Do I need my windshield replaced or just repaired?

Windshields are designed to shield you from more than just wind, which is most obvious when a pebble bounces off your windshield at 60mph! Damaged windshield glass can be repaired if the crack or dent is small enough, but if the crack has compromised the strength of the glass, you’ll need to have your windshield replaced.

How do I know if I can repair my windshield?

Very small cracks (ones that haven’t “spidered” or spread) and chips can be repaired using a special kind of resin fill, followed by polishing. Some repair shops also offer mobile windshield repair service – they will come to you, so you won’t need to take their car to them. Windshield repair (resin fills) usually ranges from $20 to $60, depending on the size of the crack and whether it’s a mobile service or not.

Here's a quick rule of thumb: If the crack is longer than a dollar bill, you likely need your windshield replaced. (But make sure to check with the repair shop to be sure).

Getting your windshield repaired is always a much cheaper option than a replacement, so you’ll want to take care of small cracks and dents quickly before they worsen and cannot be filled. Some small dents start out repairable, but over time (and especially with changing temperatures) will start to crack and spread. Large cracks cannot be filled, and can obscure your vision or weaken the windshield.

How much do windshield repairs cost?

Windshield replacements can be expensive. A windshield replacement will usually cost between $150 and $300 for a front windshield (although some imported cars can be even more expensive). It is usually a good idea to check pricing before deciding which business you want to repair your windshield. You can also check to see if the repair company uses OEM or after market glass (which is much cheaper than OEM glass, but not always the same quality).

Rear windows and side windows can vary in price depending on the make and model, so you’ll want to check out some nearby businesses as well, but usually side windows are cheaper to replace, while rear windows stay on the upper-end of the price spectrum.

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