Avoid Expensive Car Windshield Replacement

This is part of the ‘How to Be an Adult – Things I Wish I’d Learned in High School’ series.  To learn from all of my past mistakes and breeze through various parts of adulthood, click here.

Replacing a windshield is pretty expensive – about $350!

I was cruising down the highway, and a pebble hit my windshield with a loud ‘BANG’.  A crack appeared in the corner of the windshield within the next week or so.  Because I live in Wisconsin with cold temperatures (and lots of temperature fluctuation these days!), the teeny crack I saw on Day 1 turned into a crack 14 inches long by Day 4!

I was told that cracks shorter than 6″ could be filled and covered by insurance, but that turned out NOT TO BE TRUE — it’s just a ploy SafeLite Auto Glass tells you to get you to commit to a repair, and then once they’re there, you’ll probably hear something like “well, it’s too large, we really need to replace the whole thing…”, and then cha-ching, your money is gone.

What I now know, is that if I ever see and hear a pebble hit my windshield, particularly with the force with which this pebble hit, I need to get out of the car when I stop, and inspect the windshield for any chips.  AT THE CHIP STAGE, the chip can be filled at a place like Safe Auto Glass, and it might last you several more years with no crack forming.  On the other hand, you could get unlucky and see a crack the next day, but at $350, it’s worth the attempt to save your windshield before a crack forms and you have no choice.  Additionally, your insurance may pay the low fee which Safe Auto Glass charges to fill the chip.

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