The Downside to a Tesla

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to purchase a Tesla Model 3, which has made driving a joy. Plus, thanks to the software updates, it’s the rare purchase that seems to get better over time without the need for any new expenses.

However, I recently discovered a rare downside to this miracle of a car: It is neither cheap nor easy to replace a cracked windshield.

I actually don’t think I’ve ever had to replace a windshield, perhaps due to sheer luck. But I’ve heard for most cars it’s a surprisingly easy process. Many windshield-replacement companies come to you, needing less than an hour and a few hundred dollars to pop out the old windshield and seal in a new one.

So when a small crack on my windshield (one that I initially repaired, but I think it got hit by another rock) turned into a big crack, I called around to see if a company would come replace the glass. One company quoted over $3000, and another said they couldn’t replace the glass because it would void the Tesla’s warranty due to the glass having all sorts of special sensors and tech embedded in it.

Fortunately, the local Tesla dealership offered a better price ($1300). The downside is that you have to go to them. They’re a 1-hour round-trip drive away from me, and they estimated a minimum of 4 hours for the replacement. To make matters (potentially) worse, as of last night their estimate for the job increased to 11 hours!

I headed out to the dealership with high hopes and plans to work from a nearby coffee shop as long as I could in case the windshield was ready early. Amazingly, it was! It took 3.5 hours, slightly better than their original estimate.

I don’t think this is a reason to not get a Tesla (or a car with fancy tech built into the glass), but it’s something to be aware of. Perhaps the key is to move your home as close to the dealership as possible.

Have you ever replaced your windshield after it was damaged? How did it go?

2 thoughts on “The Downside to a Tesla”

  1. I have had, unfortunately, a couple of instances where I have had to replace the windshield of a car. Each time, I had the ‘they come to you’ service and things happened in about an hour. Cost was reasonable (a bit over a hundred dollars each time).

    I tend to love Honda’s (I have an Accord; I miss my old Civic). I used to have Saturns (love those cars); that whole division was destroyed by GM. 🙁


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