Broken Windshield – Questions to Ask Before You Get It Fixed


Windscreen cracks and defects can often mean more than just an annoying interruption to your vision whilst driving. It is plain that a completely broken windshield has to be replaced immediately. Thoughts of making it that last 10 miles home are quickly dispelled after a few hundred yards of facial bombardment of insects and road debris. If its raining your main concern is to get a cover over the opening before the water trashes all your upholstery and dashboard electronics. Driving in the rain without a windshield is extremely dangerous, bad for your upholstery and illegal!

So when you have a broken windshield – Questions to ask before you get it fixed should include:

• Will I have to pay anything at the time of replacement, or indeed later?
Beware sometimes a deductible or similar may be due.

• Do I need to be with the vehicle when the repairers arrive?

If the vehicle is locked, usually this is a yes because they will want the keys so that the door seals can be cleaned and the steering wheel turned to remove broken glass from just behind the wheel (the steering lock needs to be off, keys-in to rotate the steering wheel)

• Is my vehicle going to cleaned professionally and all broken shards of glass removed? Some replacement services pay scant attention to other than minimal cleaning of glass debris, so caveat for the cut-price service is that you may end up paying for a valet to have your car returned to its original state of cleanliness!

• Does my insurance coverage include windshield replacement?
Look in your glove box, on your windshield for a sticker, or on your insurance card for a toll-free phone number.
Once you have determined the above enquiries, you can choose the following courses of action:

• Arrange to have the vehicle towed to the dealer of your choice so that they can arrange a replacement (most expensive option).

• If you have vehicle insurance that includes ‘windshield breakage cover’, they will arrange for a local mobile service unit to come out and replace the windshield roadside. Where referred by your insurance, the bill will usually be covered unless you have a deductible, in which case you will be expected in most cases to pay at time of installation.

• Use internet access on your cell phone to find a local windshield replacement service. With this method you can compare some prices and installation time to match your wallet and the urgency your need to get the windshield replaced.(cheapest option)

• Call your AAA or similar roadside assistance organization, which may find you a service provider and make the necessary arrangements for someone to come out and replace your windshield. Reputable roadside assistance such as AAA have a pre-defined network of suppliers who are quality and price controlled, so their customers know what they are in for financially and from a quality viewpoint. The roadside assistance organization that does not have such a network of suppliers may send you a poor quality, expensive windshield replacement service provider – beware!

• The last option is to call a cab, abandon your car to the mercy of the highway verge, go home/back to work and organize your windshield replacement needs in comfort!
This is not an ideal option although waiting in bad weather at the side of the highway for half-an-hour upwards is not an inviting prospect either!

On average it takes about 2 hours to get a new windshield fitted, depending on where you are. It takes about an hour to do a professional job of replacing a windshield.

So when you have a broken windshield – Questions to ask before you get it fixed, as with many other automobile services available, must address price, quality, suitability and availability. If you want to be a satisfied customer, don’t gamble on who will meet your windshield replacement needs, check out your options first – help to stack those odds in your favor!

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