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Well the topic says it all - the time has come for me to replace the windshield in my Rav. Of course this is not really by my choice, but because a small chip turned into a big crack today, and I can't drive around with a foot long crack in my field of vision.

It's had a quarter-sized chip/crack for the past two years, about 1/3 of the way up the windshield and 3 inches in from the driver's side pillar. I had it "fixed" by Safelite not too long after I noticed it, but 2 years later the "fix" "broke". A few months ago I noticed a 1/2" long crack starting to radiate from the chip, and I figured it was only a matter of time before it got worse. I went out to Best Buy today on my lunch hour, and when I came out of the store and got back into my Rav, there it was.

So I called up some local glass shops, including the national chains like Safelite and Triumph, and a few of the independent shops. I also called the local Toyota dealers to see who they recommend. The glass deductible on my Geico insurance is $500 so a new windshield was going to be solely a cash transaction. The quotes I got were in the low $200 range installed, which I don't think is too bad. When it comes to many items I purchase, I tend to trust the local independent shops more than national chains even though it costs a little more. I found a local shop that does all the glass work for one of the local Toyota dealers, and they will come out to my office and fix it right in the parking lot, all for the price of $225. So I have an appointment later this week, and we'll see how it goes.

As a sidenote, I should mention that I opted for non-Toyota brand OEM-quality glass, mainly because I found that the original Toyota windshield was not very durable, therefore I couldn't justify paying more for the Toyota windshield. However, the installer is going to replace the moulding with genuine Toyota parts when they do the glass.
 

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IKEA gave me a new windshield. okay, i'm lying...not really.

I'm helping my friend haul her cousin's newly purchased shelves from IKEA to her home. My friend stops suddenly at an intersection. I slam on the brakes happy that I didn't hit her. A fraction of a second later, the 3 shelves we were transporting slid from the rear of the cabin and.......BAMB!......came crashing into the winshield. Expressions on everyone's face wasn't good. What happened happened, so I smiled shrugged it off and later went to an autoshop to get it fixed.

$250 includes tax and installation. They did it in a few hours a couple days later. Everything's good.

I think a windshield accident is the best type of accident....especially at low speeds and everyone turns out okay. If I hit the other car and got body damage on both cars, it would cost a lot more,..and take longer to fix at the body shop. It's a hastle and pain in the butt. Windshield fixes are quick and happen in a flash. Some companies will even come to your house to do it for you! I got a free dinner out of this accident, an apology, and $125 from my friend. Again, everything's good.
 
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zoomie said:
IKEA gave me a new windshield. okay, i'm lying...not really.

I'm helping my friend haul her cousin's newly purchased shelves from IKEA to her home. My friend stops suddenly at an intersection. I slam on the brakes happy that I didn't hit her. A fraction of a second later, the 3 shelves we were transporting slid from the rear of the cabin and.......BAMB!......came crashing into the winshield. Expressions on everyone's face wasn't good. What happened happened, so I smiled shrugged it off and later went to an autoshop to get it fixed.

$250 includes tax and installation. They did it in a few hours a couple days later. Everything's good.

I think a windshield accident is the best type of accident....especially at low speeds and everyone turns out okay. If I hit the other car and got body damage on both cars, it would cost a lot more,..and take longer to fix at the body shop. It's a hastle and pain in the butt. Windshield fixes are quick and happen in a flash. Some companies will even come to your house to do it for you! I got a free dinner out of this accident, an apology, and $125 from my friend. Again, everything's good.
I've had windshields replaced enough that I know the non-OEM ones are made of thinner glass and will chip, crack and spider more easily when stones happen to slam into them. OEM glass is thicker and resists cracks better. But, since the RAV sits up higher, this shouldn't be a problem.
 
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JohnnyG said:
I've had windshields replaced enough that I know the non-OEM ones are made of thinner glass and will chip, crack and spider more easily when stones happen to slam into them. OEM glass is thicker and resists cracks better. But, since the RAV sits up higher, this shouldn't be a problem.
The windshield is an integral part to the strength of the roof and support for when the airbags deploy. If you don't plan to get into an accident, then it's not a problem. Otherwise I'd spend 200-300$ more and get someone who will take their time cleaning off old adhesive right and putting the new one with a good seal. I somehow doubt anyone doing it in a parking lot will do a good job.
 

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Jeff,

Go ahead and get the non-OEM windshield. My original windshield cracked up about 1-2 months after I bought the RAV. It just couldn't withstand rocks/gravel and other things kicked up from the road.

My insurance company recommended a mobile auto glass service and an aftermarket windshield, and that's what I went with. My concerns about getting a non-OEM windshield were allayed by the PPG windshield I ended up with. I've had it about 4 3/4 years, and it just won't die or crack up. It has tiny pits and chips all over from getting hit by gravel and rocks from our southern California freeways, but it never cracks and it has never leaked. :)
 
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