Twenty bucks for fixing a rock chip? When shopping around, you may find a wide range of quotes, from dirt cheap to ridiculously high. This article explains whether cheap windshield repairs are a good deal or not and what to watch out for when looking for the lowest price.
Not too long ago, I fixed a failed repair on a large combination break for a customer who paid $20 for it at a full-service car wash.
Large combination breaks are difficult to fix…repairing them requires time, patience, and the expertise of a windshield repair professional.
My customer mentioned the car wash employee only spent a five minutes working on it. That was not anywhere near enough time for such a complicated break.
Fortunately, I was able to drill into the repair and correct it. But often that doesn’t work. What bugged me the most was that my customer could have saved the extra cost by coming to me first. At least he only lost $20 and not his windshield.
What is the Problem with Cheap Windshield Repairs?
Here is what you may not know about discount repair technicians. Many of these guys only get one hour of training before they are turned loose on unsuspecting vehicle owners. I’ve been at car washes and seen them at work first-hand…the techs didn’t know what they were doing and the equipment they were using was cheap, broken, or filthy.
Did you know?
According to a 2011 poll by AGRR Magazine, the U.S. average price for rock chip repair is $56.88.
Since $20 is way below the national average price for windshield repair, the idea is to get a high volume of repairs by upselling car wash customers. Quality doesn’t matter, they make their money on quantity.
When is Cheap Repair Okay?
There are times when going for the cheapest price might be okay. Here are a couple of scenarios when you might consider it:
- The repair is temporary until you can get your windshield replaced. For instance, if you are traveling out-of-state and don’t want to get a ticket for a cracked-out windshield, get a cheap repair then replace the windshield when you get home.
- Your windshield is already damaged. If the glass is already scratched, sand-blasted, and has lots of rock chips and you probably don’t care if the repair looks good or holds for very long.
Under these circumstances, it may not be a bad idea to go with the lowest price since you will have to pay for a new windshield in a few days anyway.
How to Find a Legitimate Auto Glass Repair Company
There are a lot of glass companies out there so be a wise shopper when looking for the lowest price. Here are some things to look for to help you figure out if they are legitimate.
- offer a warranty in writing?
- have a professional business card with a working phone number printed on it?
- provide an itemized receipt printed with their business contact information?
- have good online reviews or are they referred by someone you know?
Some of the low-priced repair techs operating at gas stations, car washes, and going door-to-door are actually scammers. Before going for a cheap windshield repair from someone like that, think about whether the tech will be around if something goes wrong with the repair on your $400 windshield.
About My Services
As a certified professional windshield repair technician, rock chip repair is my specialty. I have been repairing windshields for 10 years and have worked on just about any type of rock chip imaginable. My work is guaranteed.
By the way, my rates are quite reasonable! If you are located in the Dallas Metro area, call me for a free quote.
This Post Has 2 Comments
Great article in educating others of the windshield repair industry! As with any other industry, take your time and do the research.
Here’s a tip we always give to those looking for a legitimate auto glass repair company -Whoever you choose, have them verify and show you at least these three credentials:
1. They are a licensed as a business.
2. They have completed the training to become properly certified.
3. They have insurance in case something goes wrong.
If they can’t provide at least these three basic credentials, you may want to keep looking for someone who can 🙂
That is good advice and I agree that those are minimum requirements. However most techs don’t carry that kind of paperwork around with them even if they have the credentials.
That’s why we recommend asking for a business card and looking at the invoices when you are in a situation like being approached in a parking lot.
If you have your cell phone handy, it is pretty easy to look up reviews but don’t just count on those alone. They need to have several items that show they are a real business such as business cards, lettering or signage on their vehicle, a professional appearance such as a uniform or monogrammed shirts and caps, customized invoices, etc.
Another tip-off is if they accept cash only. Most legitimate auto glass businesses accept checks, credit/debit cards and insurance, not just cash.
If you feel uncomfortable with the person who approaches you and offers chip repair, the best thing to do is not let them touch your vehicle.
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