Replacing a Tesla Model X windshield may cost more than everyone thinks

Tesla electric cars may be known for many things, but cheapness isn’t one of them. Those EVs cost no less than $45,000 after the March price hike, and that number can skyrocket — the most expensive Tesla Model X Tri-Motor can cost $138,990.

Expensive cars often equate to expensive parts, so it’s no surprise to see the extra cost of replacing the windshield of a Tesla Model X. But did you know that it can actually be three times more expensive than many non-electric vehicles?

This unfortunate news comes directly from a 2018 Tesla Model X owner who shared their experience on the Tesla Motor Club forum. Repairs by Safelite AutoGlass of Scottsdale, Arizona, while effective and quick, are by no means cheap. In addition, the forum user described that replacing the windshield itself is a long story, so while the actual replacement took only a short time, then wait for the parts took more than a month. This may vary depending on your location — it’s possible that Arizona was low on inventory at the time and may have improved later.

According to the user, Tesla wanted to pay $1,500 upfront to replace the windshield when it was repaired. Out of pocket means Tesla owners then have to go through their auto insurer to get reimbursed. That’s why they went the Safelite route, but the savings were relatively small – all due to the cost of the windshield itself.

Windshield replacement is much cheaper in a standard car

The total bill for repairs on a Tesla Model X is $1,597. That equates to $1,311 in parts, $181 in labor, and $105 in sales tax. Considering that it takes as many as four people to replace the windshield — two to remove the previous windshield and four to install the new one — labor is arguably quite cheap. The windshield itself isn’t cheap, however.

According to Auto Glass Locator, the average cost to replace a windshield in the U.S. without insurance is about $375, which applies to standard vehicles. Of course, the price will vary based on many factors, from the make and model of the car to its age, not to mention where the owner is located. Based on data from various RepairPal auto repair reviews, AutoGuide puts the average price at between $200 and $401. To sum it up, even a high average is significantly cheaper than replacing the windshield of a Tesla Model X.

So why are Tesla repairs so expensive in comparison? This is because Tesla is a relatively new brand, which means it will take a while for the average vehicle repair specialist to have all the knowledge to fix any Tesla issues with relative ease. Tesla cars are not as plentiful as their competitors, so secondary sources of components used in Tesla cars are not as readily available as the big brands.

In the case of windshields, the quality of the glass definitely affects the final cost. As Electric Car Pledge explains, some Tesla windshields are double-layered. The Cybertruck is also allegedly bulletproof, although as you can see from the video above, Elon Musk’s test in front of a live audience wasn’t very successful — the glass shattered right away. Time — and Tesla’s success over the next few years — will tell whether the price of any repairs on vehicles made by the brand will go up or down for future drivers.

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