A crack or chip in the windshield of your automobile may not be as bad as you first think. It may not be necessary to completely replace the entire windshield when it is chipped, cracked or otherwise damaged. In many cases, auto glass repair can have your windshield looking as good as new. The cost of repairing a damaged windshield is usually far less than a complete replacement. So, how do you know whether or not you need a replacement or just a repair?
Let’s take a look at some of the factors that will tell you if auto glass repair is an option, or if you need to replace the windshield entirely.
As with all issues in the automotive world, safety is the most important concern. Though it’s generally not dangerous to drive with a broken windshield for a short distance, it should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. The windshield is engineered as a key component in the structural integrity of the vehicle, but glass is weakened by damage. If the car is involved in a collision, a broken windshield cannot provide the intended level of protection to the driver and passengers.
Driving a car with a windshield that has been damaged in a way that reduces the ability of the driver to see clearly is a big safety risk. In some states, like Florida, it is also illegal. Glass repair is usually not recommended if the crack or scratch is within the driver’s line of vision – this generally means the surface area covered by the windshield wipers.
Though new tools and techniques are always being developed for windshield repair, there are still limitations to what sizes and types of damage can be fixed. Nationwide legislation states that only chips or bullseyes up to 1 inch in diameter or cracks as long as 12 to 14 inches in length can be safely fixed.
Windshields are made of two layers of glass and, if damage penetrates through to the plastic layer or the inner layer of glass, it can’t be repaired and will have to be replaced. Replacement is also the likely recommendation for a windshield with any type of damage on the interior layer of glass, even if the external layer is intact.
If a windshield has a crack that nears the frame, it’s likely that car glass technicians will recommend that it be replaced. This is because even small fissures close the edge or corner of the glass can worsen and spread quickly thanks to the vibrations of the car and added stress as it travels over bumps and dips in the road. Cracks located near the frame can also be a safety issue as they undermine the structural integrity of the glass.
The location of windshield damage may also be an issue when it involves technological systems with components that are embedded into the windshield. To ensure that sensors, automatic breaking or advanced driver assistance systems work properly, replacement may be advised.
Advantages of Repairing Car Glass
Fixing a crack in a timely manner will help prevent it from spreading. Car glass technicians can fix most minor cracks and chips in about 30 minutes and the cost is relatively low. A well-repaired windshield should completely restore both durability and visibility. It’s also important to note that car insurance companies usually favor repair coverage.
Advantages of Replacing Car Glass
Replacement will likely take longer – about 3 hours if that type of windshield is in stock – and be the more expensive option. When done properly, however, windshield replacement is the sure way to restore the integrity of the car in case of extensive damage or cracks reaching the frame and, therefore, may be the safest option. Installing new glass ensures the highest level of visibility, where chipped or severely pitted glass may still seem less clear even after being repaired.
Looking for a Reliable Repair Service Near You?
Triton Auto Glass will determine if your windshield can be repaired safely or if it should be replaced. Our skilled technicians can help you decide what is the best solution for fixing your damaged windshield and get you back on the road as soon as possible.