If you’re in the process of researching auto glass repair companies and pricing out their services, you’ve probably run across several companies that offer warranties on their work. And while a guarantee can afford you extra peace of mind, that guarantee usually has its limitations — it’s not necessarily a free pass for new auto glass should future damage occur.

But without knowing how these warranties work, it’s easy to make an erroneous assumption and end up disappointed. To help you gain a better understanding of auto glass repair and replacement warranties, we explain how guarantees work below.

What Exactly Is an Auto Glass Repair Warranty?

An auto glass repair or replacement warranty guarantees the repair or replacement workmanship; it doesn’t guarantee the glass itself.

Even if you have a warranty, if a rock randomly flies up off the freeway and hits your windshield, you’ll be on the hook for any necessary repairs. There isn’t a warranty out there that offers a guarantee against future glass damage because, at the end of the day, glass is always breakable.

So what does a warranty actually guarantee? It promises that the crack or chip you had repaired will not spread or grow larger under normal circumstances. When a windshield repair specialist fills in minor windshield cracks and chips, they shouldn’t spread. That’s why reputable auto glass repair companies offer warranties — they’re giving you confidence in the quality of their workmanship. And ultimately, they’re offering to make it right if by chance something goes wrong.

What Do You Do If the Chip or Crack Spreads?

If the damage grows larger (without a rock flying up and hitting your windshield), you’ll need to bring your vehicle back to the auto glass repair shop where you scheduled the original repair. Generally, repair companies require you to bring your vehicle in within seven to 10 days of the date you noticed the growing glass damage.

If you wait too long to use your warranty, you might void it. To make sure you adhere to any conditions of your warranty, double-check any paperwork you received during the initial repair. You can also call the shop and inquire about timeframe limitations on guaranteed repairs.

How Long Does A Warranty Provide Coverage?

Auto glass repair warranties vary from shop to shop, so you’ll need to call the shop or review your paperwork to determine the length of your coverage. If you’re in the market for auto glass repairs, always look for shops that offer warranties — those that don’t are often shady. You definitely don’t want to get stuck paying for additional repairs just days or even a few weeks after you have your windshield fixed.