Cracked windshield -- how to proceed?

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teacher_in_tx
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Cracked windshield -- how to proceed?

Post by teacher_in_tx » Thu May 05, 2011 7:46 pm

A truck passing by in the other direction (going the opposite way of me) drove onto the center lane and apparently -- somehow -- kicked up a rock. There were no other vehicles around. I did not get the vehicle description or license plate number.

The rock hit the far side of my windshield loudly. About two minutes later, a crack began to form and spread, going quickly to 4 inches and then 6 inches. It starts at the very left side of my windshield and proceeds inward.

It sounds like I need to replace the windshield. I obtained quotes -- $298 and $324 -- from two local shops to replace my 2009 Honda Civic Si sedan's windshield. A third shop was all booked up, so no quote from that one.

Thoughts? Should I replace the windshield? Or should I hold off indefinitely?

I figure that I likely will replace it (vanity / safety?), but I hate the $300 expense. :P

It looks like my car insurance won't help due financially to my $1,000 deductible, unless Texas has some relevant law that supersedes this. The one shop I spoke to recommended that I simply pay cash due to the deductible, but I will verify this with others, I suppose.

-mike

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Kenkat
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Post by Kenkat » Thu May 05, 2011 7:57 pm

When I have had a broken windshield in the past, it was covered under my comprehensive coverage rather than the collision coverage. In my case, the deductible was lower and the company actually waived the deductible for windshield repairs. So it was replaced at no cost to me.

teacher_in_tx
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Post by teacher_in_tx » Thu May 05, 2011 8:03 pm

kenschmidt wrote:When I have had a broken windshield in the past, it was covered under my comprehensive coverage rather than the collision coverage. In my case, the deductible was lower and the company actually waived the deductible for windshield repairs. So it was replaced at no cost to me.
My comprehensive deductible is $1000, as well, and the glass repair shop that I asked believed that that comprehensive deductible would apply when it came to Geico on windshields (e.g. no lower deductible / waived deductible for windshields). Still, I'll dig further.

-mike

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LadyGeek
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Post by LadyGeek » Thu May 05, 2011 8:08 pm

This is a safety issue, get it repaired immediately. $300 sounds reasonable, assuming it's done by a reputable company. Windshields are tricky, you need an experienced installer. Don't trust this to a local mechanic who does this on the side.

Call your insurance company and ask them for the name of a local windshield replacement shop. They will be happy to do so. Conversely, you could also ask if any of those shops who gave you the quote are approved by the insurance company.

The companies who have a relationship with insurance companies are experienced and will back their warranties.

Windshields are covered under comprehensive. My carrier has a $0 deductible for glass (I consider myself lucky, no charge to me).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

biasion
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Post by biasion » Thu May 05, 2011 8:12 pm

Honda Civic Si??? ----DROOL----

If you want some savings, find a trusted mechanic and offer to pay in tender coin without complicated credit/debit cards or checks. The price tends to drop.

Sounds reasonable. Once glass cracks it just gets worse, it's like cancer.

Be safe!
1. Do not confuse strategy with outcome | 2. Those who fail to plan plan to fail | 3. Do not assume the unlikely is impossible, and | 4. Be ready to deal with the consequences if you do.

SP-diceman
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Post by SP-diceman » Thu May 05, 2011 8:14 pm

Its your call.
I would probably try to wait until its a problem. (although 6 inches is probably close)
Depending on the crack and location it will tend to grow in cold weather.

A former girlfriend of mine had one for over a year, until till it got too big in cold weather.
There was a place that would come to your job, replace the window in your work parking lot.
It took about 15 minutes with one guy and was cheaper than local shops or the dealer.
(never had any problem with things like leaks)


Thanks
SP-diceman

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Watty
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Post by Watty » Thu May 05, 2011 8:28 pm

It will reduce the value of the car when you eventually sell the car so even if the windshield lasts that long you will not end up saving much if any money. Get it fixed, its not like you are driving a $500 beater.


Greg

isaidit
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Post by isaidit » Thu May 05, 2011 8:43 pm

I have Allied Insurance and a $1,000 deductible with full coverage. I had a crack about a month ago on my windshield. I called my insurance 800 number and explained the problem. They transferred me to their Safelite Autoglass folks who they apparently contract with. Within about 2 minutes I had an appointment for a repair guy to come to our house and fix it......for free! No deductible or anything. The crack was only about 4 inches at the time and fortunately I noticed it right when it happened. The repair guy said since we noticed it so quickly then it was easier to fix. You can't even tell where the crack was now. I'm impressed both by my insuror and the repair company.

