The bottom line on safety:
The best safety result is to have a windshield replacement done by a seasoned and experienced professional. You may ask questions to your local auto glass shop, such as “How many years of experience does your technician have?” and “How long have they been employed by your company?”
When considering a windshield repair or replacement, you should know that there are damages that will not be considered for a repair based on their size.
The most common question asked when determining whether a windshield can be repaired is “Is your damage bigger than a dollar bill?” or “Can you cover your damage with a dollar bill?”
If your windshield crack is larger than the surface of a dollar bill, then your auto insurance company will automatically mark you down for a complete windshield replacement.
Long cracks that run across your windshield are very difficult to repair. Although not impossible, you will also note that at 9:15 on this video he says “The repairs are never gonna be perfectly done. I mean, they are never gonna be crystal clear… You will always be able to see a slight hairline where that crack was.”
Also, “chip” type of breaks cannot be bigger than the size of a quarter. So, if a pretty large object hit your windshield and left a large chip on it, you’d be advised to replace your windshield.
We’ve put together an infographic showing what types of cracks are potentially possible to safely repair, and which may require a replacement.
Overall, there is a big interest in replacing your windshield for auto glass shops, windshield manufacturers, and insurance companies alike.
Auto glass shops make far better markups on a replacement over a repair.
Insurance companies get to raise their rates based on an overall hike on windshield replacement costs. The higher their rates (within reasonable limits in competition), the more they are able to legally collect in profits and administrative pay.
It is obvious why windshield manufacturers may prefer that your replace your windshield, right?
The bottom line on size:
If your crack is larger than a dollar bill, then you will be asked to replace your windshield. If it is smaller, there may be an attempt to repair it. But there is no guarantee that the crack won’t spread further during the repair, which then will require a full windshield replacement.
Will the windshield crack visually go away after a repair?
On smaller windshield cracks (like the bullseye shown here) it is very possible to completely eliminate all visual signs of the crack, other than – maybe – a slight pit where the resin was applied to.
Sometimes it is very hard to notice the windshield was repaired at all.
But there are times when even after a repair the crack is still very visible.
It all depends on the type of windshield crack, the experience of the auto glass technician, tools being used, and a pure matter of uncontrolled circumstances (weather, glass behavior, etc).
The costs of repairing of replacing your windshield
In many states – like Florida, South Carolina and Massachusetts – state laws require that insurance companies pay for the full replacement or repair of your windshield, if you carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. You can find detailed info about this at the bottom of this article.
Because this is considered a No-Fault claim, replacing or repairing your windshield using your insurance will not generally lead you to higher insurance premiums or cause the risk of having your insurance policy cancelled. Unless you are constantly replacing windshields – in which case you may be rated as a high-risk driver and your premiums may suffer an increase.
However, if you do not live on one of the states that carry this law, or if you do not carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, you will have to pay the costs to have your windshield serviced.
How much does it cost to repair my windshield?
Windshield repairs cost anywhere between $70 and $150. This will depend on your geographical location, size of damage, tools being used, etc.
How much does it cost to replace my windshield?
Windshield replacements cost anywhere between $200 and $2,000, sometimes higher.
Of course it depends on the model of your vehicle, the windshield manufacturer you select, and the auto glass shop you pick to do the work.
I hope this article has given you great insight on whether you should repair or replace your windshield, especially if you live in the state of Florida.
AutoTrader also has a pretty beneficial article on this subject.
We are happy to help you in any way to make the best choice.