Jeeps are natural off-roading vehicles, but sometimes a misplaced stone or overhanging branch causes a broken or cracked windshield. In addition to making it harder to see the trail, a cracked windshield can create a weak point and make trail riding more dangerous. If your Jeep has a cracked or broken windshield, it’s a good idea to replace it before you head back out on the road or trail. How can you replace the windshield on your Jeep, and when is repair an option?
OEM Is Better, But Also More Expensive
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windshields are almost always going to be the best option. You’ll have the perfect fit with the highest quality, and possibly a factory warranty. Unfortunately, they’re also almost always the most expensive option. An OEM windshield for a Wrangler between 2011 and 2015 will cost you upwards of $800.
Look into comprehensive insurance for your Jeep — not only will this protect you in the event of a crash, most comprehensive insurance policies include free or reduced-cost glass replacement. Some policies waive your deductable for glass replacement, which makes it much less expensive.
Repair vs. Replacement
For small cracks and chips, repairing the windshield might be an option. Windshield repairs are usually cheaper than replacements — even professional repairs can cost as little as $50. It’s also much better for the environment, especially if your shop doesn’t recycle windshield glass. Repair also helps retain the factory windshield seal for as long as possible. You can get the windshield replaced by a professional, but it’s never going to be as strong as that factory seal.
If your crack or chip is small enough, consider repair instead of replacement. The only exception here is if the crack or chip is compromising the windshield’s structural integrity or is within the sweep of the driver’s side windshield wiper. A glass technician can examine the glass and let you know what course of action is best.
You Can Do It Yourself, But Be Careful
Replacing your Jeep’s windshield yourself is also an option, but you want to be careful to do it right, or you’ll end up paying even more to have someone fix your mistake. If you’re confident in your DIY abilities, though, replacing your own windshield can help save you some money on labor costs.
Most new windshield glass will come with a new gasket as well. You will need to invest in at least one tube of urethane adhesive to secure the new glass in place. Depending on your particular Jeep model, there are plenty of DIY videos and websites to take you step by step through the replacement process, so feel free to brush up on your skills before you start taking things apart.
Have a backup plan, though, just in case things go sideways and you’re not able to replace the windshield yourself.
Whether you choose to replace your windshield yourself, have a professional do it or just repair the cracks, having a clear windshield is essential to driving safety, no matter where you choose to drive your Jeep. The most cost-effective way to handle this might be to invest in comprehensive insurance for your Jeep that includes glass replacement, but make sure to get a few quotes before you sign on to any insurance policy. While you’re at it, take the time to get some replacement quotes from local glass shops so you have some idea of the most cost-effective steps to take.
Don’t drive around with a broken windshield when you’ve got so many options to get it repaired or replaced.
Do you have any advice? Please post in the comments section, below.