Replacing windshield - is a recalibration of camera/safety equipment necessary?

My windshield is damaged and needs to be replaced (fairly big cracks shooting out from a central point of damage). I googled around about costs and found Safelite Autoglass that offered to give me a quote. I put in the info (2019 ford fusion) and it asked me if the car was equipped with systems for adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, rain-sensing windshield wipers, etc. It does have all of those things. Then it said that because those systems look through the windshield, they need to be recalibrated after the windshield is replaced, to the tune of an extra $400.

Is this really necessary? If I get it replaced by OEM glass, shouldn’t everything work the same? This would more than double the cost of the repair and I’m skeptical that this is really a necessary part of the process. I thought I’d ask here before I call other auto glass places.

I’m willing to pay more for OEM glass, if it ensures that the systems remain calibrated correctly - if that’s even really a concern.

When I had to replace the windshield on my 2020 Subaru Outback, I took it to the dealer for recalibration, and they charged me $85. $400 seems pretty outrageous.

I was highway driving when a truck threw up a pebble that smashed my windshield. A colleague said that I should have got the license number and asked the company to pay for replacement. I didn’t. Is this solid advice?

Anyhoo, it was for a car with rain sensing wipers. The glass-n’-dent shop had both original brands and cheaper copies but they were different and more expensive if they could sense rain. They looked different too, with visible markings across from the mirror. It was a few hundred dollars but can’t remember exactly how much.

Consumer Reports says yes:

FWIW comprehensive insurance policies usually cover windshield replacements when the cause of the crack is a thrown rock or piece of debris.

Oh, if the cameras are mounted in the mirror, then it makes sense that they’d need to be recalibrated if the exact positioning on the new window is important to them working, I guess that makes sense. I’ll call around for quotes - maybe the $400 was unreasonably high.

I do have comprehensive coverage though I don’t know the source of the damage (it occured at some point when the vehicle was unattended. I had originally not planned to involve insurance because the general price to replace windshields is around $300 and my deductable I think is $250, but maybe I will use the insurance, although I hate that this sometimes triggers rate increases through no fault of your own that end up costing more in the long run.

Does everything still work as accurately as before?

I recently had to have the windshield in my 2020 Honda Civic replaced due to a flying rock causing a crack. The total cost of the glass + install + calibration was ~$1500, of that cost the glass was only about $300 IIRC. Calibration was the most expensive line item on the bill (again, IIRC). Geico paid for all but $50. The glass kinda sucks – it has a haze or sheen on it that the OG windshield didn’t have and that I have had trouble removing – but all the sensors and whatnot work as well as they did before.

That was my original thought too until I called the glass place for a quote. After I picked my jaw up off the floor they told me that if the crack had occurred while driving and it wasn’t my fault (check and check) my insurance policy would cover it. I also had to start the process within 30 days of the day I got the crack.

It didn’t affect my rates at all. I’m with Geico.

In most states objects thrown from the road are not the fault of the vehicle, so the trucking company would have no obligation since road debris is not their fault/problem. If however something fell from the truck, like a loose stone sitting on a ledge or from the bed of a dump truck, then that is their problem for operating a vehicle with unsecured loads/debris. That goes for those people who don’t scrape the snow/ice off their car roof and it goes flying once they get on the highway, that’s their fault if it hits your windshield and breaks it. The problem is that you pretty much need video evidence in order to prove these situations.

Those “driver not responsible for damage to your windshield” signs have zero legal force and you can absolutely make a claim if you have the ability too. Also the other response.

Get a dashcam.

Everything works fine. It does sound like I got a good deal from the Subaru dealer. In my case (also a rock on the highway) insurance paid for the glass, but not the recalibration.

If the stone came from the road from a truck in font of you and they have proper mud flaps I believe they are in the clear. If it came from the load in the truck. That’s an unsafe load. Hard to prove.

My brother used to haul sand and gravel. And he had to duct tape the interior of the dump gate so that nothing would leak out. But there is a lip on the back of dump trucks where gravel from the last dump may be until it hits a bump.

Check with your insurance. There is often a section of the policy that covers windshield replacement for cheap and it may not affect your insurance or raise your rates. Sometimes it’s optional, sometimes they don’t offer it, and sometimes, like in my case, it is included with full coverage insurance. I don’t know what mine is now without looking it up, but about 5 years ago, it was that I could basically replace my windshield for a $100 deductible, no questions asked.

Yes, check with insurance first! I had a chip in my windshield, and I bought a repair kit at an auto parts store. My repair didn’t work to my satisfaction. I THEN called my insurance, and discovered they would have attempted to repair the chip for free. :frowning_face: In fact, they did come and try to repair it with much better equipment than my $10 kit from Oreilly’s, but the chip was too large and they did wind up replacing the entire windshield. Progressive was the company.

I think insurance covered it after sone deductible. My colleague said if you are really aggressive, drive slowly in front of the truck until it pulls over, yell at the driver, insist the company replace the windshield, threaten to sue, call them repeatedly…. I can’t see this being that effective. I agree the company’s obligation to pay seems slight unless you could prove it.

A couple of states, notably Kentucky and South Carolina, require insurance companies to waive the deductible on auto glass claims. Florida does so as well, but only for windshields. Arizona, Massachusetts, and New York allow policies that have no deductible for auto glass, but it’s not automatic. I believe in all cases this only applies if you have comprehensive coverage, not just liability coverage.

Found out a few things. Ford uses a dynamic recalibration system, which means you hook something up to the diagnostic port, tell the camera to recalibrate, and then drive around on the highway for a half hour. I would be very annoyed to pay $200+ to do that, but I don’t have the software/equipment needed to tell it to recalibrate itself.

Some people on forums indicate that they didn’t get the calibration and their driver assists still work fine, but they were talking about Ford trucks. Couldn’t find any talking about Fusions specifically. Some say if the camera isn’t attached to the windshield, calibration isn’t necessary, but I’m not sure if that applies to mine or not. My camera is in the rearview mirror housing which is attached to both the roof and the windshield. Depending on how it detaches, it may or may not move the camera when the windshield is replaced.

Geico estimated the repair costs for the windshield replacement (they want to send me to safelite for $400) but their estimate doesn’t include any sort of recalibration. I’m not sure if they’ll pay for that. If they’re not going to, I might as well go to a better auto glass shop since I have a $500 deductable I’d be paying for the $400 cost of the windshield replacement anyway.

Going to call auto shops now to get prices.

Does anyone think OEM vs third party windshields are a significant difference in terms of quality?

Found a better rated place that’ll do it for $350, but doesn’t do the calibration, but they said they usually don’t need calibration and everything usually works fine. If I do need calibration, they referred me to a place that’ll do it for an extra $200. So I’ll see if everything works after the replacement, and if not, then I’ll get it calibrated again seperately. Since my insurance deductable is $500 anyway, the most I’d be saving by doing it all at the same shop would be $50, so I’ll just do the replacement first and see if that works.

So as a follow up for anyone who might read this thread in the future, I had the windshield replaced with no recalibration process. No error came up and the camera-based functions like lane departure seem to work fine. The guy who replaced the window said that as long as the car isn’t turned on when the camera is out of position it usually does not detect that anything has changed or require recalibration. The mold for the windshield has a slot for the camera so it’s relatively easy to get the positioning right, and the sales pitch that someone who wants to recalibrate your system that hundredths of an inch matter is usually just trying to sell you an extra service.