The last thing you should do when your windshield is cracked is ignore it. Driving with a cracked windshield is a safety issue not just for you but other drivers on the road. It could cause you to get into an accident, putting the lives of others at risk. Damaged windshields can also pop out during an accident. In addition, s large crack in the windshield impairs your vision because it reflects sunlight glare. The large crack itself interferes with clearly seeing the road.
Driving carefully won’t prevent a crack or chip from growing larger. Hot or cold temperatures, for example, can worsen the crack. Even without extreme temperatures and with careful driving, the cracks can spread. The windshield is an important safety feature of your car, another reason why you don’t want to ignore chips or dings to the windshield.
Small Cracks and Chips Can Usually Be Fixed
Smalls cracks and chips to your windshield can usually be repaired by an auto glass expert. You don’t have to unnecessarily spend the money to have it replaced if the damage is minor enough. How large is too large? A general rule of thumb is if the crack reaches the length or width of a credit card, then the windshield will need replaced. Therefore, if the crack to your windshield is smaller than the length or width of a credit card, you still want to have it repaired immediately before it transforms into a larger crack that can no longer be repaired.
Replace the Windshield If the Vinyl Resin Layer is Damaged
If the vinyl resin layer in your windshield has been cracked or chipped and you have a standard windshield, then you should immediately replace the windshield. A standard windshield consists of two sheets of glass with vinyl resin in between them. The vinyl resin is responsible for holding the two pieces of glass in place during collisions. It can also prevent shards of glass, which can cause serious injury or death, from flying in an accident. The reason it’s so critical to have the windshield replaced if the vinyl layer has been cracked or chipped is the windshield won’t be able to handle much more impact before dangerously shattering.
What Else Influences Whether You Should Replace or Fix a Broken Windshield?
Other factors that influence whether or not you should fix or replace a cracked windshield are place of the crack, type of crack, and how long the glass has been damaged. The skill level of the auto glass technician you hire makes a difference too. Some auto glass experts will be able to fix larger cracks that competing technicians can’t. Insurance companies usually set a time limit for how long they’ll cover repairing or replacing a windshield that has been damaged from when the crack occurred. Two types of breaks that can’t be repaired are chips on corners or in tight spots and damage that extends from the exterior and penetrates the interior.
The decision between fixing or replacing a cracked windshield depends on a multitude of factors. It’s usually better to repair a windshield if possible because it’s cheaper. However, you should make sure that you hire a reputable auto glass repair expert to ensure it’s done properly the first time. Paying for a shoddy repair will only cost you more money in the long-run.