How To Hire The Best Windshield Replacement Service
No one wants to be driving around with a broken windshield, right? It can be a very annoying experience driving a car with cracks on the windshield. Apart from aesthetic reasons, it is also not very safe for you. There is a reason why driving a car with cracks on the windshield is against the law in many countries. This is why it is important to have a reliable windshield replacement service on stand-by. Finding a good replacement windshield requires some research by the car owner. As you know, safety is always important.
Windshield replacements should be left to professionals to handle. If the damage is small, you might want to go the Do-It-Yourself route. After all, it’s only a small chip. But, the thing with cracks on windshields is that most times they start as a chip, and you may think it’s okay, it’s only a chip. You check it a few weeks later. Now it has graduated into a full-blown crack running right across your windshield. This is what will happen if you do not handle it well and you might have to replace the whole windshield. It is best to hire a professional service to handle it for you.
Hiring a reliable windshield replacement service for your car is cost-effective. It also saves you from headaches. You will save money by avoiding many trips to the auto glass replacement shop if it’s not done well the first time. In this article, you will learn how to get this done with little stress. But first, how do you know when it is time to replace or repair your windshield?
How To Know When To Replace Or Repair Your Windshield
Depending on the level of damage to your windshield, it might be a good idea to repair it instead of replacing the entire thing. You would still need a proper windshield repair service for either option though.
Here are the things to look out for when deciding to repair or replace your cracked windshield:
– The Size And Severity Of The Crack
According to the National Windshield Repair Association, the decision to repair or replace a windshield depends on some factors. These factors are recognizable and measured. If the damage to your windshield is a bull’s-eye, it is a spot that cannot be larger than 1 inch in diameter. If it is a full-blown crack, then it has to be less than 14 inches. These are the conditions under which a repair is still workable. Anything more than these and you will need to replace the entire windshield. Repairing costs less than replacing so knowing which option to go for is essential. You shouldn’t be made to replace the windshield if a simple repair would fix the problem.
It should be noted that these rules really only apply to windshields made of laminated glass. This type of glass is more structurally sound. If what you have installed on your car is a windshield made of tempered glass. Then a complete replacement is the way to go. No matter the type, size, or location of damage, it can’t be repaired.
– Location Of Damage
The basic reason for fixing a cracked or damaged windshield is for safety and to keep visibility. If either of these reasons is defeated even after repairing, then there is really no point. There are some spots on the windshield that would become misty or reduce visibility in other ways if repaired. If a damage occurs at the edges of the windshield, the structural integrity of the glass is already compromised. In these instances, a replacement is advised regardless of the size of the damage.
Now that you are sure that your windshield needs a replacement or repair. The next step is finding the perfect auto glass repair service to do it for you. There are some basic things to look out for to ensure that you are getting the best service.
Things To Look Out For When Hiring A Windshield Replacement Service
Replacing or repairing windshields is a specialized process. It requires some level of expertise and experience for it to be done well. Finding the right service to do the job is as essential as the job itself. Nobody wants to go back several times to fix windshields that have already been fixed. You may also be tempted to attempt the repairs yourself. Chances are you might get it wrong and things could be a lot messier. This will cost you a lot of money to get a professional to fix. Working directly with an expert right from the start saves you money and time.
Now you need an expert to handle things for you. The next question is: how do you find qualified and genuine professionals to help you with windshield replacements or repairs? That can be a little bit difficult. This is because there are a lot of inexperienced and unqualified folks out there you need to be wary of.
Here are some important factors to consider when hiring an auto glass replacement service:
This is one of the most important factors that you should consider. Before choosing a service, you should ask some questions. Do they have experience fixing or replacing windshields with the kind of crack yours has? How many similar jobs to yours have they done? Were the clients satisfied? How do the staff treat you when you go in for a quote? Do they answer your questions professionally and not try to keep information from you?
These are pertinent questions you should ask. Make sure you are satisfied with the answers to these questions before you decide. It is all about their level of experience and professionalism when it comes to hiring an auto glass repair service.
There is no substitute for a good reputation. Make sure to check out the company online. Try and find reviews from previous clients. Do your homework properly. Make sure that whatever service you pick has satisfied customers and a good reputation.
It is also a good idea to find out if the company you are considering has certified technicians. You do not want to have an amateur working on your car. It might cause problems for you in the future. That is why a platform like FIXT, is important to consumers. With FIXT, you have access to many local professionals with badges and real reviews.
Do They Offer Mobile Services?
This might not look like it is an important consideration. But, you will see the sense in it once you start the process of repairing your windshield. Most people don’t have time to drive to an auto glass replacement service and stay there until the job is done. You could say why not leave the car and come back for it later. But not very many people are comfortable doing that either.
Home service would be a better and less stressful option for most people. It would do you good to hire a service whose operation and processes are mobile. They can bring their machines to your house or office or wherever the car is parked. Your windshield can be replaced or repaired right there. That helps you save both time and money!
