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There are many things to consider before you decide to have your windshield repaired. Start by determining if the damage to your windshield will lend itself to repair or if replacement is necessary. Generally, stone or rock damage to your windshield can be repaired, as long as the damage is less than 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter. Cracks that are 20 inches (50.8 cm) or less in length may be repairable as well.
Windshield repair may not be the best option in cases involving large rock chips that are blocking or impairing the driver’s line of vision; replacement may be best in such situations. If the damage to your windshield is more than a year old or has been previously repaired, you may need to have the windshield replaced. If a windshield has a large crack that extends to an edge or multiple cracks, it may not be repairable. Also, using cleansers, nail polish, or glue on your windshield may make repairing it more difficult.
There are benefits of windshield repair. First, windshield repair is generally less expensive than replacement. It allows you to retain your original glass and doesn’t change the original factory seal on your windshield. Windshield repair can also be more convenient, taking less time than replacement.
Depending on the level of damage, windshield repair can usually be accomplished in 30 minutes or less. If there is more than one chip or scratch, more time may be required for repair. Even if there is more than one spot of damage, it usually takes less time to repair a windshield than it does to have one replaced.
Keep in mind that your auto insurance may cover the cost of windshield repair. If your windshield was not damaged in a collision, you may be able to file a no-fault claim and have your windshield repair covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance. Some insurance companies even waive deductibles for windshield repair. In most cases, your insurance rate will not increase.
Many windshield repair companies offer mobile services, traveling to your home or office to work on your car. Others may require you to travel to them and wait while your windshield is repaired. Each repair service has different procedures, prices, and availability.
When it comes to windshield crack repair, there may be some legal things to consider as well. Some states have regulations against having unrepaired cracks that extend into the driver's area of vision. If a police officer in one of those states notices a large windshield, the driver may get a ticket for faulty equipment, the same as a burned out taillight or missing bumper.