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Cracked Windshields? Affordable Replacement Options For Startups

kokou adzo

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par brise

You’re driving down the highway when you hear a loud pop. Next thing you know, there’s a huge crack splattered across your windshield. Sound familiar? Dealing with cracked auto glass is a rite of passage for most drivers these days.

But while getting your windshield repaired or replaced may seem unavoidable, the costs can seriously take a toll, especially if you’re a cash-strapped startup trying to pinch pennies.

The Startup’s Dilemma

The average price for a windshield replacement rings up at $400, with some luxury vehicles exceeding $1,500! Even if you just need a simple repair, you’re still looking at dropping up to $100. Yikes. As a small business owner trying to get your company off the ground, that kind of unexpected expense can be brutal.

But before you resort to duct-taping cardboard over the cracks Spiderman-style, rest assured there are ways to restore your windshield without shattering your startup’s bottom line. Services such as Discount Auto Glass are worth considering, and there are repair options from DIY to creative cost-cutting measures.

In this guide, you’ll explore all your options for scoring affordable windshield repairs and replacements without compromising those vitally important safety and structural elements. Time for some creative cost-cutting!

Causes and Consequences of Cracked Windshields

Start by getting clear on what causes windshields to crack in the first place, and why it matters so much. Identifying the underlying problems can help you be proactive about prevention in the future.

The most common cause of windshield damage? Debris from the road. One tiny pebble is all it takes to create those ominous-looking splinter marks that rapidly expand across your field of vision.

Construction zones are notorious minefields for loose gravel that gets whipped up by passing cars. Even a paint chip or hard bug guts streaking along at 65 MPH packs enough force to puncture the glass.

Weather Events

Extreme weather events like hail storms or winter ice can also inflict some nasty windshield lacerations. Speaking of cold temps, dramatic temperature shifts create expansion and contraction that places stress on auto glass. Parking your vehicle inside a warm garage and then exposing it to below-freezing chills is an easy recipe for new cracks.

Car Crashes

All startups face safety considerations. But, do not forget good old fashioned car accidents. Collision impacts, no matter how minor, can cause the windshield to shatter instantly. Even low-speed bumper bashes can bend and warp the frame enough to disturb the careful windshield seal and protective layers of laminate built to absorb shock.

No matter the cause, living with a compromised windshield is bad news. Visibility obstruction poses an obvious threat to safe driving, but it also puts you at risk of getting pulled over and ticketed. Cracked glass allows moisture seepage inside the dashboard and can fry those expensive electronic components.

The Importance of Windshields

Moreover, your windshield provides up to 50% of the roof’s crush-resistance in certain rollover situations. The laminated inner layer is specifically engineered to keep glass shards from spraying passengers in a crash. It even facilitates proper airbag deployment. Driving around with fractured windows could literally be the difference between life and death.

Yeah… probably not worth skimping on repairs to save a quick buck now that you look at the whole picture. Protecting your customers, your team, and yourself needs to be the ultimate priority. So now investigate how to restore your windshield functionality promptly while keeping an entrepreneurial eye on the expenses, hmm?

Professional Replacement Considerations

Delegating the work to seasoned windshield professionals may seem like the “safest” option, but customer reviews on discount auto glass services prove you can score quality repairs for an affordable rate if you know where to look. Here’s what to consider if going the pro route:

OEM vs Aftermarket Parts

Opting for aftermarket windshield replacements rather than shelling out for pricier OEM factory glass can save you big time. You’re talking a few hundred dollars in savings easy.

The materials, manufacturing methods and safety testing are virtually identical. Often the only difference is the lack of an “official” manufacturer logo etched onto replacement aftermarket windshields.

Mobile Services

More and more auto glass shops are offering mobile installations, dispatching technicians straight to your office or parking lot for onsite windshield repairs. Choosing a mobile windshield replacement service eliminates the costs and hassle of towing your vehicle into the shop. No need to disrupt your workday shuttling cars around town. Sweet!

Insurance Coverage

File an insurance claim before laying down a single cent. Windshield coverage is often bundled into comprehensive policies. Depending on your deductible amount, they may foot the entire bill or cover a portion of replacement charges.

Dealing directly with the insurance reps on your behalf is a major perk offered by reputable auto glass companies like Discount Auto Glass.

Vetting Providers

With so many auto glass shops to consider, it pays to vet a few top contenders thoroughly. Search for properly accredited and insured operations in your area with advanced equipment and highly skilled technicians.

Customer reviews should report quality workmanship and excellent transparency throughout the claims process. Don’t commit to anything without seeing documentation on parts warranties either.

