Car window replacement is not the most expensive fix on your automobile, but it can be very inconvenient. If you are unlucky enough to have one of your car’s windows broken during the rainy or cold season, driving is decidedly uncomfortable. If your car does not have the frame of the door completely surrounding the glass such as with Subarus and other cars, taping plastic over the window makes opening that door impossible. As inconvenient as it is, you can usually find a piece of replacement glass online. However, as much money as you will save by not going to the dealer for the window replacement, there is a downside to buying replacement glass online.
Benefits and Potential Downsides of Online Replacement Auto Glass
A dealership will charge at least $250 for replacement glass and installation. If you need a new windshield, it’s even more. The first place you should look is online. On one of the numerous auction sites or parts inventory sites you can usually find the right size auto glass for your make and model. Consider both the rewards and risks before buying, though.
Lower Cost: Buying a salvaged or even a new piece of auto glass online will almost always cost you less than going through the dealer. You’d be better contacting the manufacturer directly than going through a dealership which marks everything up to make a substantial profit. Better still is to search the web for a great deal on the right replacement window.
Gain DIY Skill: Another possible reward from purchasing a replacement car window online is that it gives you a chance to install it yourself. Windshields aside, installing replacement door glass is possible with the right tools and the extended make and model manual. Doing it may be a challenge, but you will definitely learn something about your car.
Wrong Window: The biggest possible downside from ordering a replacement window over the Internet is that you’ll possibly get the wrong window. Auto glass generally works over a range of model years, but even though the seller claims it will fit, it might not. The reason could be due to differences in manual and power windows or the seller was not completely honest. Be sure to check the customer reviews of sellers before you buy.
Damage During Shipping: Although a responsible seller will ship the auto glass bubble wrapped and completely insulated from shipment damage, it could happen that the replacement glass shatters during transit. Mail insurance is a good thing to buy to prevent this kind of thing from happening. It will add to the shipping fee, but it’s worth the extra money.
Blemishes: It is difficult to take a good photo of a piece of replacement glass. Thus, it may arrive with scratches or other blemishes that did not show up in the photo. While this is a trivial matter, it is a possibility.
Online sales of car replacement glass are a much more affordable way than going to the car dealership. Depending on the make and model of the car in question, you will likely spend a third online of what you would at the dealer. Keep aware of the potential downsides, though, so you know what you’re getting into.