Auto Glass Repair & Replacement: All Your Top Questions Answered

When it comes to auto glass repair and replacement, you undoubtedly have questions. Well, at Sir Glass, we have answers. 

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked about our repair and replacement processes. You’ll find information about wait times, auto glass fees, and many more. 

If you still have questions, call us in Portland, Oregon.

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And, now, for our first question: 

When is Windshield Glass Repairable?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. You first need to determine how deeply the foreign object penetrated. Next, assess the size of the blemish. Finally, check where it is on the glass. 

Windshields are constructed using three layers of glass. There are two layers on the top and bottom with one sandwiched in between. The outer class is made of heavy-duty laminated glass while the much thinner inner piece is made of a plastic membrane. This construction designs lets the windshield crack instead of shatter into a million pieces once broken. If the top layer is the only layer damaged and the crack is no larger than the size of a dime, and it’s not in the driver’s line of sight, more than likely the defect can be repaired.

If the crack is large, in the driver’s line of sight or nearer the edge of the glass, you may have no other choice than to have your auto glass replaced entirely. 
When to Repair or Replace auto Glass Guide.

Will Windshield Repair Make the Defect Disappear?

Unfortunately, a tiny defect may remain even though your windshield is technically repaired. Chip repairs are not designed to be for cosmetic purposes. Rather, auto glass repairs prevent the likelihood of the crack getting worse and spreading, which would necessitate complete replacement. 

How Long Does the Auto Glass Repair Process Take?

An experienced auto glass technician can have your chip or crack repaired in around thirty minutes or less, getting you back on the road before you know it. 

How Much Does Windshield Repair Cost?

The cost to repair a defect in auto glass like a rock chip, stone chip, crack or ding can vary depending on the type of vehicle you drive. Passenger cars will cost less than a tractor trailer, for instance. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around $65 for windshield repair

When is Windshield Replacement Recommended?

Some windshield damage cannot be repaired and must be replaced. These include cracks or chips that affect the interior of the glass, damage that blocks the driver’s line of sight, multiple or intersecting cracks or chips, and aging glass that has experienced previous damage. You will also require complete replacement if your vehicle has sustained damage to its automated assistance system.

What if You Wait to Get Your Windshield Replaced?

Waiting too long to replace your auto glass could be dangerous for three important reasons. For one, the defect could obstruct your view of the road. Depending on where it’s located, it could hide a dog or even a small child, leading to a preventable and unfortunate accident. 

Second, a cracked windshield can be dangerous in the event of an accident. Many people are unaware of the fact that the windshield helps to keep the vehicle strong in the event of a rollover crash. Without the added integrity of the windshield, the vehicle could buckle in a rollover, adding to the injury or death of all occupants. 

Air bags, too, rely on your windshield being intact. During a collision, the air bags are designed to deflect off the glass so that they can inflate properly, thus helping you avoid injury. Cracked auto glass can cause the air bags to blow through the glass, making the safety feature useless in the case of an accident. Occupants can also be thrown through the glass if they’re not wearing safety belts.

Lastly, a cracked auto glass could land you in hot water. It is against the law to drive a vehicle that is deemed unsafe and having a crack that goes along your field of vision can be dangerous, thus it is a ticketable offense. 

The lesson? Keep your vehicle safe and avoid tickets by getting your windshield repaired or replaced the moment a defect occurs.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Windshield?

The fees you can expect to pay for auto glass replacement will depend on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. You may also pay more if your windshield has special features, thus making it a specialty item. Overall, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300, or a little more. Some vehicles, like Teslas, can cost $1,000 or more to replace the windshield. 

Can I Use Insurance to Pay for Auto Glass Repair or Replacement?

Your insurance policy may cover windshield damage repair and even replacement. You would have to have comprehensive insurance or liability insurance when someone else was at fault. 

Comprehensive auto insurance is optional coverage that is purchased with collision insurance. When you do opt in, your vehicle is protected from any type of damage that is not caused by another car. These acts are sometimes called “Acts of God.” Common examples include a tree branch falling on your windscreen or a kid throwing a baseball that then goes on to crack your auto glass. Other acts include vandalism and animals crashing into your vehicle. 

If you don’t have comprehensive insurance, your auto glass may still be covered by liability insurance. That would happen if someone else crashes into your car and they were at fault. The other situation is if someone were to break your windshield, and you file a claim against their homeowners or renter’s insurance. If they have either of those policies, they would have a liability portion that is designed to cover expenses for things they may damage, such as your windshield.

Should You File a Windshield Insurance Claim?

Before you file a claim for auto glass coverage, consider your deductible versus the repair costs. Your insurer will subtract your deductible from the total amount claimed. That means that if your deductible is greater than the price of the repair, you won’t get anything from your insurance provider. 

