If your vehicle has recently been struck by a piece of flying gravel, sharp stick, or even a wayward deer while driving, you may be wondering whether repair of the resulting windshield damage is a better option than simply replacing your entire windshield. While both options can provide you with a flaw-free surface with relatively little hassle, there are some key differences when it comes to the cost, resale value, and structural integrity of your new or repaired windshield. Read on to learn more about some of the advantages and disadvantages of your options so that you can determine the best way to proceed.
While you may value your vehicle's windshield only for its ability to maintain a climate-controlled space (or perhaps for its assistance in keeping bugs away from your face), windshields carry a hefty burden when it comes to maintaining the structural integrity of your vehicle. Without a properly-functioning windshield, your risk of being injured in a crash can skyrocket due to the higher likelihood that you'll be ejected from the vehicle or that outside debris will fly into your vehicle, causing harm.
As a result, it's important to have your windshield damage surveyed prior to repair rather than making the decision based on purely cost or convenience considerations. If a technician informs you that repairing your windshield rather than replacing it will make your vehicle less structurally stable, you should be reluctant to pursue this route; on the other hand, you may be pleasantly surprised by the news that your windshield chip or crack is surface-level only and shouldn't impact your windshield's function or durability.
In many cases, your auto insurance will fully cover the cost of repairing any windshield chips or cracks—even those that are your fault—as this type of preventive maintenance can be the difference between a long-lasting windshield and one that cracks during the next hard rain. Even if you don't have insurance coverage for chip or crack repair, paying out of pocket for these expenses shouldn't be onerous even for those on fairly tight budgets.
However, if full replacement is deemed necessary in lieu of repair and this damage is covered by your auto insurance, you may be responsible for paying your deductible before any work can take place. Because windshield replacement can often be accomplished at a fairly low cost, you might find that the cost of replacement exceeds your deductible, making it a better idea to simply pay this out of pocket rather than submit a claim to your insurance company and risk higher premiums for years in the future.
Aesthetic appeal and resale value
Although the technology behind windshield replacement has become more advanced in recent years, it can still sometimes be difficult to find a perfect match for every windshield -- especially if you have a classic or antique vehicle or one that was manufactured and assembled overseas before being shipped to the U.S. While the seals that hold your windshield in place can be manipulated to fit a variety of different shapes and sizes of windshield, they're not always foolproof, and some drivers with hard-to-fit windshields have reported increased cabin noise or even leakage following replacement of their vehicle's original windshield.
On the other hand, replacing a cracked or chipped windshield with an intact one can often preserve a vehicle's resale value more than simple repair, particularly if any repaired spots remain visible. If you're concerned about your ability to sell your vehicle for list price following an accident or are concerned that crack repair won't fix all the cosmetic damage you've noticed, replacement may be the better option.
To learn more about your options, contact companies like Martin Glass Co.