Replacing your cracked or damaged windshield at the junkyard can certainly be worth it, if you are willing to spend some time looking for the right windshield and an equal amount of elbow grease installing it.
So here’s the deal: the good ol’ junkyard has the answer to all of life’s mysteries if you know where to look. Rumor has it that everything from Sasquach to the identity of D.B Cooper can be found in the junkyard if you know where to look.
More importantly, replacing your cracked or damaged windshield with a junkyard windshield can be worth it because it can save you a few hundred dollars.
Today in this article, we’re going to cover all the information you need to know including:
- Whether or not you want to replace your damaged windshield with one from a junkyard;
- The pros and cons of replacing your windshield yourself (especially as a first time DIYer)
- The information you’ll need to know ahead of time before you go to the junkyard;
- What you’ll need to actually replace your windshield;
- And a whole bunch of other stuff that’s probably more useful that our earlier attempts at humor.
Does that sound good?
Before You Rip Your Old Windshield Out, Check If It’s Covered Under Insurance
More likely than not, you are reading this article because your windshield got damaged and you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a windshield replacement.
Quite frankly, we can’t blame you.
So before you spend money on a junkyard windshield replacement, you should check to see if your insurance covers your windshield replacement.
We actually wrote an article about whether or not your insurance covers your windshield replacement not too long ago.
From that article:
Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and South Carolina require insurance companies to allow those with comprehensive insurance to pay for an add-on windshield replacement with no deductible to their policies.
So if you find yourself in one of these states with comprehensive coverage, enjoy your free windshield. If not, you may have to go through the process of making a claim through your insurance. If you have a busted windshield, repair costs likely won’t exceed $400 dollars, so if you have a $500 dollar deductible it may not be worth it.
State farm does not appear to have a uniform “if your windshield is damaged” we’ll replace it free provision. Comprehensive insurance does appear to cover your windshield for free. Otherwise, you should expect to pay a deductible. The most common State Farm deductible is $500 and considering the price of a windshield replacement (~$200) it may be better to just fix it.
For more information, visit the State Farm windshield and glass claims portal here.
Depending on your contract, if you have what GEICO terms “comprehensive physical damage coverage” your windshield may be covered if it’s broken, although you’ll likely be subject to a deductible.
Cracks and chips that are smaller than a dollar bill can be repaired if you have the appropriate coverage. GEICO will waive your deductible if this is the case. For more information, check your auto insurance policy for your coverages, or read here.
Much like GEICO, Progressive requires you to have comprehensive insurance in order to get a covered windshield replacement. You will be subject to a deductible unless you live in a state that offers what Progressive calls a $0 deductible option on glass only replacement claims. This deductible can be separate from your main deductible.
Progressive will waive your deductible if your windshield is cracked or chipped and the crack or chip is less than 6 inches long.
Learn more here.
Allstate covers your windshield repair if you have comprehensive coverage, although your deductible will still apply and you’ll have to submit a claim.
Whether or not you pay a deductible will depend on the state you live in, and what your policy is. If you have full glass coverage in one of the states where it’s sold, you won’t have to pay out of pocket.
Liberty Mutual follows a comprehensive coverage model for their windshield replacement much like the other insurers on this list. Much like other providers as well, it should waive your deductible for repair work for any cracks that are considered smaller than a dollar bill, which is about 6 inches or so.
Check with your insurance company. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage or your windshield replacement isn’t covered for some reason, then and only then is it time to hit the junkyard.
First Things First, Junkyards DO Sell Windshields
As we mentioned earlier, junkyards sell a whole heck of a lot of things. One of those is windshields.
Right now, our autombiles are the #1 most recyled consumer product in the entire United States. Between 12-15 million vehicles a year are retired from active service, and many of them end up in salvage/junkyards.
Lucky for you, this means that you can get a great deal on a replacement windshield for your vehicle.
Some junkyards even offer shipping. For example, UsedPart.Us has a pretty decent selection of inventory from what we’ve seen.
Of course we reccomend checking with your local junkyard first, as most junkyards are small businesses that employ less than 10 people. Buy local first if you can, and if not, then look at a national retailer.
How Much Does Buying A Windshield At A Junkyard Cost?