AQ
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Post by AQ » Thu May 05, 2011 8:48 pm

I had a similar problem, or actually bigger crack... Someone mentioned this as safety issue. In what sense? It dones't block my view in any way, since the crack is at the lowest place. I haven't decide to replace it yet, but if it's safety, then I guess I'll bite the bullet.

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bottlecap
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Post by bottlecap » Thu May 05, 2011 9:04 pm

you're going to have to fix it someday anyway.

JT

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norookie
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Post by norookie » Thu May 05, 2011 9:04 pm

:D There are incredible "repair" filler- patch/substance materials out these days @ ''Acme'' glass (IYKWIM-any glass replace repair shop) that tolerate wild temperature swings just fine. Look it up! I would splurge for the new windscreen/windshield though. JMO
Last edited by norookie on Fri May 06, 2011 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LadyGeek
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Post by LadyGeek » Thu May 05, 2011 9:32 pm

AQ wrote:I had a similar problem, or actually bigger crack... Someone mentioned this as safety issue. In what sense? It dones't block my view in any way, since the crack is at the lowest place. I haven't decide to replace it yet, but if it's safety, then I guess I'll bite the bullet.
Here's why: Safety Risks With a Cracked Windshield and AAA Says Motorists Who Drive With Cracked or Damaged Windshields May Be Placing Themselves in Harms Way

You've compromised the vehicle's ability to protect you in the case of an accident. It's hard to say what will happen, but you don't want to take a chance.
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Bruin
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Post by Bruin » Thu May 05, 2011 9:53 pm

In some states, windshield replacement is a $0 deductible by law, provided that you have collision coverage. I believe those states are FL, KY, MA and SC, though from your username I'd guess you're not in one of those states.

tibbitts
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Post by tibbitts » Thu May 05, 2011 9:54 pm

Our insurance with the same company went from replacing windshields at $0, to only repairing them at $0 (but not replacing), to now applying the deductible to everything. So it varies a lot and generalities don't apply.

I've had used windshields installed and they were ok, but for this amount of money I'd probably go with a new one.

Paul

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Jake46
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Post by Jake46 » Thu May 05, 2011 9:55 pm

I have a $50.00 glass replacement rider. Insurance pays the balance.

Dagwood
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Post by Dagwood » Fri May 06, 2011 5:20 am

AQ wrote:I had a similar problem, or actually bigger crack... Someone mentioned this as safety issue. In what sense? It dones't block my view in any way, since the crack is at the lowest place. I haven't decide to replace it yet, but if it's safety, then I guess I'll bite the bullet.
The windshield is part of the car's structure, odd as it may sound. If you get into an accident, it may not hold again and you could get showered with glass or ejected. It will, for this reason, and due to reduced outward visibility, cause the car to fail an inspection in any of the states where I have lived.

LadyGeek is spot on--change it.

njuser
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Post by njuser » Fri May 06, 2011 5:41 am

From the TX dept of Safety: Will I fail my inspection if my windshield is cracked?
The windshield is NOT an item of inspection. However, the windshield wipers are. Be sure that the crack does not cause the wipers to tear and that the crack has not caused the windshield to become concave or convex so the wipers loose contact with the windshield.

I would fix it though. It's dangerous.

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wander
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Post by wander » Fri May 06, 2011 6:43 am

Insurance Comprehensive coverage will pay for the replacement. Cracked windshield is unsafe. Police at some states would give you ticket for cracked windshield.

Uninvested
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Post by Uninvested » Fri May 06, 2011 11:25 am

I would suggest immediately getting it fixed. I would suggest NEVER submitting a small expense like this to your insurance company nor telling them. You won't get much if anything and your rates will go up.

nwrolla
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Post by nwrolla » Fri May 06, 2011 4:12 pm

Uninvested wrote:I would suggest immediately getting it fixed. I would suggest NEVER submitting a small expense like this to your insurance company nor telling them. You won't get much if anything and your rates will go up.

+1 it can increase your rates i have seen this happen a few times even for chip repairs . The insurance company just looks at total claims not dollar amounts or what the claim was for

mikep
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Post by mikep » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:44 pm

nwrolla wrote:
Uninvested wrote:I would suggest immediately getting it fixed. I would suggest NEVER submitting a small expense like this to your insurance company nor telling them. You won't get much if anything and your rates will go up.

