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How Long Does Windshield Repair & Replacement Take?

Two mechanics installing a new windshield.
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One of the things you have been dreading while driving on the highway has happened. A rock hit your windshield and now you have a chip. How long can you expect the repair to take?

Chips are like Snowflakes

A windshield chip repair can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. It just depends on how complex the repair.

“I liken rock chips to snowflakes,” said Jeff Reddell, president of the National Windshield Repair Association. Our average time for a repair is 15 minutes; however, I have a few that have taken up to an hour.”

The NWRA is a not-for-profit organization that has established The Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS™), which details when glass can be repaired rather than replaced. While it isn’t written in laymen’s terms, this Standard is something to consider reviewing. It outlines the repair process and what damage is repairable and what damage is not.

The Impact of Temperature

Temperature can also be a factor in how long a repair takes. In the warmer months, the resin used to fill in the crack may flow faster and it is easier for the technician to fill out all the edges of the chip. The opposite occurs in the winter months. It may take longer for the resin to fill in the chip.


If it’s a simple break, small and not a lot of jagged edges, it could take about 10 minutes for a technician to repair.

However a quarter-sized break that looks more like a star with jagged edges may take 20 minutes or longer.

The technician will also clean the glass, both inside and out, so that takes a bit of time as well.

The Technician’s Job

The job of an auto glass repair technician is to assess your damage. He will discuss his findings with you and give you an idea of how long the repair will take to complete.

You can expect the technician to use a repair bridge, resin and a drill. The drill allows him to access the chip or crack to ensure he can fill all the damage with the specially designed resin. Once he has drilled the area, he will insert the resin into the chip or crack, ensuring that it fills all of the damage.

The technician will also often apply an ultraviolet light. While the sun may also work, the UV lamp is designed specially to encourage the resin to cure, or harden, as quickly as possible.


No matter how stellar your driving record, at some point you’re more than likely going to find yourself face to face with a cracked or chipped windshield. These damages can happen anytime, anywhere to anyone—no matter how well or poorly you drive. If thoughts of spending hours waiting for a new windshield have you putting off taking care of the damage, relax. And don’t wait. Windshield replacement from a qualified technician doesn’t have to slow down or affect your already busy day.

This is what it takes to replace a windshield. DON’T try this one at home!

Windshield Replacement Steps

Your Vehicle While the question of “how long will it take?” is a common one, the answer depends on a number of considerations. These include, for example, the condition of your vehicle. Depending on the technician’s assessment, the vehicle may require extra preparation time. Another consideration is the make, model and year of the vehicle. A newer vehicle, for example, likely has additional sensors that may need to be replaced, reconnected and possibly even recalibrated. The more information you can provide your technician when scheduling your appointment, the better estimate they will be able to give you as far as how long it will take.

Other Details The length of time your service will take also depends on environmental factors like temperature and humidity, which will affect urethane cure time. Urethane is the adhesive that bonds the windshield to the body of the car. Your technician should recommend you wait to drive the vehicle for at least a certain amount of time based on the urethane used and atmospheric conditions. This minimum drive-away time ensures the urethane has cured and the windshield is safe and secure before driving.

Do I Have to Wait? And in case you’re wondering, it’s usually not necessary to wait for your vehicle, though you’ll likely need to leave the vehicle keys for the technician. Some shops may offer courtesy cars for your use or drop off/pick up service for your convenience, as well. In addition, many shops also offer mobile replacement and will come directly to you to service your vehicle. Remember, you want to make sure the technician spends as much time as necessary to ensure a safe installation. A rushed job can be a risk for both the safety of the vehicle and the passengers inside. The quality shops on, for example, detail whether they offer in-shop, mobile service or both. Look to to find qualified auto glass technicians in your area.

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Jenna Reed

Jenna Reed is a marketing assistant and is responsible for writing a of variety marketing stories, press relations, public relations campaigns, as well as help manage our various event websites. She also serves as registrar for Key’s Glass Expos events throughout the year, and serves as a brand representative at various outside events. For almost four years, she served as the editor for glassBYTEs™, AGRR Magazine and Auto Glass Journal. She graduated from Radford University with a bachelor’s degree in Media. Jenna lives in Stafford and works tirelessly for injured and abused animals. She is “mom” to a number of rescue cats as well. Find out more about Jenna on Linkedin.

