If you, like me, like to do some research on cost implications before taking up a repair or replacement project for your Tesla, then you have come to the right place.
Such research always helps me to budget adequately, discover more affordable ways to get the project completed, while also making sure that it’s done properly and by the right people.
So, in this article, I will be sharing with you all the cost implications of replacing the windscreen of your Tesla vehicle, from my personal experience as well as that of other Tesla owners.
I will be covering costs for replacing the windscreen of all current Tesla models, that is Model 3, Y, S, and X.
How Much is a Tesla Windscreen Replacement?
As you are well aware, the total cost of a replacement or even a repair project will include several smaller costs such as the replacement material, labour, tax, and sometimes call-out fees.
As for what will determine these costs, well, again, there are several factors. Here are a few of them:
- The model and model year of your Tesla – the cost of replacement windshields differs across the models. And for each model, the cost may vary depending on the model year
- Your vehicle configuration – If your Tesla is equipped with Autopilot, then replacement will cost a bit more
- Insurance coverage – What insurance do you have? Mind you, insurers are quite hostile to Tesla vehicles because they are generally more expensive to fix than most other cars. In fact, they have resorted to writing off low-mileage Teslas that have been in a crash
- Warranty status and terms – I will cover warranty details later in this article. For now, just know that if your Tesla is under the relevant warranty, then you can take advantage of that and save a lot of money
The service – Are you using a Tesla service center or a local repair shop? In most cases, a Tesla service center is cheaper because they own the materials, so no extra costs are passed on to you.
With these details in mind, let’s go ahead and explore just how much it will take you to replace the windshield on your Tesla vehicle. The table below will provide a granular breakdown.
|Average cost of replacement windshield at Tesla
|Average cost of labor at Tesla
|Average cost of replacement windshield at third-party shops
|Average cost of labor at third-party shops
|750 if equipped with autopilot. Less, if not.
|2400 if equipped with autopilot. Less, if not.
There are several other factors to bear in mind. For example, replacement windscreens for Tesla vehicles are quite hard to come by, and can sometimes take up to 6 months from the time you schedule a replacement. That’s why in many cases, a temporary repair using technologies like resin injection is a good idea pending when you get your replacement done. So, that’s another expense that you may incur.
How Often Does A Tesla Need A Windscreen Replacement?
Tesla windscreens are some of the toughest out there. I mean, it is true that they are not especially harder than others, but they are among the hardest you can get in the market.
That said, they are prone to the same kinds of damage that other high-quality vehicles are prone to. So, if your Tesla windshield is exposed to powerful impact from a falling object or gets involved in a crash, then it is likely to need replacement…or a significant repair job at the least.
In many cases, what your Tesla needs is a repair as I explained earlier. If the dent is less than 6 inches wide, then you are best served to repair rather than replace. Injection resin repair is a ton cheaper than a replacement.
Having said that, there are some key factors that determine how often your Tesla windscreen will need replacement. They include:
- The condition that you bought you Tesla in. If you have bought a used Tesla with moderate to high mileage on it, then you are more likely to need a replacement windshield sooner than if you bought a new Tesla.
- Your driving conditions and habits. If you have to go through rough roads often, all parts of your vehicle are weakened over time, including the windshields.
Other than these, and unless you have an accident, you are unlikely to need to replace your Tesla windshield for a long time to come.
How to Know If Tesla Needs A Windscreen Replacement
I will start by saying this: a cracked windshield should be repaired immediately. If you leave the crack to stay, it will widen or get deeper and require a replacement.
- If the damage, no matter how little, is around or over the sensor/camera for autopilot and other features, then a repair is out of the question. Why? Because the resin or any other material that will be used to fill the glass will interfere with the proper functioning of the sensors.
- If the crack is wider than 6 inches, you need to replace it. If it is 6 inches or smaller and away from the windshield sensor, a repair will do.
- If the crack is deeper than halfway into the glass or 10mm, you need to replace the windshield. If it is shallower and away from the windshield sensor, you are better off with a repair.
If you did not already know, the windshield has 3 cameras mounted on it, above the rear view mirror. That’s where the sensors for autopilot are.
- If the crack or dent extends to the edge of the windshield, a repair is not an option. You must replace it.
How to Get the Windscreen Replacement For As Cheap As Possible
To put it in plain terms:
- If you have Tesla-provided insurance, take advantage of it and save replacement cost
- If you are using a third-party insurance, they are unlikely to want to deal directly with Tesla. You may be better off using a Tesla-certified third-party repair shop. If you go with Tesla, you will likely pay the full amount upfront and hope to get some contribution later from your insurer.
- Do not buy any windshield that is advertised as aftermarket; they are not designed for your Tesla. Don’t be fooled by the cheaper cost. Be sure that the replacement windshield comes from only Tesla.
- A Tesla windshield replacement is best done at a Tesla service center. You will get the parts cheaper, but there is something more important. The windshield cameras need to be re-calibrated after fitting and no one better to do that than Tesla. Of course, there are third-party shops that can get this done, but they are few and far between.
For warranty information, please take note of the following:
If you bought your Tesla vehicle new, and directly from Tesla, then you are covered by the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. This Warranty includes the Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty, the Supplemental Restraint System Limited Warranty, and the Battery and Drive Unit Limited Warranty.
The Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty is the warranty that covers your windshield. However, it is only valid to you if damage to the windshield occurs under normal use such as making sharp turns. If you are involved in an accident, collision, or an object strikes the windshield, the warranty does not cover you.
Find below other terms that invalidate Tesla warranty for any part:
- Failure to take the vehicle to, or make repairs or service recommended by, a Tesla Service Center or Tesla authorized repair facility upon discovery of a defect covered by this New Vehicle Limited Warranty;
- Any repair, alteration or modification of the vehicle that was made inappropriately, or the installation or use of fluids, parts or accessories, made by a person or facility not authorized or certified to do so;
- Improper repair or maintenance, including, but not limited to, the use of fluids, parts or accessories other than those specified in your owner documentation;
- Normal wear or deterioration, including, but not limited to, seat, trim and upholstery discoloration, punctures, tears, depressions, wrinkling abrasions or other deformations, paint and glass stone chips, and similar items;
- Any damage to your vehicle’s hardware or software, or any loss or harm to any personal information/data uploaded to your vehicle resulting from any modifications or unauthorized access to vehicle data or software from any source, including, but not limited to, non-Tesla parts or accessories, modifications, third party applications, viruses, bugs, malware, or any other form of interference or cyber attack
- Towing the vehicle
- Improper winch procedures
- Theft, vandalism, or riot
- Fire, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, lightning, hail, flood, or deep water
- Driving off-road (applies only to Model S and Model 3)
- Driving over uneven, rough, damaged or hazardous surfaces, including but not limited to, curbs, potholes, unfinished roads, debris, or other obstacles, or in competition, racing or autocross or for any other purposes for which the vehicle is not designed
- Overloading the vehicle
- Using the vehicle as a stationary power source
- The environment or an act of God, including, but not limited to, exposure to sunlight, airborne chemicals, tree sap, animal or insect droppings, road debris (including stone chips), industry fallout, rail dust, salt, hail, floods, wind and (thunder)storms, acid rain, fire, water, contamination, lightning and other environmental conditions.
My Final Thougts
One thing to bear in mind is that you do not have many options when it comes to replacing a Tesla vehicle windshield because only Tesla produces its windshields. So, for replacement, you are left with deciding whether to go with Tesla or a local shop, bearing in mind your insurance coverage, and the expertise required for replacing and calibrating a new windshield.