First of all, it’s helpful to understand the difference between windshield replacement and windshield repair—they are two completely different processes. Get your windshield replaced now.
Auto glass repair can only be performed on a windshield crack or chip that is very small—the rule of thumb is, smaller than a dollar bill. A windshield repair doesn’t require removing the windshield, can take 15 – 30 minutes, and costs about $50. Your auto insurance company will usually pick up the charge for this, as they’d prefer you repair rather than replace your auto glass. Most windshield repair companies can process insurance payments for you.
During an auto glass repair, the technician may drill into the windshield chip to allow for easier flow of resin. Then the technician vacuums the air out of the break and injects resin into it to seal the crack and keep moisture and debris out. Often the windshield chip or crack becomes nearly invisible after an auto glass repair.
A windshield replacement involves the removal of the current windshield and the fitting of a new windshield. Usually the removal of the old windshield requires enough force to break it.
After the auto glass installer removes the damaged windshield, he’ll clean and prepare the vehicle frame, and then apply a bead of urethane on the frame to bond the new windshield to the vehicle. You’ll have to wait a few hours before driving your vehicle to let the urethane cure. A windshield replacement takes 45 – 60 minutes and costs $200 and up.
So if you get a chip or a crack in your windshield, don’t ignore it.
It won’t go away, and if you act quickly you can often have it repaired before the crack spreads. If you don’t do anything about the crack or chip, you may need an entirely new windshield. Replacement becomes your only option once a crack or chip grows larger than a dollar bill.
This is because a windshield is a sandwich made up of two layers of glass with a vinyl layer between them. If moisture gets into the windshield through the crack, it can damage the vinyl, weaken the windshield, and compromise its safety.
If you’re still not sure whether to repair or replace your windshield, ask your Glass.net auto glass shop. Where your vehicle is concerned, it’s better to err on the side of safety.