How does one calculate the windscreen crack repair cost? Should it be replaced instead? How long is it going to take before I can get back on the road? If I decide to go with a repair, will it be seamless and leave no visible indication of a problem?

Time to bear down and answer these questions, one at a time.

First, let’s go with the idea of whether or not a repair is seamless. A common myth is that once you have the fix, the original damage is invisible and the windscreen is spot-free.

The truth is a little more complicated and a bit disappointing. Invisible repair is an extremely rare thing. Most of the time, you’ll instead see that there are parts of the initial break that remain visible. The outline is most likely to remain, but they are not going to spread beyond that point.

A related note is that if the damage is near the driver’s side, that’s a problem. In all likelihood, such damage will call for a replacement, rather than a repair job.

Now, let’s talk price. How much will repairs for a crack cost?

The biggest factor here is size. Smaller cracks, no bigger than the smallest coins, will usually be cheap and well within the ability of a shop to repair. On the other hand, cracks that are larger can rack up higher prices. Obviously, the most expensive option is going for a full replacement.

Apart from the situation set above, what are the times when a crack needs a replacement over just a repair job?

If at any time the crack blocks visibility, you need a replacement. Larger cracks that render the entire glass pane unstable will also require replacement. Apart from these guidelines, the specifics will vary. You’ll need to consult an expert, who will look at the damage and make an assessment based on that.

Now, how long will this process take?

A small chip – say, the size of a stone – takes 30 to 45 minutes. This includes the time needed to let the repair material set properly. The vehicle is ready to go right away after that. Larger chips or cracks will take more time.

For a replacement, that’s a more involved process. Adhesives are used that require more time to cure. The more adhesive is used (thus factoring in the size of the car itself) the longer it takes to cure. This means that your car will be sitting in the shop for a longer period.

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