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18 Responses

  1. I like that you mention how the length of the repair can be determined by a number of different factors. It makes sense that the weather, type of car, and extent of the damage can all play a roll in how long the repair takes. I’ll have to remember this when taking my car in because I think being prepared would help me feel much more comfortable when it does happen.

  2. It’s good to know that when it comes to getting a windshield repair that there are different ways that we should go about doing it. I am glad how you mentioned that this is something that is a job for a technician to come in and repair any cracks that we have on it. It will be nice to have someone that will know how to put the resin in properly and make sure that all the damage is taken care of. This is one thing that we will keep in mind if the crack in our car’s windshield gets bigger.

  3. I like that you clarified that the temperature can also affect how long your windshield needs to be repaired. I have a small crack in my windshield and I don’t know if I should fix it. I can see how it would be smart to have the repair done soon because it’s about to start snowing.

  4. I have a crack in my windshield and I have been wondering how long it can take to get it repaired. That is good to know that the temperature can be a factor on how long the repair can take. It makes sense that would be faster in the summer. Thank you for the information!

  5. The windshield of my boyfriend’s car broke due to a branch of a tree falling on it when he parked his car under it yesterday. He needs to get it replaced soon because he uses his car for work. Thanks for explaining that it depends on the make, model, and year of the vehicle, so it’s best to take the car to the expert for the accurate estimation as well as the duration of the repair.

  6. My wife and I have been looking into getting some windshield replacement for my truck. I like that you talked about how long windshield replacement will take, and that newer ones might take more time. I’m going to have to talk to a few good chipped windshield replacement services and see what we can find! Thanks!

  7. Thanks for the glass repair information. I like how you said that if the crack or chip is large and jagged, it will take some time to repair. We’ve got two chips in our windshield, but I don’t think they’re too complex. I guess we’ll just have to see how long it takes.

  8. There are some places in my home and my car that need window repair. Thank you for reminding me, the I should make sure the technician spends as much time as necessary to ensure a safe installation. A rushed job can be a risk. I’ll need to find a reliable glass repair service as you suggest.

  9. It’s nice that a simple crack in your windshield could only take 10 minutes to repair. It sounds like a very simple fix. If you have a crack or chip in your windshield, it’s best to get it repaired right away before it gets worse and more difficult to repair.

  10. Before I read this article, I assumed that all mobile windshield repair services take about the same amount of time. It makes sense that they would not since the damage can be different. I having a windshield repaired in 10 minutes seems awesome to me.

  11. Thank you for explaining that there are more than a few factors involved in the length of time it will take to get the windshield replaced. My friend was talking about having a crack in their windshield, but they didn’t know if they had time to get it replaced soon. I’ll be sure to pass this on so that they can call someone to get a more accurate estimate for how long it will take to get this problem fixed.

  12. I’m glad you mentioned the importance of keeping a car’s windshield free from damage and harm, especially when it comes to small flying obstacles like hail, or falling debris. Having just one small chip or crack on a windshield can prove to be a potential problem, so it’s best to get these chips on the windshield repaired as quickly as possible in order to avoid further accidents. Some repairs can only take ten minutes, even! I’ve got some small chips and nicks on my car’s windshield, and I’m looking to bring the car in for repair because it might become a bigger problem if I leave it alone.

  13. Thanks for mentioning that some shops offer mobile windshield repair so you won’t have to wait at the shop. I recently got a crack in my windshield, but I have a busy schedule so I don’t want to spend too much time getting it repaired. I didn’t know some shops offered mobile services, so thanks for letting me know that option exists!

  14. It’s great to know this about windshield replacement. My son was in an accident the other day, so we need a new windshield on the car. I hope there’s not extra preparation time, like you said.

  15. I have a crack windshield can it be repaired or do I need replacement it is an 8 inches crack.

  16. My sister and I went on a road trip to visit our parents last weekend, and we took turns driving my car, but somewhere along the way, its windshield got damaged. That’s why I’ll follow your advice about getting it repaired or replaced before the damage gets worse, so I’ll start looking for an auto repair shop this week. Thanks for the advice on choosing a professional to replace your windshield without needing to wait all day for your car to be ready.

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