After her car was blindsided earlier this summer, Toronto resident Nicole Callahan found herself staring at her prized vehicle with a smashed windshield. Someone had taken a hammer straight through the window. She was heartbroken. She gathered a few of her friends, and they came up with a few suggestions and tips on how to shop for the best windshield replacement quotes.
The prevailing consensus was the following: Getting your windshield replaced is a choice that should not be taken lightly. After all, the windshield is one of the most important safety features of your vehicle, and if it’s not replaced properly, it could lead to serious consequences later – in some cases, a windshield that hasn’t been installed correctly will literally pop out of the car upon impact.
We ran the suggestions of Nicole’s friends past a panel of windshield replacement experts, and these were the ones that made the cut:
“Whatever you do, don’t go with the first quote” [Nicole’s neighbor]
While it’s easy to jump at the first quote – who wants to spend part of their day tracking down many competing offers? – That’s never a good idea. The reason is simple: by getting at least three different offers, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars. Competition is a good thing, and when you understand what the “going market rate” is, you’re in a lot better position to bargain.
“Always ask if they’re using original equipment glass” [Nicole’s best friend]
The reason why some windshield replacement experts are able to offer cheaper rates is because they are not using original equipment glass – which is the glass that the original car manufacturer would use. You might be surprised, but no law says a windshield has to be replaced by this type of glass. If it fits, it can be installed, and that’s led to a secondary (i.e. “gray”) market for almost-new windshields.
“Never, ever turn this into a DIY project” [Nicole’s friend at work]
If you head down to the local automotive supply store, there are plenty of DIY kits that claim to make windshield repair easy and painless. But windshield replacement is a whole different level than windshield repair. Failure to install a windshield could have fatal consequences later – if it gets dislodged upon impact, you could be ejected from the vehicle. Or, if the air bags deploy, the windshield could shatter on top of you and your loved ones.
“Always ask for certifications” [Nicole’s running partner]
There are some websites – such as SafeWindshields.org – that can help you find local experts who are certified to replace auto windshields. These certifications can help guarantee that the work is done professionally and correctly. You can also try to contact the Auto Glass Safety Council [LINK: www.AGSC.org] – they might be able to recommend a trusted windshield replacement expert.
Nicole eventually got her windshield replaced by autoglass-mississauga – repair service – on time and budget. In a few days time, she was back to her old schedule, and she’s thankful to her friends and neighbors for helping out with their recommendations. Her windshield replacement choice ended up using original equipment glass, was certified, and the quote came in mid-way between the lowball bid and the impossibly high bid.
More tips on how and where to find an auto glass repair shop here