How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Cracked Windshield? 2023 Chip Repair Costs
Whether it’s a stray rock chipping the edge of your windshield or a huge crack in the center, it’s vital you get windshield chips repaired right away. Cracks can spread and the whole windshield can break, threatening injury and damage. Let’s check out just how much it costs to fix a cracked windshield.
Types of Windshield Chips & Cracks
Auto glass technicians have terms that describe various common chips and cracks in windshields. Some are minor and you can drive with them (though it’s not advisable), while others are serious and necessitate towing the car to get it repaired.
- Chip: the most minor type of damage, a chip usually happens when a rock dings the windshield and gouges a small amount of glass.
- Edge crack: any long crack that reaches either edge of the windshield—usually 6 inches or more in length.
- Bullseye: a large crack surrounded by a circular point of impact. These can be half-moon-shaped or bullseye-like cracks.
- Star: a chip with several cracks branching off from it.
- Stress crack: most common in extreme climates, stress cracks tend to start at either edge of the windshield because of extreme temperature changes.
- Floater crack: any crack that’s at least a few inches from the edge but commonly over 2 inches in length.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Cracked Windshield?
Windshield repairs are often very affordable, while replacements might run you a bit more. Of course, your cost also depends on if your windshield is covered by insurance.
The good news is that not all windshield chips and cracks merit replacement. There are many DIY windshield repair kits you can use to fix the crack yourself, as well as companies that will fill in the crack with resin to repair it. Finally, you can have the windshield replaced altogether, which is recommended if you have large cracks, especially near the edges.
For repairs, you’ll typically pay more for larger cracks, while the severity of damage won’t affect the price of a replacement. Most repair technicians carefully drill a shallow hole into the windshield where the damage is and inject a resin compound that fills in the damage. Most repairs appear seamless and indistinguishable from an undamaged windshield.
DIY repair kits are somewhat similar to super glue, and you simply squeeze the product onto the site of your windshield damage. The resin will fill in the damage. It won’t be as effective as a professional repair, but it’s a lot cheaper than shelling out for a pro to do it. This is the best course of action when you have a very minor chip or floating crack.
The single biggest factor that will impact a replacement is the type of car you own. Higher end luxury vehicles might have specialty windshields that need to be ordered, while more standard cars are more widely available. Windshields with special components, like rain sensors, might cost even more.
Let’s see how much these various options will affect your bank account.
- Windshield replacement: $250–$400 (for most makes and models)
- Windshield replacement for luxury vehicles: $400-$1,500 (depending on make and model)
- Windshield DIY repair kit: $20-$30
- Windshield repair cost: $60-$100
Does Insurance Cover Windshields?
Most comprehensive auto insurance policies cover windshield damage repairs and replacements. In fact, windshield replacement is the single most common car insurance claim. Even if you don’t have comprehensive coverage, if your policy includes collision coverage, you may be covered if the damage was sustained in a collision.
The minimum coverage required to drive in your state will not usually cover any kind of windshield repair or replacement. In these cases, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for a repair or replacement or try your hand at a DIY repair.
It mainly depends on how severe the damage is because most insurers won’t pay for a replacement if they deem the damage can be safely repaired instead. It’s cheaper for them, after all.
If your windshield is damaged during an accident and you’re not at fault, the other driver’s insurance will generally have to pay for a repair or replacement.
How to Take Care of Your Windshield
As the barrier between you and the road, windshields serve an invaluable role in your car. They can be affected and damaged by a myriad of factors, including stray rocks, temperature changes, and more. Let’s take a peek at some ways you can keep your windshield in the best possible condition for as long as possible.
- Avoid parking in strong, direct sunlight, especially if you live in a hot climate. Extreme temperature changes can cause cracks in your windshield.
- Don’t leave chips or cracks unrepaired. When left unrepaired, these can spiderweb into much larger and more dangerous cracks.
- Keep your windshield wipers in good condition. Damaged windshield wipers can cause chips, scratches, and gouges in your windshield.
- Don’t use ammonia-based or abrasive cleaners to clean your windshield. Always use microfiber cloths and cleaners specifically designed and marketed for windshields.
- Avoid slamming your door. Slamming your doors causes vibrations inside your car, which can damage your side windows, rear windshield, and front windshield.
Windshields are absolutely vital to protect us from wind and other dangerous elements on the road. When a stray rock or collision damages it, you should get it repaired as soon as possible to prevent the damage from spreading. Even the smallest chips should be repaired with DIY repair kits just to be safe.
See also: How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Side Mirror?
Featured Image Credit: maxmann, Pixabay