Buying a windshield at a junkyard will cost you anywhere from $20-$60 dollars, with around $40 dollars being the average.
We went ahead and contacted several salvage yards in our area (Florida) about the price. Depending on the make and model of the vehicle you take the windshield from, we got prices all the way up to $60 dollars.
Depending on where you live, what it ends up costing you may be more or less than our estimate.
But we can say one thing for sure…
A Junkyard Windshield Replacement Costs A Whole Heck Of A Lot Less Than A New Windshield
According to glass.usa, the average windshield replacement runs somewhere between $210-$230 dollars, with a range anywhere between $100 at the lowest, and up to $1,500 for certain luxury models.
Here’s what Glass.usa had to say:
The most important factor when determining the cost is the type of vehicle. Luxury vehicles like Lexus and Mercedes Benz require specific windshields and will increase the cost of repairs. Some popular vehicle models, take Honda, for instance, are more common than others and repair shops often keep these high-demand windshield models on hand at competitive prices. Sensors on the glass, such as rain sensors, as well as windshield wipers for different makes and models play into the cost of repair as well. For example, certain Mazda models have more sensors than others, which will add to the cost. If you add wiper assembly cost, from ten to twenty dollars, various vehicles require different sizes and assembly installation, but you can plan on paying more overall. Windshield replacement costs vary, depending on the make, model and year of your vehicle but the installation procedure is generally the same.If you want to get a free quote for your windshield replacement from Glass.usa, you can do so by clicking this link here.
As you can see above, in many cases it’s going to be cheaper to do the repair work yourself. Of course, even though you’re saving money in terms of dollars, you will have to invest some time that you wouldn’t have to if you paid a pro to do it.
The Pros Of Replacing Your Windshield With A Junkyard Windshield
There’s a number of pros to replacing your windshield with a junkyard one that include:
- It’s a lot cheaper than paying someone else to do it, at least in terms of dollars (especially if you have a luxury vehicle).
- You have a lot of choices if you are willing to look.
- You may be able to find an already tinted windshield – which if you live in a sunny state like Florida is well worth it.
- In most cases there’s no waiting period to get your windshield.
- No waiting hours or even days for an auto-glass shop to do the repair.
- Once you learn how to do it, if your windshield ever gets busted again you don’t need to stress at all because you can fix it.
- You get the personal satisfaction that comes from a DIY job like this.
- Most auto salvage/junkyard owners are small businesses, so by buying a windshield from them you are supporting the community! Go you!
The Cons Of Replacing Your Windshield With A Junkyard Windshield
Unfortunately, with every good thing comes some downsides, which include:
- You can’t guarantee that the windshield you choose is safe (although you can be reasonably sure)
- Your manufacturer warranty may not cover the replacement windshield.
- Your Auto insurance may not cover the replacement windshield, although chances are that doesn’t matter to you anyway.
- You’re going to have to do the repair yourself, which does mean putting in some elbow grease (and some time!).
- It’s possible to do this repair wrong. It’s doable, but not necessarily simple.
Decided You’re Going The Junkyard Route? Watch These Videos
Rather than list out all the steps here (because let’s be honest, who wants to read when they can just watch?) we went ahead and selected two great videos that will help you fix your windshield.
This first video by YouTuber oldskool funk shows a first hand account of what a first time windshield replacement may look like. It’s a great video to help you set reasonable expectations, as well as how to learn what to do.
The second video below, by YouTuber EricTheCarGuy also explains how to replace your windshield. This video is a bit more of a professional take if you want a reference point.
Like Saving Money On Your Car? We’ve Got A Surprise For You
Replacing your windshield on your own is a big win that puts money in your pocket. Even though it’s a harder job to do, you can still do it!
But what about a big job like an engine or transmission replacement? Would you feel as comfortable doing one of those yourself?
But, if you entrusted those repairs to a mechanic, you’d probably be looking at a bill that could cost up to $8,000 dollars.
And unfortunately, if your vehicle is getting up there in age (or even if it isn’t, freak breakdowns happen all the time), at some point something in your car is going to break.
Hopefully it won’t be more expensive then your windshield.
As you can see above, there are a lot of major repairs that cost a whole heck of a lot more – and we’re willing to bet you probably don’t want to pay for those.
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