Windshield Repair vs. Windshield Replacement

Windshield repair is a common occurrence.  In a crash or some other road incident, windshields are often damaged or broken. Although auto body shops aren’t particularly known for glass work, many are now offering windshield repair or replacement. We know that auto glass replacement is quite common in vehicles that have been involved in collisions, but what about windshield repair? This is an option that involves fixing small cracks without replacing the entire glass. It has to be cheaper, right? Read on to learn more about when you can choose glass repair over replacement and when you need to have a total glass overhaul.

Windshield Repair Options

If you’re looking to save money and only need a small area of your car’s windshield to be repaired, there are several options that you can choose from. Windshield repair can cost hundreds of dollars less than having an entire windshield replaced. This makes it an attractive choice for those trying to make auto repairs on a budget.

However, windshield repair can only be considered if a chip is smaller than a quarter and less than 3 inches long. Inner glass damage is also a lot easier to fix than cracks that extend to the outer edge. These cracks and chips are often connected to structural damage and call for a replacement of the entire windshield.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to windshield repair versus windshield replacement:

  • If the glass is laminated, it can be repaired, if tempered, it cannot.
  • If the crack is as long as a dollar bill or the chip is deep enough that it is halfway into the glass, replacement is better.
  • If the damage reaches the edge of the windshield, choose repair over replacement.
auto stiegler team photo
Car needing windshield repair

Windshield Repair: Should I Do it Myself?

If you’re still reading, then you’ve probably decided to try windshield chip or windshield crack repair. For the low price of just 8 bucks, you can find a windshield repair kit online. But is this a task that you should attempt yourself? In almost all cases, the answer is no.

Belinda, a ‘Mrs. Fix-it’ of sorts, learned this the hard way. Because she knows a lot about car repair, she decided to try and mend her glass herself.  After buying a kit online, paying for shipping, and spending the afternoon attempting to repair her windshield, she found that 50% of the crack was still showing.

Frustrated, Belinda ended up taking her vehicle to a reputable Mesa Auto Body Shop. Happy with the results, her only regret was that she had spent so much time trying to fix the damage on her own.

If you insist on doing the work yourself, we have just one suggestion. Get a free estimate from a reputable auto body shop first. At least this way, you will know that windshield repair is even a good option. You can also get a windshield replacement quote as well.

Keep Safety in Mind

In a front end crash, your windshield provides up to 45% of the structural integrity of the vehicle. In a rollover, this number increases to 65%. So above all else, safety should be your main focus when deciding whether to repair or replace a damaged windshield. Although windshield repair or a cheap windshield replacement might be the least expensive route, it shouldn’t be done at the expense of one’s safety.  

If you’re trying to decide whether your glass needs to be repaired or replaced after a crash or some minor mishap, contact us at 480-418-4901. Our specialists can give you solid advice and help you determine the best course of action moving forward.  As always, we’re standing by to  help you when you need us!