Why are car windshields so expensive?

As with all products, demand greatly influences pricing. The less you need a windshield, the more expensive it will be. The same goes for the other way around, the more you need it, the less it will cost. All of this influences mass production and large-scale purchasing.

The glass used in car windows is a special type of glass that is more expensive because it is very different from the glass in house windows. Car glass replacement is a job of professionals, and that also adds costs. Cracked windshields are not that easy to repair nowadays. It is more important than ever to choose a technician for your windshield replacement who has a good reputation and experience in the process.

When it comes to cost, aftermarket windshields and replacement services almost always come out cheaper. Studies have shown that even a 1-degree change in the orientation of a sensor can put it at risk, so the technician must do what is called “recalibration” every time the windshield is changed. It is important that the body shop or glass company know the year, make, model and identification number of the vehicle in order for the correct replacement windshield to be installed. In order for HUD, ADAS and rain sensor wipers to work properly, a special replacement windshield must be installed.

If the wrong replacement windshield is installed on a vehicle that has a front screen, “you will get a double or ghost image. Keep in mind that most experts agree that the sealing and quality of your original windshield can never be reproduced, even if you decide to pay for OEM windshield glass. OEM (original equipment manufacturer) windshields are manufactured by your vehicle manufacturer and will look more like your original windshield. In addition to the additional costs due to the required recalibration costs, automakers are increasingly demanding (or at least strongly encouraging) drivers to replace their windshield with OEM glass.

Because every major car manufacturer builds their ADAS system a little differently, whoever replaces the windshield will need to know what calibration method is necessary for their vehicle (some systems even need a combination of static and dynamic calibration). They even claim that the technology behind the windshield could malfunction if you use an aftermarket glass replacement. Windshield protective film (or WPF) has grown tremendously in popularity in recent years and acts as a protective layer for the windshield to prevent it from breaking. It is worth noting that if you need compatibility with windshield-mounted rearview mirrors, rain sensors, front viewing screens, camera-based driver assistance systems and other equipment, the price of a replacement windshield increases.

Vehicles equipped with ADAS windshield wipers and rain sensors require more work than removing the broken windshield and installing a replacement.

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