+1 it can increase your rates i have seen this happen a few times even for chip repairs . The insurance company just looks at total claims not dollar amounts or what the claim was for
Depends on the insurance company. Mine won't surcharge glass, towing or hit-run claims, but they surcharge everything else (like if you had control over your car getting stolen somehow). Call and ask them?

chipmonk
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Re: Cracked windshield -- how to proceed?

Post by chipmonk » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:13 pm

teacher_in_tx wrote:A truck passing by in the other direction (going the opposite way of me) drove onto the center lane and apparently -- somehow -- kicked up a rock. There were no other vehicles around. I did not get the vehicle description or license plate number.

The rock hit the far side of my windshield loudly. About two minutes later, a crack began to form and spread, going quickly to 4 inches and then 6 inches. It starts at the very left side of my windshield and proceeds inward.

It sounds like I need to replace the windshield. I obtained quotes -- $298 and $324 -- from two local shops to replace my 2009 Honda Civic Si sedan's windshield. A third shop was all booked up, so no quote from that one.

Thoughts? Should I replace the windshield? Or should I hold off indefinitely?

I figure that I likely will replace it (vanity / safety?), but I hate the $300 expense. :P

It looks like my car insurance won't help due financially to my $1,000 deductible, unless Texas has some relevant law that supersedes this. The one shop I spoke to recommended that I simply pay cash due to the deductible, but I will verify this with others, I suppose.

-mike
My vote is to hold off indefinitely if you don't mind the look.

The exact same thing happened to my windshield, with a very small impact crack spreading quickly. In the months since, the crack has slowly spread and gotten bigger, but it doesn't impede my vision in any way, leak, interfere with the windshield wipes, or appear to be in danger of breaking. I don't think it's a safety issue.

In Oregon, they put way too much gravel on the roads and I have many, many friends with similarly cracked windshields. Some have had them cracked for many years without any further negative consequences. So I'm not planning to fix mine unless the crack starts to impede my vision or I suddenly become more vain about my car's appearance :lol:

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TrustNoOne
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Post by TrustNoOne » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:39 pm

I asked a glass installer about it. I was out of town and wanted to know if it was safe to drive back home 500 miles away. He said it was mainly a cosmetic/visibility issue -beyond that safety is not a major issue. The argument about what happens in a wreck seems like a double worst case scenario. Auto window glass is composed of multiple layers, the crack is normally only in the top layer(s).

Having said that, I got mine fixed, but I would take my time to get the window replaced at the best price/quality option. Take time to shop around -prices vary a lot. I would not jump to get it replaced by the first guy available.

BTW - they will come to your house and do the job, usally pretty quickly.

ann_l
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Post by ann_l » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:49 pm

Wow. I drove around with a cracked windshield-cracked almost all the way across- for years. (It was low enough it didn't impair my vision).

My uncles who knows all about cars said it was fine. I looked at the link posted here and think it's still worth the risk-I'm not worried about it saving me if my car rolls over, or worried that my windshield won't serve as a back-up seatbelt if my real one fails.

Doesn't look that great, though.

marco100
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Post by marco100 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:53 pm


statsguy
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Post by statsguy » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:09 pm

We have used All-Star Glass... they come to your home or workplace. Very easy and good prices.

http://www.allstarglass.net/

Stats

zinnia
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Post by zinnia » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:45 pm

sounds like a liability issue to me.... a cracked windshield could be argued as contributing to an accident by opposing counsel in a civil lawsuit.....I'd fix it.....

harrychan
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Post by harrychan » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:43 pm

You can't 'fix' chips in a windshield. IMO, those are scams. The chip / cracks are still there. They just put some coating there to prevent it from further spreading due to extreme cold for example. If you get hit again relative to the same location, your windshield will likely crack.

Get it replaced...
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

investor
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Post by investor » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:14 pm

been a long time ago, perhaps 1996 but my mother had a cracked windshield in her Honda Accord.

I called a glass company...they said it would be fixed for free. They came to her home and replaced the windshield in her driveway.

Some sort of Safety Issue Warranty.. call Honda and ask. This was in California.

