Guarding Your Ride: Bronco Windshield Protection 101


The new Ford Bronco. While this generation has been on the market for a few years now, the popularity of this luxury off-road SUV just continues to skyrocket. There’s a lot to love about this one - it combines a lot of the off-road capabilities of your classic Wrangler, with a luxury SUV feel that probably explains why it’s become so popular - appealing to both the off-road warrior and pretty much anyone who wants a badass vehicle to drive around town. 

Whether you just bought your first Bronco, have been a faithful Bronco lover for years, or have just discovered them, there’s one thing you may have heard of (and if you haven’t you need to know about) - that windshield. For all the luxury that Ford has packed into their beloved Bronco, that nearly flat and vertical windshield unfortunately is bound for the same fate as too many Jeep windshields - rock chips. 

Talk to pretty much any Bronco owner and whether or not they actually go off-road with their vehicle, they’ve more than likely experienced windshield damage. And unfortunately with a premium SUV comes premium replacement prices, and the windshield is absolutely no exception.

Keep reading for a full breakdown of why your Bronco windshield keeps breaking, how much it will cost to replace, and why it’s so expensive.

Why Do Bronco Windshields Break?

No, it’s not a curse on the Bronco windshield from the rival Jeep community (at least, we don’t think so). The truth is that the front end design of the Bronco that we know and love is really to blame. Any windshield with a near-vertical rake angle and almost no curvature is a magnet for rock chips. Why? Well, when a rock (or other road debris) hits a normal windshield (in other words, NOT flat, and at an angle), it can easily deflect off the windshield at an angle that means that not all the force from the rock is transferred straight into the glass. 

With the Bronco, all of the force of a rock hitting your glass has to be absorbed by the glass itself, and surprise surprise - glass breaks pretty easily! While we’re sure that Broncos likely use top-of-the-line laminated glass in their windshields, it’s still no match for a tiny stone traveling at 60 mph on the highway. 

In the days of $150 windshield replacements, this was merely an inconvenience. Today? It’s a lot more painful on the wallet. It’s even one reason that some Bronco owners actually decide to sell their beloved Bronco, or end up avoiding buying one in the first place! 

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Bronco Windshield?

We’d heard about Bronco owners complaining of high windshield replacement costs, but we wanted to see for ourselves. We ran a 2021 Bronco windshield replacement through Safelite’s handy online quoting tool and were quoted at $1130 USD to replace the windshield, including the mandatory recalibration step (more on that in a minute). 

That’s certainly more than what we were paying 15 years ago - but why? Even with glass getting moderately better in the last decade, surely that cost isn’t just in the glass? 

Well it turns out that it’s not just the glass that’s costing us so much (although glass shops have been hit with higher costs for materials, which means higher prices for consumers), it’s also the addition of a ton of new technology behind the windshield. 

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (or ADAS) technologies include things like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. These systems often rely on sensors and cameras that are mounted behind the windshield. 

When a windshield is replaced, the ADAS sensors and cameras have to be recalibrated to make sure they are working properly. While it can seem like a hassle, proper calibration is absolutely critical for the accurate operation of ADAS features. This process requires specialized equipment and expertise, which adds to the overall cost of windshield replacement since any glass repair shops have had to invest in expensive equipment and training to make sure the cars on the road are safe after leaving their shops. 

Given that 98% of the new vehicles sold in 2022 came with at least one ADAS feature, it’s no surprise that for a high-end SUV like the Bronco you’re getting some pretty advanced technology. In fact, that’s probably one of the reasons you’re even considering the Bronco when compared to some of the other off-road favorites out there. But these features definitely come at a cost.

All that being said, not all replacements are the same. Generally, the final quote you’ll be given to replace your Bronco windshield will depend on the following factors:


Generally, age is a great predictor of how expensive your Bronco windshield will be to replace. 

Important to note here that with older Ford Broncos, you’ll find lower windshield replacement costs. There’s generally a larger supply of replacement and less expensive aftermarket parts for the older Bronco herd (see our next point on aftermarket glass). There’s also a lot less tech behind the windshield, meaning that you’re really just paying for the glass and not a recalibration which can drive up costs.

OEM vs. OEE vs. Aftermarket Glass

For most vehicles, there are different windshield options available from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), original equipment equivalent (OEE), and aftermarket windshields. Unfortunately, for newer vehicles, like the latest Bronco generation, we don’t have these options. 

As of the time of writing this, the only available replacement glass for the 6th gen Ford Bronco is OEM glass, which is generally the most expensive replacement option available. While it means you’ll get to retain the quality of glass that you’re used to, it’s certainly not going to save you any money.

Does Insurance Cover Windshield Replacements?

Having insurance can certainly help you prepare for when the expected happens, but it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be.

If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, yes, insurance should cover some (or all) of the costs (at least the first time), but filing a claim on a windshield notorious for breaking may cause your insurance premiums to spike drastically, making it MORE expensive in the long run. On top of that, many of us are actually driving without comprehensive windshield coverage and may not realize it. We’ve also heard stories of multiple windshield claims on the same vehicle in a short period of time leading to skyrocketing premiums, so if you’re expecting more than average replacements, the insurance route may not always be the best one.

For a full breakdown on auto insurance and how to get to know your coverage better, this article will break it down for you. 

How to Protect Your Bronco Windshield

Unfortunately, this problem of rising windshield replacement costs is not just for Bronco owners, Pretty much every vehicle owner is feeling the pain of rising costs. 

The good news is that there are solutions! Aside from the basics like not following other vehicles too closely on the highway, and staying out of construction zones, there are products out there that can help reduce the chances of your windshield breaking.

Windshield Protection Film for Broncos

Windshield protection film has been around for a few years now, but over the last several years the technology has advanced to the point where it’s a great investment for pretty much any new vehicle. 

A windshield protection film is pretty much like an automotive-grade screen protector, specifically designed for your windshield. Choosing the right one definitely requires doing some research, but the basic principle for all films is the same - the film acts as a shock absorbing layer to prevent the force of impact from damaging your windshield glass. 

Despite being extremely thin and almost completely invisible, these films really make a big difference in everyday driving conditions to reduce the likelihood of driving home with a cracked windshield. 

How to Get Windshield Protection Film

ExoShield offers a DIY Windshield Protection Film Kit for Broncos that gives you windshield protection that means serious business. We’ve been in the windshield protection game for a while, and recently launched a new option, ExoShield ULTRA, which is made specifically for our off-road enthusiasts. This film is thicker and more impact resistant, but still retains the high clarity and durability of our premium film, ExoShield GT3. 

These kits can be purchased online and installed yourself in the comfort of your garage, or taken to your favorite local film installer if you want that professional touch! 

Not a DIY fan? We also have pros all over the world who can take care of your windshield (and a whole lot more) for you. Head to our installer map to see if there’s a certified ExoShield partner in your area - these partners have all been trained and are experienced film installers, so they’ll know exactly what your vehicle needs.

Learn More About ExoShield Products


Looking for the right installer for your automotive protection film? Click here for a map of certified installers.

Looking for a windshield protection film installer?

Check out our map to find our list of certified windshield protection film installers.

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