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Is it better to replace or repair a cracked windshield?

August 1, 2023

Cracked windshields are an issue nearly all drivers will have to confront at some point in their driving life. It’s a common problem that can stem from a variety of incidents, including a minor fender bender, debris impact, or even sudden temperature changes. However, the question that typically arises is whether it’s more prudent to repair the windshield or replace it entirely.

The answer is often dictated by a few key factors: the size, location, and severity of the crack; the type of vehicle; and the cost implications. Both repair and replacement come with their unique sets of pros and cons, which we will delve into further to determine the best solution.

Windshield Repair – When to replace a damaged windshield.

To begin, the nature and extent of the damage significantly influence the decision. Small chips or cracks, typically less than the size of a quarter, can often be successfully repaired. Windshield repair. technology has evolved over the years, allowing technicians to fill small cracks with a resin that, once cured, restores the structural integrity and visibility of the glass. This process is relatively quick, cost-effective, and can often be done at your location.

However, larger cracks or chips, especially those that spread to the edge of the windshield, may require a complete replacement. Additionally, the position of the damage is crucial. If it obscures the driver’s direct line of sight, even a minor crack or chip may necessitate a replacement. A repair might not restore the glass to a flawless state, and any minor distortion left behind could compromise the driver’s visibility.

Type of the windshield

The type of vehicle also plays a role in this decision. Some high-end cars have windshields equipped with advanced technologies like heads-up displays, rain sensors, or lane departure warnings. Repairing a windshield with such features might not always be feasible without potentially damaging these systems, making replacement the better option.

Cost of the windshield

When we consider the cost aspect, windshield repair is undoubtedly the cheaper alternative, often costing a fraction of a full replacement. It’s also worth noting that many insurance companies will waive the deductible for windshield repairs, making it essentially free for the insured.

However, cost shouldn’t be the sole factor dictating your decision. A cracked windshield can severely compromise the safety of the vehicle. The windshield is a vital component of your car’s structural integrity, especially in the event of a rollover accident. If the damage is severe enough that a repair can’t restore this structural integrity, then the higher cost of replacement is justified to ensure the safety of the vehicle’s occupants.

Lifespan of the repair versus the replacement

The lifespan of the repair versus the replacement is another critical factor. A repair can last for years, provided the damage was minor to begin with, and the repair was carried out by a skilled technician. However, in some cases, the repaired area might crack again, especially in extreme weather conditions. A replacement, on the other hand, will last as long as a new windshield, given careful handling and barring any incidents.

Environmental Impact

One often overlooked aspect is the environmental impact. Repairing, as opposed to replacing, conserves resource and reduces the number of old windshields that end up in landfills. So, if you are eco-conscious, repair might be a better option, provided it doesn’t compromise on safety and quality.

Peace of mind

Beyond the practical considerations, there’s also the matter of peace of mind. A small, repaired crack may not affect safety, but it can be a constant reminder of vulnerability. A brand-new windshield, though pricier, can offer a sense of security and restoration that a repair may not provide. Ultimately, the decision between repairing and replacing is a balancing act between safety, cost, convenience, and personal comfort. It is essential to have open communication with a reliable auto glass professional to ensure the chosen route aligns with all these factors while meeting the requisite safety standards.

Takeaway

The choice between repairing and replacing a cracked windshield hinges on a range of factors. Small, superficial cracks can typically be repaired cost-effectively and quickly. However, larger cracks or those interfering with the driver’s vision or vehicle’s advanced systems often warrant a full replacement. While cost considerations are essential, safety should always be the paramount consideration. It’s always wise to consult with a professional auto glass technician to make an informed decision, as they can assess the extent of the damage and guide you through the best course of action.

If you have a cracked windshield, NuVision can help you make the best decision about whether to repair or replace it. They will work with you to find the best solution for your needs and budget.

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