Learning the Basics of Windshield Repair and Windshield Replacement
Windshield repair and windshield replacement are the two options that vehicle owners must face when their windshields become cracked or chipped. It is important that auto owners know when to go for a repair or a replacement since a wrong decision can either mean waste of money or their own safety.
Before the introduction of advance glass repair methods to the public, the only way to fix a damaged windshield was to have it replaced. But now, with the advent of modern technology, a cracked windshield can easily be fixed with the help of sophisticated windshield repair techniques. However, it’s also important to note that these advance glass repair techniques have their limitations as well. As such, if the damage is really severe, then the only option left is windshield replacement.
Repair or Replacement?
The question as to whether to go for a repair or a replacement depends on a couple of factors such as the severity, location, and size of the damage. In general, many windshield repair specialists can only fix cracks or chips up to 3 inches in length. However, there are also special kinds of treatments that can fix damages up to 12 inches long. But if the affected area is a lot bigger that this, then windshield replacement is highly recommended.
The location of the damage is an important defining factor as to whether a vehicle owner should go for a replacement or not. For instance, cracks at the windshield’s edges can spread rapidly. This can weaken the structural integrity of the windshield. However, if it is brought to an auto glass specialist before the cracks can spread, then it can still be repaired.
In addition, the driver’s safety is the primary concern of many auto glass repair specialists. As such, they may opt not to fix the damage if it’s located in the driver’s line of sight. In cases like this, the specialists will advise the owner to go for windshield replacement rather than compromise his driving vision.
One thing that vehicle owners must be constantly aware of is to have their autos checked by a specialist as immediately as possible regardless of the crack’s location or size. Doing so will prevent dirt from infiltrating the damaged area and will make the repair more effective. Though windshield repair costs significantly lesser than windshield replacement, it would be best for drivers to opt for the latter if their cars experience major impacts or damages.
How Do Windshield Repairs Work?
During the process of repairing cracks or chips, auto glass repair specialists inject a special type of resin into the damaged area by using a device that is directly attached to the windshield. Now, in order for the strength and clarity of the glass to be restored, the injected resin must be prepared first and then polished.
On the other hand, there will be some instances wherein a drill must be used. This is needed in order for the resin to be injected into the plastic, which is located between the windshield’s two layers of glass. Once it is injected to the plastic, the resin can then repair the damage.
It is important to note, however, that a repaired windshield may not look as perfect and spotless like its brand new counterpart. This is because every crack or damage is unique. Some may respond to repairs effectively, while others may not. However, the most important thing that a windshield repair can give drivers is that it prevents the damage from becoming bigger.
Where to Go for Windshield Replacement?
When it comes to windshield replacement and repair, car owners have a lot of choices when it comes to service providers. However, two notable service providers are new car dealers and automotive glass specialists.
Hiring new car dealers to do windshield replacements can be very costly. This is because they will use original equipment manufacturer or OEM glass. OEM windshields are identical with the ones that are installed on brand new cars. As such, they can be quite pricey.
On the other hand, car owners can benefit from having the work done by automotive glass specialists since their prices are not as high compared to new car dealers. This is because they use non-OEM windshields, which are less costly but provides the same clarity, quality, and safety as that of OEM glasses.
However, it is important to note that when it comes to adhesives and sealers it is advisable that OEM products or recommended ones must be used. The use of low quality items can result into the windshield being displaced during impacts or accidents.
What About Insurance?
Almost all car insurance firms provide coverage for both windshield repair and windshield replacement. However, the deal is different between the two since replacement is more costly than a simple repair. If a car owner opts for a replacement, then his insurance provider will ask him to pay the deductible fee. Once the fee is already paid, the insurance company will then take care of the remaining replacement costs.
In contrast, going for a windshield repair is more financially beneficial to the owner since the insurance firm will waive the fee and will pay the entire amount for the repair. Many insurance providers do this to encourage owners to go for repairs instead of replacements since the latter is a lot cheaper. At the end of the day, going for windshield repair is financially advantageous for both parties.
However, if the damage done to the windshield is really severe, then car owners are advised not to skimp and go for windshield replacement. A severely damaged glass does not only make it difficult for drivers to see clearly, it also exposes him and his passengers to potential danger.
To help car owners make the right decision regarding this matter, they should seek the help of a qualified and reliable auto glass repair specialist. An expert in this field will be able to diagnose accurately whether a windshield repair will be enough to fix the damaged area or a windshield replacement is the inevitable solution.