Windshield Replacement Costs: Why It’s So Darn Expensive

If you’ve ever had to get a windshield fully replaced, you know what we mean. A standard windshield replacement can cost anywhere from $200 up to $1,200. It’s odd that an object with the same function and relatively same design can vary so much. The cost of a windshield will change depending on quite a few factors, but basically it comes down to features, quality, and availability. For instance, replacing a windshield on a 1996 Honda Civic will cost significantly less than replacing a 2019 Mercedes Windshield. Why is that? Because the older Honda is a small, basic car with very few windshield features and generally there are a whole lot of parts drifting around for this model of vehicle. However, the Mercedes has several added-on windshield features and censors, requires high-quality glass, and typically the glass must be ordered. What are the features that make a windshield of newer, high-end vehicles so much pricier? The answer is not that they polish the glass with gold, it has to do more with the add-on technological features that newer cars come with.

1. Windshield Features

In the new era of advanced driver assistance systems, it’s more and more standard for vehicles to have high-tech features like radar, ultrasonic, and video sensor components built into the auto glass. Replacing windshields with these components can be labor-intensive and require specialized computer equipment to ensure a proper replacement. Some of the common elements you’ll find in new vehicles are automatic emergency braking, collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, heated wiper park, shade screens, solar coatings, rain sensors, and more. All of these add-ons mean more complicated manufacturing and quality assurance processes, which ultimately raise the cost.

2. Windshield Quality

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

  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) glass matches and/or outdoes the requirements of car manufacturers. If you purchase this type of glass, you can be certain that the windshield is just as good or better than the original windshield that came with your vehicle. OEM glass integrates seamlessly into your car’s windshield features. This type of glass tends to be much more expensive.


  • Aftermarket glass is manufactured in a slightly different way that may or may not match vehicle production quality requirements. The glass is required to meet the minimum Department of Transportation standards, so you can be certain that the glass is safe, however, the glass might not be completely compatible with advanced driver assistance systems. Aftermarket glass is less costly than OEM glass and is an excellent option for vehicles with fewer windshield features.

3. Availability of Parts

The third factor that can really beef up the cost of a windshield replacement is the availability of glass, parts, or specialists. If own a high-end or foreign-made car, the replacement might require a specialist or specialized computer equipment to make sure that the new windshield integrates seamlessly with its auto glass features.

For any further questions about windshield replacement costs, installation practices, or advice about your particular windshield. Just give us a call! –  Frisco Auto Glass Pros   

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