That process isn’t trivial during a windshield repair, lest the driver have a false sense of security when they get their car back. Scroll through this Honda presentation to get a feel for the number of systems and calibration processes involved. In some cases carmakers advise against reusing a windshield any time it’s been removed. And this is spreading to other parts of the car: Ford recently advised that bumper covers on its cars that have advanced driver-assistance systems be replaced any time they need more than a paint job.
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A modern car’s windshield may also have a special display area for a head-up projector, and technology related to automatic wipers or self-dimming high beams. As cars have become more complex, repair shops frequently turn to good quality aftermarket parts to keep costs down, but Ford, Honda and FCA all advise against using aftermarket windshields. BMW goes so far as to request that special electromagnetic compatibility screws be used in repairs so as not to interfere with ADAS features.
You may think your windshield has a single job, that being keep the elements out of the car. It’s hardly “high-tech,” and a repair for so many decades was a lot like replacing glass in any other broken window pane. However, today’s latest technology transformed windshields into much more — and yesterday’s rules surrounding windshield repair are no longer. Here’s what you need to know when you get a windshield replaced today.
Sufficient insurance should cover such procedures, but that doesn’t mean your insurance company likes it. “A lot of these technologies have been driven by … the insurance industry, looking to reduce accident frequency,” says Schulenburg. “Unfortunately, it also can be a challenge because the insurance companies are behind the curve on understanding and underwriting these repair processes.” Yesterday’s 0 windshield replacement can run into thousands of dollars today.