Replace windshield (re-calibrate camera?)

I have a 2017 Subaru Outback that has lots of safety features. Can anyone tell me if the car’s camera really needs to be re-calibrated when the windshield is replaced?

My windshield has a crack in it. Needs to be replaced. Safelite is telling me that when a windshield is replaced, the camera has to be recalibrated (they charge around $300 to do this) or some of the safety features won’t work correctly. They are being very pushy and insistent about it.

The thing is, I have already had the windshield replaced once in this car (about a year ago). At that time, they mentioned that the camera might need to be re-calibrated and they said I could take it to the dealership for this but all the safety features worked fine after the windshield was replaced the first time. I’m curious to know if I got lucky the first time or if the camera doesn’t really need to be re-calibrated and if this is just something they do to make more money. With the $300 for the calibration, the cost of a new windshield will be around $750! Thanks for any information!

Don’t blame Safelite!

Blame Subaru!


Yes, that has to be done. Make sure the type of glass they use is what the camera needs too. The camera imposes optical requirements on the glass, which commonly used run of the mill auto glass doesn’t meet. With all the gizmos and gadgets, nothing is simple w/cars these days.

No one is to blame, that’s just the proper way to service the vehicle.

Yes, the system needs calibration every time the windshield is replaced. You might be able to sneak by without it, but why take a chance? Your lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and perhaps parking proximity sensors will not be 100% accurate without proper calibration. These systems need to be accurate, some require accuracy along the lines of a 1 inch target at 100 yards.

They are trying to repair the car properly without cutting any corners. Good on them.

In car repair terms $300 isn’t a lot of money these days. It’s a reasonable price as far as what I see dealers charge around me.

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OK. Thank you all. I’ll see if insurance will cover it. I just think $750 to replace a windshield is outrageous. My commute to work is mostly interstate so that means a lot of windshield damage.

I wish I could buy a new Subaru that doesn’t have all the safety features. I have lane assist turned off because it drives me nuts. I never use the adaptive cruise control. This is my 2nd Subaru and I love them but I would rather have less safety features and a less complicated car. I also have a 1999 truck with no modern safety features and I don’t mind this at all.

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You might think that but, no. I replaced a windshield in 1994 on my Saturn Coupe. It cost $721 and that car did not have any fancy camera systems. Heck, it was a $13,000 car. In today’s money, that windshield would be $1250.

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Insurance WILL cover recalibration. Let them determine if the price is “fair” They constantly deal with all glass replacement firms. Some batteries require calibration when replaced.

About two months ago I had the windshield replaced in my 2008 Trailblazer. OEM quality replacement done in the driveway by reputable national chain. Took the guy about an hour. I saw what they charged insurance for it- $248. Previously, I had several replaced in my Camry due to expressway stones. They were also around the same amount of money. At one point, I was concerned insurance might balk at yearly replacements so I asked how much if I paid myself. Same price. I wonder why yours was so expensive?

Yes, it needs to be calibrated every time the windshield is replaced. I recommend you join subarforester. org as well and keep an eye on the posts. Many have similar problems, may end up as a class action lawsuit. If this happens again, go for aftermarket windshield.
A rough estimate I have heard is $1300 out the door.

No offense, if lane assists drives you nuts, maybe you should try to stay in the lane unless it is reacting to the patch work on the road. That one feature I think most vehicles should have. Its amazing how people go in and out of the lane and get annoyed if you try to alert them by a quick honk.

Same if you give a quick honk to tell them “get off the phone the light has been green”.


if this is already your second windshield in a 2017 car, you may want to do a self- check your driving style. Not saying it is absolutely your fault, but if you tailgate a lot, replacing windshields may be a problem you face more often than needed…

Some of my drivers at work like to tailgate, and we are replacing windshields way more often than I think we should have to. I have shown them camera footage of them tailgating, and they still do it. at $250 a pop, that adds up very quickly.

and then again, stuff happens. Cracked my wife’s windshield when a rock from 3 lanes over on the interstate was kicked up in our direction.

I asked at the time… sort of a low volume car, big windshield, complicated corner bends was the answer I got. I had one replaced in our Saab, $300. One in my Honda S2000, $240! That was a simple piece of glass.

I was surprised that the glass places in Ohio were always $200 cheaper for self pay. Very open about it. No idea how they got away with that.

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back in the late 90’s my mom had a 91 Firebird, and a neighbor kid tossed a baseball and busted the rear glass. $2100 for a new one…
but that glass was also the trunk lid, lol


A while back I did that to an older lady who sat through a half a cycle of the light she gave me the one finger salute.

Many people feel the same way. But a person has to chose from the choices available if they want to drive a newer car.

The first time it got cracked, it was from a rock on the interstate. The second time, I don’t know what caused it. I don’t remember anything hitting it when I was driving but the crack showed up a couple of days after I got the car serviced (and they ran it through the car wash when it was serviced). Not sure if that might have caused it. Another poster mentioned that there might be a Subaru class action lawsuit because of windshield problems.

Knowing how expensive it is to get a windshield replaced now, I am definitely staying farther away from cars and trucks on the interstate!

I don’t go over the center line. I like to stay as far away from it as possible so sometimes I go over the shoulder line.

Thanks for telling me about the class action lawsuit. When I was researching online about re-calibrating the camera, I saw that some Subarus have weak windshields that have gotten cracks for no reason. The 2nd time this windshield got cracked, I don’t know what caused it.

It’s possible the first replacement job wasn’t done correctly, didn’t follow the recommended procedure etc, which put stress add’l on the glass that it should, and later, after going over a bump, or temperature changes, and that made it crack. I doubt this information is of any practical value, as it would be virtually impossible to prove; still next time you have the glass replaced, ask the shop to make sure they carefully follow Subaru’s replacement procedure for the yr/make/model to the letter.

I had a 1994 Mitsubishi Gallant that I leased ( needed a car in a hurry and liked it but wasn’t sure if I wanted to BUY a Mitsu.)

I was having the windshield replaced by my insurance and using a place my agent recommended. Out of curiosity, I asked how much the windshield was. $519 was the reply. I said, Wow, I’m glad I’m not paying for it I said. The installer/owner said , if you were paying it would be $224. Why is it cheaper for me, I asked. He said I don’t
have to buy YOU hockey tickets. I saw later a lot of insurance agents were charged in this practice, nationwide.

You don’t use the adaptive cruise control and you drive mostly interstate? Wow! That was the best feature of my new car. I do mostly highway driving and the adaptive cruise means a much less stressful drive. Now my car slows down if I get too close to the car in front of me. If I want to pass I look over my shoulder, signal, and change lanes. My car speeds back up and away I go.

If lane assist is driving you nuts and you drive mostly interstate then I am guessing you do a lot of “lane wandering”. It is an annoying feature around town but great on the interstate.

I took the time to learn all the new safety features on my car last year and I have adjusted some of them to my liking. It took a little time, but now my car feels very safe AND it doesn’t annoy me.