Need a new windshield? You don’t necessarily have to opt for a pricey, brand-new piece of glass. If you can find your vehicle’s windshield at a salvage yard (you’ll need to know your car’s manufacturing and production date to do that), you can purchase used auto glass instead of new and save a considerable amount of cash.

But buying a used windshield may not be for everyone, so it’s important to understand the advantages and potential drawbacks of opting for used auto glass. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons you need to know.

Pro: You Can Browse Through an Extensive Selection of Windshields

Salvage yards handle hundreds of new junkers annually, which means they always have a wide selection of used windshields on hand.

If you own a vehicle that’s a few years old, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to find the model of windshield you’re looking for. You may have a tougher time finding the right piece of glass if you own a newer vehicle, but it never hurts to try!

If you have a vintage ride you’re working on restoring, you may even be able to find completely intact auto glass for it at a quality salvage yard. Depending on the model you own, a salvage yard may be the best place to find what you need.

Ordering custom glass for classic vehicles can be remarkably expensive, so if you can get your hands on pre-owned glass, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. 

Pro: Used Windshields Are Less Expensive

On average, a brand new windshield costs approximately $150-$300. Compare that to the price of a windshield from a salvage yard, which will run you about $50. The cost difference is clear.

Buying used car parts can save you a considerable amount of money.

Pro: You Can Perform a DIY Windshield Installation

If you’re the do-it-yourself mechanic type, you can even install your used windshield on your own! Not only will a DIY installation save you some serious cash, but it's also probably quite a bit simpler than you might imagine.

Of course, you’ll need to know how to securely attach and seal the glass to the frame of your vehicle, but if you enjoy working on your own ride, it’s not tough to learn. Plus, windshield repair and replacement are things you can definitely benefit from knowing how to perform.

Pro: You Can Have a Used Windshield Professionally Installed

When you find the right used windshield for your vehicle at a salvage yard, you don’t necessarily have to install it yourself. If you’re unfamiliar with windshield installation, it’s in your best interest to leave the job to experienced pros.

Don’t risk doing the job incorrectly. The glass could fail to adhere to the frame of your vehicle securely, and if that happens, water can leak into your car, or, worse, the windshield could end up popping off the frame, putting your safety at serious risk. 

When you purchase used car parts from our team at Ace, we can install them for you, depending on the part you need. Our technicians specialize in:

●        Used auto glass installation. We install windshields, back glass, door glass, vent and quarter glass, and window regulators.

●        Used tire installation. We can install used singles, pairs, and full sets. We can also order new if you prefer. (Check out our top tips on buying used car tires).

●        Used light installation. We swap in quality headlights, taillights, and interior lights. We can also test all of your vehicle’s lights for proper functionality.

●        Used side mirror installation. Ask us about interior rearview mirror installation, too!

While you can certainly take your ride to another service center to have the job done, we’re a one-stop shop. Our experienced technicians will install your discount windshield to the same quality standard as the pricier guys, and you won’t need to waste fuel making an extra trip. 

Con: There’s No Guarantee a Used Windshield Is Completely Safe

When you buy used auto parts from a salvage yard — whether you’re getting a windshield, headlights, a radiator, or anything else — there’s really no way to guarantee the part is totally safe. While salvage yard employees can perform a part inspection, there’s really no way to determine a part’s history, which may play into its current safety rating.

That said, if you’re considering getting a used windshield, it should be fairly easy to assess its condition just by looking at it. You don’t want one with any existing chips or cracks as the glass damage can compromise the windshield’s performance and your safety.

Con: You Could Void Your Vehicle Warranty

If your vehicle is still under warranty, getting a used windshield from a salvage yard probably isn’t in your best interest. If you’re making payments on your ride, you probably have comprehensive auto insurance, which may cover a new windshield in full, depending on your deductible. In that case, buying used certainly wouldn’t make sense.

Most vehicle warranties stipulate that you must have new parts installed, so putting a used windshield from a salvage yard on your car or truck may end up voiding your warranty. If you’re unsure what your warranty states, call your provider and ask before you do anything that might void it.

Ready to Find a Used Windshield? Stop By Ace Auto Parts

If you’re in need of a new windshield and you’re considering buying a used one, stop by Ace Auto Parts in St. Paul! We’re one of the longest-standing salvage yards in the Twin Cities and have proudly served the area since 1929.

Feel free to use our part search tool to find the used car part you’re looking for or give us a call today at 651-717-4299 to learn more!