Anyway, your probably crazy to not have it fixed...

investor.

paulsiu
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Post by paulsiu » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:47 pm

I would suggest strongly to get it fix. Window shields are for safety, too. The next rock may go through your windowshield instead. Cops may stop you and give you a ticket. In some places, it will cost you the equivalent of a windshield.

Check with your insurance, Eries for example will fix window shield for free. May be this is a special feature of the insurance, but I am pretty certain other auto insurance may have a similar feature.

If it's just a chip, it can be fix before it spread. ONce it's spread, it's too late.

Paul

ThatGuy
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Post by ThatGuy » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:42 pm

Windshields are made from laminated safety glass, generally two layers of glass with a middle layer of polyvinyl butyral. If you get a crack from a rock on the road, it will be in the outer layer of glass only.

The middle layer is what holds the glass together so it doesn't shatter, so as long as that isn't cut or otherwise compromised, there is no safety issue.

If you don't mind the look, leave the crack there. Also keep in mind that any windshield you replace will go straight to the landfill. You're saving the planet by not replacing your windshield at every crack.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

clearwater
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Post by clearwater » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:43 pm

Well, I'm sure everyone is giving you well-intentioned advice.

It's your money, and your safety. Only you can make the decision which matters more.

For what it's worth, here's how this works from an engineering perspective. Unfortunately I can't make this up or tell ya what the old fellas down at the fillin' station think.

Safety glass is manufactured to a very specific tolerance to resist an impact. The glass sandwich has a tensile strength at manufacture as the sandwich is assembled under pressure and the material "pulls" into its final shape. The strength from that construction only continues to hold as long as that (now single piece) of structure is not impeded in overall integrity. There's a lot of math involved at this point, and I'll spare you that.

The important things to remember are:

1) The windshield forms part of the overall structural integrity of the front third of the vehicle. The rear glass panel fulfills the same role in the other third. The roof is extraordinarily strong and the A/B/C pillars, roof, and glass membranes all work together to make the vehicle strong in terms of side flex and protection during things like a rollover event. [This is a reason convertible sports cars perform so poorly -- with no roof the whole vehicle flexes under load.]

2) Once safety glass has a "break" (a "chip" is somewhat different), the integrity of the structure has been changed. What this means in simple mechanics is that the intact windshield could take the hit of the rock and "fail safely" (which it did), by fracturing but not letting something penetrate, even at high speed (if you're going 60 MPH and the truck traveling the opposite direction kicks up a rock at its velocity, it's hitting you at 120 MPH!). So... now you've got a crack. BUT -- that windshield did its job -- ONCE - as designed, and now needs to be replaced. If ANOTHER impact occurs, the likelihood of the membrane going into FULL FAILURE is high -- this means the windshield could theoretically crack into thousands of small fragments and depending on the incident, fall into the vehicle, stay in place, or any number of things. The short answer is you don't want to find out.

Remember that the windshield is all part of the overall vehicle... it's not just "glass".

So... yes, it looks like a crack. But if it truly wasn't a "big deal", new cars would be shipped with cracked windshields as "no big deal" with a small discount. But they aren't, for a reason. No one will sell you a big liability since the lawyers would be lining up.

It's your money, but honestly, $300?

All you need to do is talk to your local EMT when he's pulled someone out of a car that's had an actual windshield failure. Then think of the REAL rate of return by getting it fixed -- priceless.

markpa
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Post by markpa » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:56 pm

I was in the same situation recently:

Called three local shops (one was Safelite)

Quotes were $970.00, $455, and $604.00. All commented on what an expensive, custom windshield my car required.

Called the same shops back. In two cases talked to the exact same sales reps. "It turns out I don't have any insurance due to a policy lapse, how much for a cash sale": $140.00, $99.00, and $115.00

One of them also said they would save me the sales tax by billing it to a wholesale account. I didn't use that shop, but I did have my choie of PPG or Pilkington glass, not some generic off brand.

travelfar
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Post by travelfar » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:06 am

To benefit others, here are the quotes I received for a recent windshield replacement on a 2000 compact car. All the quotes include the mobile service fee for replacement at my house. I told all companies that this would be an out of pocket expense at the time of receiving the quote. The lowest three prices were from companies with little or bad online reviews. The fourth lowest price* was from a company with many very good online reviews and a satisfying warranty and other policies, so I went with them. Only one of the higher prices was from a national auto glass repair company. All other prices were from locally based companies. This emphasizes the value of getting multiple quotes.

$305
$267
$243
$205
$165*
$157
$156
$155

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