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Windshield replacement $1300+? Seriously?

Pianewman

Active Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,084
738
Fort Worth
(This isn't a discussion about insurance.)

Ugh...road chip, dime sized, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DRIVER!!! Safelite website wasn't helpful, doesn't list any Tesla, and my VIN wasn't "recognized." Couldn't find a phone number for my local Safelite dealer for a quick drive-up repair, everything is done through the website.

I decided to take the car to Auto Glass Now. $50. Done. 30 minute repair.

I asked the repair tech about replacing a Tesla windshield. He looked at my OEM installed windshield, said it was no different than any other car, very simple, in fact. Probably around $250-300.

I mentioned Tesla was charging (according to posts here) around $1300, because the cameras would require recalibration.

Sez he: "There's no need to recalibrate. The assembly is hung on the windshield. You lift it off, no need to unplug it, and slide it back on. Nothing changes in the calibration."

This makes sense to me. Thoughts, please, from the tech folk here, as to whether or not this is true?
 

fishhawk

Member
Oct 15, 2020
46
13
Central Texas
I don't have any thoughts on the cost, but I do agree Safelite is not very helpful with Teslas. Glad you got yours fixed, and that's interesting about not having to calibrate the cameras. Will be interesting to hear other folk's thoughts.

I picked up a small surface chip on the passenger side on my 2-week old Model Y, high enough so it wasn't in the passenger's view. Couldn't schedule with the website, finally found a number to call and got an appointment set up 3 days out and was quoted a charge of $131. On the day of the appointment, they said they didn't want to do anything because it was a surface chip and wouldn't spread, but at least they didn't charge anything.

After a few days of my eyes constantly being drawn to the chip (others couldn't really see it, but I knew it was there). I ordered a Rain-X chip repair kit for $11 and fixed it myself. I didn't trust that the chip wouldn't turn into a crack. Only problem I had was trying to cure the resin because it was cloudy out and black lights didn't do the job. The next day it was sunny enough and it cured in 15 minutes. A bit of glass polish and it's hard enough to see that it doesn't bother me anymore.
 
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James Ge

Member
Sep 17, 2019
24
61
San Diego
Yeah I just got the same quote. My screen cracked on a cold (southern California cold like 40F) when i was running the demister.

Calibrate the camera?! Total bollocks.



(This isn't a discussion about insurance.)

Ugh...road chip, dime sized, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DRIVER!!! Safelite website wasn't helpful, doesn't list any Tesla, and my VIN wasn't "recognized." Couldn't find a phone number for my local Safelite dealer for a quick drive-up repair, everything is done through the website.

I decided to take the car to Auto Glass Now. $50. Done. 30 minute repair.

I asked the repair tech about replacing a Tesla windshield. He looked at my OEM installed windshield, said it was no different than any other car, very simple, in fact. Probably around $250-300.

I mentioned Tesla was charging (according to posts here) around $1300, because the cameras would require recalibration.

Sez he: "There's no need to recalibrate. The assembly is hung on the windshield. You lift it off, no need to unplug it, and slide it back on. Nothing changes in the calibration."

This makes sense to me. Thoughts, please, from the tech folk here, as to whether or not this is true?
 

linux-works

Active Member
Dec 23, 2019
1,832
3,422
mtn view, ca
I can see an issue, perhaps.

how rigid is the mount of the windshield to the car? usually its a soft caulk of some kind and that can be slightly variable. the tilt may also not be the same once its been replaced. its not about the camera being fixed to the WS (there would still be variation if you removed and reinstalled) - but more about how variable the angles are once a new WS is installed.

given that cameras have to 'see' pretty far ahead, yes, I can understand a calibration. and I'm not sure it can auto calibrate itself (maybe over time, slowly).

it should not be time expensive to calibrate, but I can understand wanting to do an alignment on something this important. this isn't a 'webcam for crashes' - its about the car knowing very well where it is, and so far, its mostly optics that tesla uses.
 

kashian

Member
Jan 4, 2021
71
35
San Diego
I also got a small chip on my less than a week old MY and took it to Safelite for a quick repair. As soon as the tech put his tool under the windshield, the chip became a crack and needed to be replaced. Safelite was going to charge me more than $1200 to get it done. I decided to take it to a Tesla SC, and my invoice was $1420, with camera calibration included.
 

DerbyDave

Member
Jul 2, 2020
811
448
Kentucky
I am from the Model S forum, but I saw this thread. Tesla says: "Caution: If a windshield replacement is needed, take your vehicle to Tesla Service. This will ensure appropriate handling and mounting of the camera(s). Failure to do so can cause one or more Autopilot features to malfunction." In addition, you can use the Camera Calibration feature to recalibrate the cameras (Service> Camera Calibration), assuming the windshield mounting is not too far off specifications.
 

Pianewman

Active Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,084
738
Fort Worth
DerbyDave: Thanks for the experienced input. I was told the same thing by Toyota about my Toyota Avalon with radar/etc., but in fact, nothing changed when Safelite replaced the windshield. It didn't need calibration.
I'm still not convinced that the additional expense is necessary, but I guess I won't know until I need to replace my windshield!
 

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