Your windshield is one of the most important parts of your vehicle, and trying to drive with one that's cracked is not only extremely dangerous, it's illegal in many states. But before you rush off to have your windshield repaired or replaced, you'll want to ask some important questions about the nature of the damage and the repair. Take a look at these three important things to consider before taking your car to a repair shop for windshield replacement.
Does it need to be completely replaced, or can it simply be repaired?
This might seem like no-brainer, because most people assume that small cracks and dents can be immediately fixed, while larger damage requires that the entire windshield be replaced. But what exactly is considered "small"? For repair shops that specialize in windshield replacement, any dents that are larger than a quarter or cracks that are longer than twelve inches necessitate the replacement of the entire windshield. If the damage is in the driver's line of sight, then no matter how small it is, the repair shop will recommend that you replace the windshield. No matter how minor it seems, damage that impairs the driver's vision is far more likely to cause accidents in the future.
How will this affect my insurance costs over time?
If you decide to file an insurance claim after damaging your windshield in an accident, consider if the amount covered by the insurance company justifies the cost of filing a claim. For example, if the cost of replacing a windshield is only $300, and your deductible is $250, you may want to spend the extra $50 anyway to avoid having a claim filed on your insurance report. Any and all claims can increase the cost of insurance over time, which means that an extra $50 spent now can actually save you hundreds in the future.
Is there any damage after an accident that's not immediately visible?
If you've recently been involved in a serious accident, you may want to have your windshield replaced even if it wasn't cracked or visibly damaged in any way. After a major collision, the frame of a vehicle's windshield can be seriously damaged or altered in such a way as to weaken the overall structure. This means that if the vehicle is involved in another major accident, the windshield may give way entirely, and thus put the passengers at risk of being thrown from the vehicle.