Materials Used: Do They Use OEM Glass?
The types of windshields fitted on cars have changed from tempered glass that was used years ago. Tempered glass dissociates into clumps when it shatters. This is an improvement over the regular glass that splinters, which could pose a danger to those in the car. The clumps of tempered glass could also enter the car and eyes or other sensitive areas.
Nowadays, vehicles are fitted with laminated glass. This type of windshield is made up of a layer of plastic sandwiched between two layers of safety glass. This type of windshield is thicker and safer as the plastic layer keeps the glass together. When hit, it breaks into this gummy piece that stays together.
There are about 80 companies worldwide that are specialists in making windshields. This is a small number when considering the number of cars that we have worldwide. Many of these companies produce windshields according to factory specifications. They are known as OEM– Original Equipment Manufacturer windshields.
These types of windshields are the best, because they follow factory specifications. They are like the type of windshield that comes with your car right from the manufacturer. Of course, there are other, cheaper windshields that are not OEM. These don’t fit quite as well and do not have the same level of quality as OEM windshields. So, make sure your windshield replacement service uses OEM replacement windshields. You do not want to leave that to chance.
Are They Insured?
This is another important factor to pay attention to when you need to replace or repair your windshield. Ask the company if they are insured, and don’t just take their words for it, ask for proof. Why does this matter? Well, accidents happen. Something might go wrong while trying to repair or replace your auto glass. You sure wouldn’t like to be responsible for the damage.
What is Their “Safe Drive Away Time?”
If you are having your windshield crack repaired by using a bonding resin. You need to find out what the safe drive-away time is. The safe drive-away time is the amount of time it will take the bonding resin to set before you can drive your vehicle. You may want to hire an auto glass repair or replacement service that won’t have you sitting too long. That way, you won’t be waiting for their bonding resin to set.
Okay, so, your car’s windshield is not in the best condition. The extent and location of this damage will determine two things. That is if your windshield needs replacement or fixing. To determine this, your auto glass replacement service will have to conduct an inspection. You can assess the professionalism of a company through how they handle this process.
A fraudulent one would try to make you pay more for a replacement when a simple repair would have done the trick. Stay away from such auto glass replacement services.
Now that you have a good idea of the things to watch out for whenever you need your auto glass replaced or repaired. It is time to talk about what it costs on average to have your windshield replaced or repaired.
How Much Does It Cost To Have Your Windshield Replaced?
Trying to figure out how much a windshield replacement costs is not straightforward. This is because there are no fixed rates. There are several factors that can affect how much you pay. The National Windshield Association says that the average cost for replacing your windshield is about $350. Of course, this figure is not a one size fits all.
For instance, replacing the windshields of luxury or vintage cars can cost thousands of dollars. Luxury cars like Benz and Lexus need specific types of windshields. These will definitely come at a higher cost. Some cars even have molded windshields. These will have to be ordered specially from the manufacturer. Of course they are vintage cars too. As you can imagine, the windshields for these types of cars are most likely out of stock. You would have to look for individuals or car dealers that are willing to sell. The seller could very much name their price and you won’t have a choice but to buy.
Another factor to consider is sensors. Yes, a lot of the newer model vehicles have sensors embedded in their windshields. These could be rain sensors, lane departure warnings, wiper park areas, condensation sensors and more. These sensors usually come embedded in replacement windshields. For the car to function properly, you would most likely need to replace all those sensors. The sensors will, of course, increase the costs of such windshields. Some also come with windshield wipers which will incur even more cost.
The extent of the damage and the location of the damage is another important factor that affects the cost of replacement. If there isn’t much damage, you might want to opt for a repair rather than a full replacement. Also the location of the damage matters. Generally, replacing the back windshield costs less than replacing the front windshield.
Tinted or untinted replacement windshields also come with different price tags. Tinted glass will generally cost more. There are some more extra processes that need to be done to make regular glass tinted after installation. These processes would most likely increase labor costs. This would also affect the cost of the entire replacement.
One more factor that needs clarification is the type of glass used. Which type of glass are you replacing your windshield with? Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) glass or Aftermarket glass? OEM windshields are not different from windshields that come installed from the car manufacturer. These cost a lot more than Aftermarket windshields. The latter is made by glass companies that have no contract with car manufacturers. They are cheaper but are lower quality. They’re also more likely to pop out during a collision or get cracked more quickly.
Your windshield plays a major part in the safety of your car. It also stops the elements from entering your car and gives you great visibility. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. This is why it is very important to repair or replace it if gets cracked. If that is not enough reason, you could get a ticket for a cracked windshield. That is a very convincing reason, isn’t it? Follow the simple steps and tips shared in this article to select the right windshield replacement professional. You can find an array of professionals on FIXT. You only have to download the app and sign up, it is that simple!
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Chapter 5 – Conclusion