DIY Repair Options

Maybe after some number-crunching you decide professional auto glass replacement still busts the ol’ startup budget. No sweat! Thanks to widely available commercial resin kits, repairing minor windshield damages yourself is easier than ever.

Time to look at what’s feasible to tackle solo before determining if you should DIY or phone a friend:

Windshield Repair Kits

Affordable resin kits allow you to fill small bullseye chips, star cracks and superficial scratches that haven’t expanded across the entire windshield. The process involves cleaning out debris, injecting adhesive resin, and sealing it off with a curing film to dry. Most kits contain enough materials to repair several damages for less than $15.

Tools Needed

In addition to resin adhesive and application tools like an injector syringe and razor blade, you’ll need windshield repair items like suction cups to keep the glass steady while working. Make sure you have ample lighting and eye protection before attempting the repair.

Advantages Over Replacement

DIY fixes save you from paying professional labor fees to install an entirely new windshield. The products and skills required are relatively simple compared with total replacements. If cracks reappear later, you can easily perform another resin treatment for minimal cost.

Limitations

Successfully patching up extensive windshield spiderwebs takes advanced equipment and techniques best left to glasswork experts. Similarly, chips directly obstructing the driver’s sightlines often require replacements for safety. Knowing when to call in the pros is key with DIY!

Creative Cost Cutting Measures

Maybe the windshield damage exceeds your DIY comfort zone, but you still need to watch expenses like a hawk. Time to put on those entrepreneur thinking caps! There are always ways to negotiate better rates if you get creative…

Insurance Deductible Evaluation

Crunch the numbers to see if paying your deductible makes financial sense versus paying for the windshield repair/replacement completely out-of-pocket. Include factors like potential rate increases down the road.

Negotiating Rates

Don’t jump on the first quote you’re given. Haggle respectfully with auto glass providers to request discounted rates. Inquire about any current promotions or seasonal specials too. Refer friends and colleagues to earn loyalty rewards.

Aftermarket Parts

We already covered scoring discounted aftermarket windshield replacements rather than paying premium dealer prices for OEM glass. Ask if they offer aftermarket options during quote comparisons.

Community Programs

Some vocational schools provide low-cost services to give aspiring glasswork technicians hands-on practice. Reach out to trade schools and community programs to see if they offer auto glass repair options.

Tax Write-Offs

Windshield repairs and replacements for company-owned vehicles may qualify as valid tax deductions. Consult your accountant to maximize write-offs. Every little bit counts when you’re bootstrapping a business!

Best Practices for Startups

As an entrepreneur, you may operate on a tight budget, but you should never compromise safety. Here are some overarching windshield replacement tips to remember:

Prioritize Safety

Resist tapes and plastic sheeting as a temporary fix for cracked windshields. While road-legal, obstructed vision or weakened structural integrity seriously endangers drivers. Make prompt repairs a top priority.

Foster Provider Relationships

Establish ongoing relationships with reputable auto glass shops like Discount Auto Glass that offer registered technicians, quality certifications and loyalty rewards. Trusted partners help smooth over the claims and repair process.

Preventative Maintenance

Be vigilant about parking in protected areas whenever possible. Regularly inspect windshields for minor dings that can be quickly patched. Addressing damage early prevents costly replacements resulting from neglected cracks spider webbing out of control.

Financial Planning

Treat windshield repairs like any other operational budget line item for your startup fleet. Open a dedicated savings account to cover inevitable auto glass mishaps without blowing your budget. Consider adding glass coverage to your startup business insurance policies too.

Key Takeaways on Affordable Windshield Replacement

Dealing with a cracked windshield causes enough headaches without the financial anxiety. As a scrappy startup owner, you can tackle repairs without overextending yourself by remembering these key tips:

Weigh Cheaper Options

From DIY repair kits to scouting discounted mobile replacement services, various affordable options exist for cracked windshield fixes. Know your limitations and fully vet providers.

Never Sacrifice Safety

While cheaper alternatives may suffice for minor chips and cracks, extensive damages necessitate new windshield installations. No amount of savings offsets endangered drivers and passengers if severely compromised auto glass fails to protect occupants.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Crunching the numbers to determine ideal scenarios based on damage severity, repair complexity, insurance contributions and other monetary factors helps guide sensible, ethical decisions.

In a Nutshell

Prioritizing safety while exploring money-saving auto glass solutions lets startups fix windshields without decimating your delicate financial ecosystems. With proactive prevention and relationship-building, you’ll have cracked windshields covered and keep your vision clear both on the road and for your company’s future!

 

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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