Why is replacing a windshield so darn expensive?

If you’ve ever had to get a windshield replaced, you know exactly what I’m talking about. A normal windshield can cost anything from $300 up to $1,200. It seems strange that an object with the same function and relative design can vary so wildly. The cost of a windshield changes depending on several variables, but basically it comes down to features, quality, and availability.

Windshield Replacement

To give an example, replacing a windshield on a Toyota Corolla from 1998 will cost significantly less than replacing the windshield of a 2019 BMW. Why is that? Because the older Toyota is a small, basic car with very few windshield features and generally there are plenty of parts floating around for this type of vehicle. The BMW, however, has several windshield features, requires high-quality glass, and generally the glass must be ordered. What are the features that make a windshield of newer, higher-end vehicles so much more expensive? The answer is not that they dust the glass in gold, it has to do more with the add-on technological features that newer cars come with.

1. Windshield Features

In the new age of advanced driver assistance systems, vehicles tend to have high-tech features like ultrasonic, radar, and video sensor components integrated into the windshield. Replacing windshields with these components can be time-consuming and require special computerized equipment to ensure a safe replacement.

Some of the common features you’ll find in new vehicles are lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking, collision avoidance, heated wiper park, solar coatings, shade screens, rain sensing wipers, and more. All of these add-ons imply more complicated manufacturing and quality assurance processes, raising the cost.

2. Windshield Quality

A windshield’s quality can be broken down into two different types of manufacturing processes.

  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) glass matches and/or exceeds the requirements of vehicle manufacturers. If you purchase this type of glass, you can be sure that the windshield is just as good or even better than the original windshield for your vehicle. OEM glass easily integrates into your car’s windshield features. This type of glass tends to be much more costly.
  • Aftermarket glass is manufactured in a slightly different way that might or might not match vehicle manufacture quality requirements. The glass must meet the minimum Department of Transportation standards, so you can be sure that the glass is safe, however, the glass might not be compatible with advanced driver assistance systems. This type of glass is less costly than OEM glass and can be a great option for older vehicles with fewer windshield features.

3. Availability

The third factor that can really add to the cost of a windshield replacement is the availability of parts or specialists. If your car model is high-end or foreign made, the replacement might require a specialist or specialized computer equipment to ensure that the new windshield integrates perfectly with its windshield features.

For any further questions about windshield replacement costs, installation practices, or advice about your particular windshield. Just give us a call Frisco Windshield Replacement!

Author: Evanie Squires