There’s that sound! You’re driving blissfully down the road when it happens – the sudden, loud smack of an object hitting your windshield.
A crack in a windshield is one of the most common issues that happens to vehicle owners. Windshields are designed to withstand damage from projectiles, but even so, cracks and chips can happen. Depending on where you live, this can be even more common. Rural areas with gravel and dirt roads can cause more damage. Areas of the country with heavy hail storms also see more damage to windshields.
So, you survey that crack on the windshield and have to decide. Do you fix the crack, or replace the windshield? Most cracks are small and visibility is not impaired when driving. Cracks however, can spread and become a potential hazard. For many people, the headache of car repairs is enough to just ignore the problem completely. But that’s the worst thing to do. Chances are the windshield can benefit from a simple repair, but if the windshield does need to be replaced, better to be proactive than risk your safety.
There are ways to determine whether or not a crack or chip in the windshield can be fixed, or if the windshield should be replaced. Using these handy tips will help you save money and still be safe when operating your vehicle.
To better understand whether or not to repair or replace a windshield, it helps to know some basic facts about windshields and their construction.
Your windshield looks like a large piece of curved glass, but it’s actually two. Windshields are constructed with laminated glass, a sturdy glass that is determined to be the safest glass for vehicular windshields. The two pieces of glass are bonded together with a sheet of vinyl between them. Then, the windshield is molded and installed into the vehicle.
What this technology does is provide a sturdy buffer between fast moving projectiles and you. Windshields can take a lot of abuse, and still remain intact. A pebble may crack or chip a windshield, but is much less likely to crack or shatter the glass. This is also why you are much less likely as a passenger to be thrown through the windshield, causing severe injury.
The technology and design of the windshield also makes it a pricier piece of real estate on your vehicle, so if you’re like most of us, you will opt for a repair rather than a replacement if possible. Below are some tips on what to look for when deciding whether to repair or replace your windshield.
When to Repair Your Windshield
The Quarter Test
Get ahold of a quarter and use it to measure the crack or chip in your windshield. Does the quarter cover the damaged area entirely? If it does, chances are you can repair your windshield. Since small cracks and chips can spread, it’s better to fix small damage sooner than later.
If the crack or chip is not obscuring the view of the driver, then you can probably repair rather than replace. This is where you’ll want to measure to see if it smaller than a quarter, also.
Cracks or chips that measure less than 6 inches that are blocking the view of the drive can be repaired.
When to Replace Your Windshield
Rule of Three
Three or more long cracks will cause too much damage to the structure of windshield to repair the glass.
Shapes And Sizes
A crack that is shaped like a bullseye or semi-circle that measures an inch or more in diameter – and blocks the driver’s vision cannot be repaired.
Multi Layered Damage
Any time a crack or chip permeates the layers of glass, or a crack on the inner side of the windshield means it’s time to replace the windshield.
Taking the steps to repair or replace a windshield is important to ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive. Cracks and chips can become filled with dirt, eventually weakening the structure of the windshield. Cracks that spread can impair vision and possibly cause you to have an accident.
Depending on the type of damage, the location, and the size, you can make a decision about which route to take in fixing your vehicle. if you're not sure whether the windshield needs repaired or replaced, talk to one of our technicians at Crystal Glass. A small crack that can be repaired for less time and money today can spread into a larger damage that may require replacement of the entire windshield.
Whatever you do, don’t let damage to your windshield go too long without repair. Our expert technicians can evaluate the damage, make recommendations, and provide a quote on repair costs. Come visit us today and let us help.
Have you had a windshield replaced or repaired at Crystal Glass? Share your experience with us, we love your comments!