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Drivers fail to realize how important their car windshield is until it gets damaged. Whether it be a fender bender or a rock skidding off the tire at high speed, once the glass cracks you know that you must take some action. Driving with a damaged windshield can be dangerous as a strong gust of wind can break it at high speeds, depending on the seriousness and the angle of the crack. The dilemma the motorists face can be broken down to a single question: Should I get the windshield repaired or should I replace it altogether? The answer to this question becomes self-evident once you take into consideration all the factors involved.

Where did the damage occur?

Because windshields are large pieces of tempered glass that have a unique conical shape, no crack is ever the same. In some cases, they have been known to crack for no apparent reason. How the damage occurred and where are important factors. If the damage happens at the edges of the windshield then be sure that the crack will grow in size over time and expand towards the centre. If the crack occurs at the centre of the windshield, then your field of vision from the driver’s seat is compromised and you shouldn’t join traffic with such large-scale damage to your car.

In terms of the dilemma whether to repair or replace the windshield, it all comes down to the matter of size. Any larger structural damage, like being able to stick your finger through the hole in the glass, requires the windshield to be replaced. However, small cracks up to 12 inches long, depending on the tools used to repair them can easily be repaired, saving you hundreds of dollars.

The issue of cost

An important factor that is decisive for many drivers whose pockets aren’t too deep, is the total cost of the repair. It makes sense that repairing the windshields costs less. In fact, even the largest of cracks can be fixed for under 70 dollars, while the cheapest windshield replacement on the market costs around 350 dollars. For more luxurious car models, this figure can reach several thousands of dollars for a new windshield.

The verdict is unanimous, for any small-scale damages, repairing the windshield should be option number one. This decision will save you hundreds of dollars. If the windshield is structurally damaged, then you will have to cash out a new windshield; simple as that. When the issue of road safety is at stake, security must come before being thrifty.

What does a repair look like?

A lot of people aren’t even aware that a chip in the windshield can be repaired in the first place. In reality, this process is as easy as patching up a flat bike tire and it takes some 20 to 25 minutes to complete. A special resin is injected into the area of glass that has been damaged. A small hole is drilled, the resin goes in, the area gets patched, and then comes the polishing that restores the windshield’s structural integrity and transparency. Although this is the same day service, make sure you take your car to a reliable franchise, like New Image Auto Glass that can also give you professional advice whether your car windshield might need replacement after all if the chip or crack is too severe to be repaired.

The hassle with insurance

The good news is: nearly all automotive insurance policies cover windshields and any damage that might occur on them. The bad news is: the claim procedure varies significantly depending on whether you decide to replace or repair the damaged windshield. If you opt for the former, the insurance company will require you to pay your deductible and subsequently they will pay for the replacement. Having the windshield repaired is less complicated and cheaper. The general policy of insurance companies is to reward their clients’ being economical and repairing the windshield instead of replacing it, by waiving the deductible. This way, they will cover the total cost of the replacement without you having to pay a single cent.

As you have realized from all the points listed here, the answer to the question at the beginning is simple. If the damage is not extensive, always go for the repair rather than the replacement. If your windshield is beyond repair, then be prepared to pay hundreds of dollars if you are not insured.

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