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New technology is finding its way into every orifice of new cars, and windshields are no exception. With this comes increased repair costs. Most people are no strangers to this by now. However, an unexpected area affected is that of windshield repairs. As manufacturers integrate more tech into more places, it was inevitable that this area would also be affected by the increased repair costs associated with high-tech gadgetry.

Mo’ tech, mo’ money

A cracked windscreen on an SUV in Cambodia
Spiderweb cracks on a windscreen | Photo by Jerry Redfern via Getty Images

According to CNET, the main culprit behind more expensive windshield repair here is largely driver-assist tech. In essence, these sensors are often attached directly to the windscreen. Hence, an increase in repair costs. If a windshield is damaged so badly it cannot be patched up, all of that has to come out. Evidently, these things take time, which in turn ups repair costs.

Time is everything in the world of automotive repair. Be it windshields or transmissions, shops bill based on two things: the cost of parts, and the time taken by a mechanic. Unfortunately, a more complex windshield repair needs both of those things. Then, there’s the cost of parts aside from the windscreen, which also ups the bill.

Manufacturer windshields often can’t be reused

A windshield damaged by hail.
Hail damage on a windshield | Harold Hoch via Getty Images

One of the ways that some shops look to save you money is by reusing the windscreen. If damage is minor enough, or not directly on the windscreen, a shop may suggest reusing the windshield. At least, they used to. Now, some automakers urge shops not to reuse the windscreens. This is in part because of the newer safety tech that is being put into today’s new cars. Once that initial protection has been beaten out of a windshield, it’s becoming increasingly hard to reuse it.

Now, this is not to say that this is a bad thing. Yes, there is an increased cost to the consumer due to an increase in complexity. But, that increase in complexity is helping to save lives. Better pedestrian crash standards and driver tech are of the utmost importance. Both automakers and shops must now weigh the increase in complexity and windshield repair costs against the benefit of reducing accidents.

Will windshield repair costs eventually come down?

An insurance adjuster views a broken windshield.
No saving this windscreen | Jack Hardmann via Getty Images

Speaking of weighing things, there’s another set of parameters to consider in this scenario. As of right now, all this driver-assist and crash safety tech comes at an increased cost if things break. But, will this continue to be the case? Luckily, history says no. As these pieces of technology become more common, prices will inevitably come down. Just look at airbags. Once upon a time, this used to be an expensive fix too. Now, it’s commonplace. Ideally, this will be the case with windshield repairs too. For now, it’s an additional cost that consumers must be prepared for, especially during the summer months when hail more prevalent.


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