Most deductibles for comprehensive coverage range from $50 all the way to $2,000. We have found that if your deductible is over $1,000, it is unlikely that your windshield damage would cost that much or more, or you would receive a check from your insurer. 

If your deductible is low, like $250, the decision to file a claim can be a tad more difficult. Some comprehensive policies waive the deductible for glass claims while others don’t. Consult your policy or insurance agent to see if you have auto glass damage provisions on your policy.  

How to File a Windshield Claim After a Break?

When your windshield shatters and you decide to file a claim, the process is the same for all other insurance claims. Most companies allow you to call an agent or submit a claim online. You may even be able to do it from an app on your phone. Auto insurers like to be notified of damage right away. If your windshield was damaged by an act of vandalism, for example, you should notify the police and obtain a copy of your police report. 

When you call your insurer, you may be directed to a special division that handles broken auto glass specifically. 

After you have filed your claim, the auto insurer may require that you bring the car into the shop of their choice to have the damage assessed. Some companies may prefer you to go to one particular shop to get the auto glass replaced. Other insurers don’t care where you go and allow you to work with any local service. Make sure you save all your receipts so the insurance company knows how much you should be reimbursed. 

Will My Insurance Rates Go Up if I File an Auto Glass Claim?

In most cases, only an at-fault accident will raise your insurance rates. Auto glass replacement and repair are considered comprehensive claims and should never cause your rates to go up. Depending on your insurer, you may become ineligible for insurance discounts if you file multiple auto glass claims, which means that your insurance premiums could rise once the discount is removed. 

How many glass claims can you file in a single year? That all depends on your insurance provider. Contact your policy representative to learn more. 

How Soon After the Auto Glass is Replaced Can I Use My Vehicle?

Once your windshield glass is replaced, you may want to drive away immediately to head back to work or wherever you need to be, but is it safe? The company who repaired your windshield should give you a minimum safe drive-away time. This is dependent on the adhesive that was used and how long it takes to dry. If the adhesive isn’t allowed to cure properly, you could find yourself in trouble if you were to get into an accident. No one ever anticipates a car crash, but you really don’t want to get into one when your auto glass adhesive is still wet. That’s because the windshield could come completely unglued, sending it flying in the case of an accident. With no auto glass to keep the integrity of your vehicle intact, you and your passengers could face serious bodily injury or death. 

The time to dry for your vehicle could also depend on the temperature, humidity, type of vehicle, and the type of auto glass being replaced. If you are not provided with a time to drive-away, make sure you ask for complete safety’s sake.

Your auto glass may add time to the minimum safe drive-away time that is recommended by the adhesive manufacturer. If that’s the case, don’t get upset that you have to wait just a little bit longer. The extra time is only there to protect you, your occupants, and vehicle. Before you know it, your adhesive will be dry, and you’ll be able to drive away safe to any destination you desire. 

What if My Windshield Cracks After I’ve Had it Replaced?

Your windshield, after being replaced, should operate like brand-new auto glass and should never break just because. A windshield that cracks immediately after replacement is a sure sign that the job was mishandled. That is why it is crucial to only choose a reputable shop that employs experienced auto glass professionals. You want guarantees that your auto glass will hold so that you and your passengers remain as safe as possible at all times.

That being said, it could be that your new windshield was hit by an object that caused it to crack. There have been instances of customers who have had to pay for multiple replacements in the same year merely because of bad luck. However, if your auto glass cracks without being hit, that’s a sign that the auto glass replacement failed. Bring your vehicle to Sir Glass for a full assessment and auto glass replacement done right.

How Do I Drive to the Shop if My Windshield is Busted?

You walk out to your vehicle, intending to drive to work, only to find that your windshield has been shattered by a falling tree limb. How are you supposed to drive to the auto glass shop with a car in that condition? 

Luckily for you, many auto glass shops like Sir Glass offer mobile services. With mobile auto glass repair or replacement, you don’t have to drive your vehicle anywhere. Instead, we come to you with the windshield glass or repair kit, along with all the necessary tools to perform a quality job. You can have your auto glass fixed while you wait and can go about your business as soon as the technician deems the vehicle safe enough to drive.

How Can I Determine if My Windshield Was Repaired Correctly?

Unfortunately, there’s no single eye test that can determine the quality of your auto glass replacement. The best you can do is choose a reputable auto glass service that employs certified technicians. 

At Sir Glass, now serving Portland, Oregon and the surrounding areas, we are confident in the work we do for customers like you. We include a lifetime warranty with our in-shop and mobile auto glass service, which means you can drive away confident that your windshield was successfully replaced.

If you live in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, Gresham, or Wilsonville, we invite you to contact our shop or drive in today. We can repair or replace your windshield, back auto glass, and all side glasses for prices you can afford. Drive away the same day and remain safe with quality auto glass service. Call now for a free quote