It’s illegal to drive with a broken windshield that obstructs your vision, and it can also be incredibly dangerous. Therefore, as soon as the glass breaks, you need to decide if you should just have the break repaired or if you should replace the windshield entirely. There are many factors to consider, including the following.
The Size of the Problem
If it’s just a small chip or crack, perhaps caused by a pebble striking the window on the highway, you can often just have it repaired. Doing so is fast and inexpensive, and it also keeps the crack from spreading out over time. If the crack is substantial, though, perhaps reaching all the way across the windshield or branching out in all directions, the glass likely needs to be replaced.
Whether or Not You Own Your Car
If you bought your car outright with cash, or if you bought it with an auto loan and have since paid it off, you may be able to just repair the damage. You’re simply trying to get your car to last longer now that you don’t have to make monthly payments. If you have not yet paid it off or if you’re just leasing it, though, replacement is the better option. In fact, if it’s leased and you turn it in with significant damage, they’re just going to charge you for it anyway, so you’re best off to do it in advance – when you have more control over the process and the pricing.
Naturally your budget plays into your decision, as does your insurance coverage. With a tight budget, repairing the windshield may be the only realistic option that you can afford on short notice. If you have a pretty flexible budget though, a replacement may be safer for your family. It also pays to check your insurance coverage to see if both repair and replacement are covered and what the deductible is. If it’s low enough that it would be the same either way, replacement may make more sense. You are paying for the insurance after all, so you might as well make use of it!
Finally, as noted above, you can get a citation for windshield damage that makes driving your car unsafe. If you’ve already been pulled over for a crack that goes up or across the windshield, or if you’re worried that you will be, windshield replacement in Pensacola FL is the best option to avoid tickets and legal issues.