2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Pitted Windshield
January 5, 2015
Every time I drive towards a rising or setting sun in our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG, my vision is blurred by some serious pitting in the windshield. Those little specs act like water spots that have dried on the glass, intensifying the sun's reflection, limiting forward visibility. They aren't just in the lower left corner there either, they're spread across the entire windshield.
I've replaced windshields on my personal cars that weren't nearly as damaged, and while this one isn't even close to dangerous, I wanted to see what the cost of replacing it was. Try to guess before you read on.
First, I checked a dozen of my favorite online parts stores. Every site that carried the part was out of stock. So, I called a few local Mercedes-Benz dealerships and glass-installers next to check on their prices. Both the dealerships and glass-shops would need to order the windshield, but it was a part they carried.
The dealer price was for the glass was $1,152 with another $499 for labor ($1,651 plus tax for you math majors). I also called the folks at Safelite to see what they could do for us. They've done good work for us in the past, repairing a crack in the windshield of our long-term SLS and replacing the windshield in our old long-term Jeep Wrangler. Safelite's price to replace the CL65's windshield was considerably less: $1,047.79 plus tax for parts and labor.
For comparison, the Wrangler's windshield replacement cost $458.65. Why so much more for the CL65? For starters, it's a larger, thicker piece of glass. It's also got a heated area where the wipers "park" along with solar coating and a rain/light sensor.
With just a little time left in our fleet, there's little chance that we'll replace this part on the CL65 but if it were my personal car, I'd start putting money aside to fix it. What would you do?
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 70,800 miles