Is your car's windshield looking a little bit dinged up or, even worse, cracked and damaged? Your windshield is an essential vehicle safety component in more ways than one, so you should never ignore evident problems. Restoring your windshield to its factory specifications can make driving your car more comfortable and safer.
If you're still uncertain about whether it's time to throw in the towel and replace your windshield, these three questions may help you to clarify your situation.
1. Can You Cover the Damage With a Coin?
When dealing with a chip, try covering it up with a coin. If you can still see the damage, the problem is likely too severe to repair. Windshield repair shops fix cracks and chips by filling them with a special resin, but this method does not work on large chips. In these cases, the impact on your windshield's structural integrity is usually too significant to repair.
For cracks, the upper limit for repair will usually be larger. Most shops can repair cracks up to a foot long (or even longer), as long as no other circumstances make a repair impossible. If your windshield has a crack longer than twelve inches, you'll need to consult with a repair shop. In most cases, damage of this severity will require you to replace your windshield.
2. Is Your Windshield Heavily Cracked or Chipped?
Size isn't the only factor that determines whether a replacement is in your future. Since your windshield plays a crucial role in your car's structural strength, there is an upper limit to how many repairs a shop can conduct. When a windshield has too many cracks, chips, or other issues, repairing individual problems will no longer restore the glass's stability.
Unfortunately, there's no hard and fast limit on how many repairs is too many. An auto glass technician can evaluate your glass by checking the number of repairs needed and how close they are together. Too many cracks or chips clustered together in one area can compromise the entire windshield or make individual repairs too tricky. In these cases, you will need to replace the whole piece of glass.
3. How Old Is the Damage?
In general, age alone is not enough to prevent a shop from repairing damage to your windshield. Unfortunately, the longer you leave damage unaddressed, the more likely it is for that damage to expand or pick up dirt and debris. While shops will do all they can to clean the area before applying the resin, dust and dirt embedded in a chip or crack can cause a repair to fail.
When a repair fails multiple times, replacement is usually the only option that remains. Even if you've had a crack or chip on your windshield for some time, fluctuations in temperature or future impacts can potentially cause the entire windshield to fail suddenly. Replacing your windshield guarantees that you won't suffer a catastrophic failure while on the road.
To get help with windshield replacement, visit an auto shop near you.