1. Think of Auto Glass as a Safety Feature. Shop Accordingly.
During a front-end collision, your windshield should stay in place, protecting you from debris and keeping you in the cabin. An improperly installed windshield could pop out, leaving you unprotected. In a rollover, your windshield helps keep the roof from crumpling and crushing you or your passengers. A windshield that's of inferior quality or badly installed could buckle instantly, allowing the roof to cave in more easily. Assume the safety of your vehicle is at stake when you're shopping for a new windshield, and make sure you hire a reputable auto glass shop. Buy a replacement windshield now
2. Get Several Auto Glass Price Quotes
Glass.net can help with this. Getting several quotes will help you to understand the price range for your windshield or other auto glass. Like so many products, high-volume glass is priced lower. So if you have a 2007 4-door Honda Accord, you'll pay less than a 2007 BMW 650 2-door convertible. Beware of prices that are outrageously low. For example, just like you can't buy a genuine Armani suit for $25, you can't get a safe windshield installation for $99. Shortcuts will be taken somewhere—either in quality of auto glass, or in the auto glass installation, or both. According to the auto glass sales staff here at Glass.net, the range for fair auto glass pricing for windshields or door glass is about $200 - $250. Of course it can go higher for foreign cars such as Mercedes, BMW, and Acura, or for very rare vehicles. Rarely replaced glass, such as vent glass (that small triangular piece of glass next to the front or rear door window) or quarter glass (the piece of glass on an SUV between the rear door window and the tailgate) can be more expensive.
3. Research the Auto Glass Shop
Again, Glass.net can help. We provide a list of auto glass shop services, as well as customer ratings. You can also check your local BBB to see if complaints have been filed. Ideally, if you have the time, ask the shop for references and contact these previous customers.
Many people shop for a new windshield as if it's an in-dash stereo.
As if it's a just a standard part and all they need to do is find the lowest price. It's not. Your vehicle's auto glass is a safety feature. Like a seatbelt or horn, like airbags, bumpers, all-wheel drive, or crumple zones. All these systems work together, actively and passively, to keep you safe in your vehicle. The windshield is a key component in the Safety Restraint System (SRS), which also includes the airbags and seatbelts in a vehicle.
Your windshield does much more than just keep the bugs out of your teeth.
Most drivers don't know that in modern vehicles—with huge, sweeping windshields—auto glass makes up 45 - 70% of the strength of the passenger cabin. If your windshield is damaged, it can't protect you like it should.
Auto glass installation is just as important as the glass itself.
Maybe you only think about your windshield when a huge insect splats on it right in your line of sight, or a passing truck tags it with a chunk of gravel. Now that you're in the market for new auto glass, however, it's a good idea to learn enough about auto glass installation that you'll know how to find an auto glass shop that offers the right mix of price and quality.