Windshield Replacement vs Repair: Which is Better?

Outside elements can cause chips or cracks on the windshield anytime while you are on the road. Car owners need to pay serious attention to the maintenance of their vehicles to remain safe. When faced with a broken or damaged windshield, many car owners go for the cheapest option – windshield repair.

Fixing a chip, a ding or a crack on a windscreen is usually much cheaper than getting a windshield replacement. That is why it is important for car owners to remain aware and take the correct route. Due to lack of expertise, it is difficult to determine the best option on your own. The moment you find that your windshield, side window glass or the rear windshield is damaged, you should head straight to a glass repair shop for a thorough examination of the damage. It is only an experienced professional’s job to find out if you need a replacement or repair.

If you are looking for an answer to whether you should repair or replace the windshield of your care, keep on reading.

What is a Windshield Repair?

Usually, a windshield is repaired when the damage is minor. The purpose of repairing the chip or the small crack is to restore the structural stability of the windshield or the auto glass as well as bring back the original visibility. There are multiple methods that can be used to repair a cracked windshield. However, most professionals prefer to use the windshield resin technique.

First of all, the auto glass professionals cleans the location of the damage and frees it from any kind of debris. Once the area is clean, the technician injects a clear resin into the chip or the crack. This procedure is performed on the outer layer of the windshield. To help the resin harden quickly, the professionals use a heating tool to heat up the area. When heat is applied to the resin, the resin first expands a little and reaches into all gaps of the crack. Proper resin fill out is essential, as it ensures the damage doesn’t spread to other areas in future.

When properly done, a repair can eliminate the faulty look of the windshield and the glass becomes smooth like before.

What is a Windshield Replacement?

A windshield replacement refers to the complete removal of the broken windshield and installation of a new one in its place.

Compared to a repair, a windshield replacement is a much detailed procedure which consists of many steps. A glass technician carefully moves from one step to another and finally installs a brand new windshield into the correct position. Before the car front windshield is installed, the professionals need to remove a number of hardware, the old adhesive gaskets etc. After proper trimming and cleaning, the technician applies the new bonding agent, replaces the gasket and then finally installs the new auto glass with a great deal of attention and precision.

Similar to a repair, a windshield replacement also requires skills and expertise to carry out the job successfully. A competent technician has experience in installing window glasses and windshield for all makes and models of cars. Professionals ensure the new auto glass has no leak issues.

For proper installation of a new windshield, the technician needs to use the right kind of equipment and tools, apart from completing each step in a proper manner. For example, the technician has expert skills in using a urethane glue gun, which is for applying the new bonding agent at the correct temperature. If the entire procedure is not followed properly and the materials and tools are not of top quality, the windshield replacement will end up having multiple faults. At first you won’t notice what is lacking. But issues will start to arise as you get back on the road. Improper or poor glass installation could put the driver’s and the other passengers’ lives at risk. That is why it is extremely important to get the replacement done by an expert.

How to Know If You Need a Repair or Replacement

Although the cost of getting a repair is a lot less, it is not always the best option for the structural integrity of your car and the passengers’ safety. That is why it is best to leave this on a professional’s experience to decide whether you should get the windshield damage repair or the auto glass replaced.

To determine the best route, a technician closely examines the chipped or cracked car window glass. There are several factors that should be taken into account to arrive at the right decision.

Size of the Damage Area

During the inspection, it is the size which needs the closest attention. In fact, it is usually the size of the damage which helps the technician determine whether a repair or a full replacement is the best option. If the size of the crack is large, getting it repaired will be very difficult. As a general rule, if the damage area measures larger than the size of a dollar, it can’t be repaired. If it is smaller than that, the technician will be able to possibly repair the windshield crack.

Location of the Damage

Where is the crack or chip located on the windshield? The location of the damage plays a key role in determining whether it is better to repair it or there is a need for a complete replacement of the windshield.

If the crack is small but located directly in the line of vision, repairing the damage is not going to be a better option. In many cases, the crack to the windshield happens at the corner of the glass. If this is the case, a repair will not restore the structural stability of the windshield, so a replacement will be needed. Likewise, the best solution will depend on whether the damage is located.

windshield crack repair

Amount of Damage

Depending on the harshness of the impact, the windshield may crack or chip in just one place or in more than one location at a time. If the damage is just in one area and small, it can be repaired. But a repair can’t be the option when the windshield has more than one chips spread across. Two or three chips, even when repaired, will take away the original stability of the glass. Lack of structural strength can lead to the shattering of the auto glass during a crash or collision.

Replacing the windshield is the most ideal solution, if it has damages in several areas. If you plan to remain safe while on the road, never settle for a repair when what you really need is a full glass replacement.

Your Safety Remains Above Everything Else

When getting a broken windshield repair or replaced altogether, you should always keep the safety concerns in your mind.

Whether it is the front windshield, rear windshield or the side window glass, all of them function to keep you safe – apart from giving you a clear, full circle view of the road and the surroundings. Automobile engineers design the windshield using the most advanced technology for improved safety of the driver and other passengers of the vehicle. If the repair or the replacement isn’t performed in a proper and professional manner, the auto glass will not have the required stability. This, in turn, can lead to grave consequences, if you happen to be in a car accident.

Therefore, always seek the services of skilled auto glass technicians to get your broken windshield repaired or replaced. Never compromise your safety on the road just for the sake of saving a few dollars.

Repair vs Replacement: How Much Does It Cost?

Most insurance companies offer coverage for the cost of windshield replacement or repair – in many states of America.

As per the state laws in many places of the United States, it is mandatory for car insurance companies to pay for the cost of windshield replacement or repair. Using insurance in this case will not affect the insurance premium in any way. Therefore, you should find out about the laws in your state of residence, in regard to insurance for replacing or repairing damaged windshields. If your state doesn’t have such laws, you may have to bear the cost out of pocket.

Usually, the cost of a windshield repair varies between $70 and $150. On the other hand, the cost of a replacement ranges between $200 and $2,000. The costs vary as per the extent of damage and your location.

Talk to a Skilled Windshield Technician

Have you found a chip or a crack in your windshield? If the auto glasses of your car are damaged, head over to Sir Auto Glass as quickly as you can. In case you are pressed for time and can’t drive to our windshield repair shop, give us a call and we’ll send our expert technicians to your location.

A tiny chip often looks like a blemish on the auto glass. You won’t notice such a small damage unless you take a very close look. Whether it is just a small chip or a large crack, repair should be done in time. Timely repair means you’ll save both time and money. If you delay the repair job, the small chip or crack can spread further and cost you more in repairs. If repair doesn’t suffice, you’ll need a replacement altogether. Give our office a quick phone call for a quick inspection and free quote. We operate in Lake Oswego, Portland, Oregon City, Gresham etc.