Damaged windshield - how to diagnose and replace?

Hey guys, I recently bought a new Honda fit 2013. I love the car, but I think something hit the windshield about a week ago, and a few days ago a growing crack appeared. Sadly by the time I noticed it, it was too large to repair. I was told by my insurance that the windshield would have to be replaced with the manufacturer’s glass, which would consume my insurance’s $500 deductible.

There are some things I’d like to figure out. Was it perhaps a defect in the glass? I saw a potential chip, but I’m not sure if it was a rock or not. The crack grew from, or at least grew to, the bottom of the glass. The pictures will show he crack.

My insurance works with, and recommends safelite, but will the dealership be able to do better? Would they look at it for free to find the cause? Any guidance would be awesome.


What diagnosis is necessary?
You need to have your windshield replaced, if it is too far-gone to repair.

If you were wise enough to have a very low deductible on your Comprehensive (non-collision) Insurance, the cost should be minor or non-existent. Some auto glass shops will replace the windshield in your own driveway, while others require you to go to their shop.

Start making phone calls to both your insurance agent and to local auto glass shops.

Call your insurance company. In my case there was no deductible for a windshield repair and if the windshield needed replacing I only had to pay the Comprehensive deductible.

Ed B.

Same as above. Many insurance companies replace windshields at no cost to you. I replaced mine through Allstate about 2 years ago. The windshield repair people came to my house and replaced it.

Most insurance with “full glass” will replace the windshield with no deductible.


I recently had the windshield replaced on my Mom’s Benz.

At home. I scheduled an appointment, they came on time and did it within the time frame quoted.

We didn’t have glass coverage.

$185 + tax installed for a high quality windshield. Can’t tell the difference from factory glass.

I have a Fit as well and if you stand in front of the car you will notice that the windshield area larger then the front of the car plus the hood combined. Because if the slope of the hood all the junk thrown up by other cars will hit your windshield.
I had my windshield replaced as well because of a crack.
Now for the solution, I leave a big gap between the car in front of me and my car, especially on highways.

On that new of a car you probably have full coverage insurance, although the cost of a windshield is probably less than the deductible. Wouldn’t hurt to look at your policy though.

Hopefully you have better luck than I do. In the 27 years since I got a driver’s license I have spent probably less than 3 of those years driving a car without a crack in the windshield right in my line of sight. It’s a running joke that my head is a rock magnet.

If you have a $50 (or so) deductible for the glass, find an auto glass company that comes to your house. They may offer to waive the deductible if you bring it to their shop. I did this the last time I needed a windshield replacement, and didn’t pay anything. Make sure that you confirm that they waive the deductible when you arrive. If not, be prepared to drive off and have them do it in your driveway. I had a small argument with the shop when it came time to leave concerning the $50. They eventually gave in, but you can avoid this by making sure when you arrive.

It could have been caused by a defect n the glass, yes, but that is all but impossible to prove. If it was a defect involved, the more likely cause would be either the dimension of the glass was off, the dimension of the opening is off, or the original install was faulty. If something is amiss during the original install, when the windshield contracts and expands from normal thermal variations, that could conceivably crack the glass. So when the replacement occurs, ask the folks doing it to check for any of those problems. If they find something, you might can get the manufacturer to help defray the cost.

Make sure you go thru your insurance company because a replacement windshield without it would have been in a $700 range for my Fit.
Looking at the picture once the crack reaches the edge of the windshield the only option is to replace.
I seriously think because of the huge windshield on the Fit, the glass has more stresses then your average car. On other vehicles with “normal” size windshield the chip mostly stays a chip, but on the Fit it turns into a crack.


$700 for a windshield . . . are we talking a Honda brand windshield here?

I see no real advantage to getting factory glass . . . unless you have no choice.

Yep that is the price. It is insane. Of course this is the amount that was sent on a bill to the insurance company by the glass replacer company.
Who knows what the real price is!?!?


Yes, factory glass is extremely expensive.

No surprise, then, that most people don’t buy it.

Unless they’re very wealthy

Unless they have some car in which aftermarket glass would diminish the value . . . classic?

Unless an insurance company is paying for it

FWIW I called the Benz dealer and the factory glass was well over $600 + an EXTREMELY high installation charge

Each state has their own coverage for glass. Here in NH you have to have separate glass coverage. In MA it falls under comprehensive insurance.

The glass is NOT defective. If it was then I’d have 20+ defective windshields over the years. Windshields don’t like being hit by something. A small stone can hit it…and cause a small unforeseen chip that will crack if not taken care of.

I seriously think because of the huge windshield on the Fit, the glass has more stresses then your average car. On other vehicles with "normal" size windshield the chip mostly stays a chip, but on the Fit it turns into a crack.

Size of the windshield will have little to nothing to do with it.

I agree with MikeInNH–the size of the windshield had nothing to do with the crack spreading. I heard the same argument about the “wrap-around” windshield introduced by GM in 1954 in its Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac lines. The story was that the windshield might crack if the car was jacked up. That wasn’t true–I owned a 1954 Buick that I bought from my dad. In the 11 years we owned the car, the windshield never cracked.

Don’t let the insurance company send one of those car butchers on wheels to replace your glass. They will try to get you to go that route since it is cheaper for them. Mobile glass replacement is done by guys with little training and daily quotas that force them to rush through the job as quickly as possible. They rarely prime the scratches they put into the paint as they cut out your old windshield out so you end up with rust bubbling up from behind (I have experienced this twice). Take your car to a reputable glass shop that works with your insurance company and you will be much happier with the result.


I watched the glass guy while he did his thing.

He did not damage any paint.

But I did have to point out a moulding which he didn’t reinstall properly

Mobile glass replacement is done by guys with little training and daily quotas that force them to rush through the job as quickly as possible.

Not all mobile glass places are the same. There are a couple of mobile glass places here in NH that are EXCELLENT. J.N Philips and Portland glass. They also have shops you can drive to. But their mobile units are excellent. Go to almost any dealer here in NH to have your windshield replaced it’ll probably be replaced by one of the Portland Glass mobile trucks.

@db4690 - To get the old windshield out they use a razor tool to cut the seal. This scores the paint under the seal. This scoring MUST be primed or it will eventually rust from the inside out.

@MikeInNH - I agree that mobile units from a reputable glass place CAN be a viable option. But in many places the mobile units are as I described. The mobile units in New York State are frequently one man operations with a guy whose training consisted of shadowing one of the more experienced guys for a day or two before going out on his own. They are then given a quota of 12 or more replacements per day. I have “insider” knowledge on this one. The glass shop I use has two professional installers who work on each vehicle and they take the time to make sure the job is done right. All installations are done in a temperature controlled garage to ensure that new seals adhere properly. My last installation was done in the dead of winter and the insurance company tried to steer me into using a mobile installer to do an outdoor installation when it was 18 degrees outside!!!