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 Windshield damage can be caused by road debris, extreme changes in temperature, a deep pothole, or an accident. A damaged windshield can be considered a safety issue because it can reduce the overall structural integrity of your vehicle. If you are in a crash or your vehicle rolls over, the windshield many not be able to support the roof from being crushed. Windshields also ensures that in the event of a major collision, the airbags deploy properly and securely, protecting you from serious injury. If you have damaged windshield may need to have it looked at by a professional before it gets worse.

In this article, we will discuss some of the reasons why you should think about getting your windshield repaired or replaced if you have any chips or cracks in it, how much it should cost you to do so, and what could happen if you do not get it fixed.

Windshield Cracks

Windshield repairs should always be done as soon as possible. Although small cracks are not serious enough to impact the overall strength of the windshield, it is probably still a good idea to have them repaired. If the crack is near the top, bottom, or sides of the windshield then you should be good to keep driving until you can get it repaired. If it starts getting any bigger then you should have it looked at by a professional.

Almost all windshields in North America are made of laminated glass, meaning that if the glass breaks, it will hold together rather than shattering into pieces. You do not have to worry about being showered in glass particles if you are in an accident but the last thing you need is your windshield all smashed up because you will not be able to drive your car until it is repaired or replaced.

Depending on your driving style and the condition of your suspension, brakes, and shocks, the longer you wait to have a windshield chip or crack repaired means that you could end up spending more to do so. Any increased pressure on the glass can turn a chip into a crack at any time or it could make any existent cracks worse. If you are unsure if you need to get your windshield repaired or replaced, look at the chip or crack to determine if it is serious or not. Chips and cracks are gauged by how large and deep they are. If the chip is less than the size of a quarter or the crack is less than a few inches and not obstructing your view, then you can likely get it repaired. If the crack or chip is deep and extends towards the outside edge of the windshield, then you should have it probably have it inspected to see if it can be repaired or if you will have to get it replaced.

Windshield Chips

Although windshield repair costs in Canada vary, typically an auto glass repair shop will charge between $50 and $100 to repair a chip depending on the size and cost of materials. This could be cheaper if you have more than one chip as some auto glass repair shops might offer discounts for fixing multiple chips on the same windshield.

Repairing windshield chips should be relatively inexpensive and fast. Small chips and cracks can be repaired in under an hour. If you have insurance, then it might also be included in your coverage, so it is a good idea to double-check with your provider to see if they cover the costs of any repairs.

Ninety percent of all chips will eventually turn into cracks if not repaired. If you have a chip that has turned into a crack, then you should think about getting it inspected and repaired. The cost to repair cracks is like that of chips, though the larger the crack is the more it may cost you it should not exceed $125 to have it fixed.

Most repairs should be done equally by technicians, but it should be noted that the quality of service may vary across regions and businesses. It is always best to check an auto glass repair company’s reviews to ensure that you are making an informed decision on who you want to have working on your vehicle. Chip repairs are done by placing a vacuum seal over the damaged area which removes all the air and moisture. A resin is then injected into the chipped spot filling even the smallest of micro-cracks around it. The vacuum seal is then removed, and the technician uses ultraviolet light to harden the resin to complete the repair.

Replacing a Windshield

If the damage to your windshield cannot be repaired, then a replacement is likely going to be necessary. Generally, it should not take more than several hours to replace a windshield, again depending on availability and how busy your auto glass repair center might be. Like the cost of chip repairs, the cost of replacing a windshield varies across Canada, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Be sure to check that the auto repair glass shop that you are using is a registered member company with the auto glass safety council (AGSC) and has AGSC certified technicians. See if they offer a national warranty on both repairs and replacement too.

Repair Costs

On average the cost of replacing a windshield in Canada ranges anywhere between $190 and $400 depending on the province and business where you are getting the work done. If you have specialized sensors in the windshield or if you have a luxury vehicle then the cost will likely be higher. Never just call one auto glass repair company and go with the quote, be sure to get quotes from several companies in your area that offer windshield replacement. Then compare their prices and the time it will take to replace the windshield and select the one that offers the best price and makes you feel confident that they will do the work properly and professionally.

Original vs OEM

Also keep in mind that the cost of replacing a windshield also includes the cost of the materials such as the quality of glass and adhesives. OEM windshields are those made by the original manufacturer of the vehicle. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, it may be a cheaper option to go with an aftermarket windshield. Aftermarket windshields are made by companies other than the original equipment manufacturer. There is no absolute consensus on which is better or safer, so it is entirely up to you on what you want to spend. OEM windshields already meet the safety and quality standards of the manufacturer, and the quality of the finish should meet the same standards as when the vehicle originally rolled off of the assembly line.  Be sure to ask about the quality and strength of the glass as well as the integrity of the windshield itself before selecting your replacement.

Insurance Coverage
As with any chip or crack repairs, your windshield replacement should be covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy. Depending on your deductible, you may not have to pay that much or at all for the replacement. Some providers may recommend a qualified windshield replacement installer for you to go to, but you are not required to accept their referrals. Ultimately you have the final say on where you send your vehicle to have the work done. OEM windshields also tend to be more expensive, and your insurance provider may not cover the full costs of the replacement.


What Happens if it is Not Fixed?

It Can Get Worse

If a chip or crack is not fixed, then there is a strong possibility that it will get worse and end up costing you more money to repair or replace. If you choose to ignore repairing chips or cracks it will cost you more down the road, especially if you need to get the windshield replaced. Repairing a chipped or cracked windshield can be a simple, fast and cost-effective measure that can save you the hassle of either paying more to replace your windshield than if you just ignore it.

Possible Fines
You may get pulled over by the police and be cited for a traffic violation or if the crack is obstructing your view or presenting a driving risk then you may be ticketed, or the vehicle impounded.

Safety Concerns
Cracks and chips in the middle of the windshield could obstruct your view making driving your vehicle more dangerous.

In any case, you should not ignore any chips or cracks that appear on your windshield as it is an important part of your vehicle and a safety feature. A windshield does not just stop wind, dirt, and water from hitting you as you drive, it also provides your vehicle structural strength and protects you and your passengers if you happen to have an accident.