass technicians. We can diagnose your defect and inform you of your best options with relation to your time and money.
We know that you want to get back on the road fast with minimal disruption to your day and more money savings. That is why we offer the convenience of both the in-shop and mobile auto glass experience.
Sir Auto Glass wants to help you with your windshield repair or replacement. Come to us or we can come to your location. We guarantee your auto glass will be repaired or replaced with expert precision and ultimate safety.
We can work with your insurance company and will have you back on the road quickly with a safe and intact windshield. Call now for a free estimate.