Windshields are one of the most important parts of your car. If you have a crack or chip, you’re going to want to get it fixed immediately for your safety.
However, most car owners are usually not sure if they need a windshield repair or replacement service.
So, does your car need a repair or replacement? The answer depends on the following three factors:
1) What’s The Size Of The Crack?
Cracks are the long wavy lines that run across most or a little part of your glass, depending on the severity of the impact. These are different than chips, which are circular or star-like cracks that show the point of impact.
Most repair shops can repair cracks if they are between one to three inches long and chip damages that are the size of a quarter coin. Anything bigger than these dimensions, and you need to consider replacing the windshield.
While some workshops claim to have highly advanced equipment and techniques that repair cracks as long as twelve inches and broader chips, it might still be wise for you to replace if that’s the level of damage to your glass. At this point, trying to fix your windshield can make your car prone to rust and corrosion due to leaks during rainstorms or washes.
If the size of the damage is so extensive that it cuts through all the glass layers, you have to replace it with a new windshield.
A crack that cuts through more than one layer has weakened the structural integrity of the glass. This is important because the structural strength of the windshield plays a significant role in protecting you in the event of a vehicle rollover.
2) What’s The Location Of The Crack?
The location of the crack plays a significant role if you need to repair or replace it outrightly.
If the damage occurs at the edge of the windshield, it is likely to spread quickly and weaken the glass as the wavy line gets longer. In situations like this, you need to act fast. If you can repair it before it starts to spread, then you don’t need to bother with a replacement.
If the crack happens in the area covered by the driver’s windshield wiper, then it needs to be replaced. This almost always causes some form of distortion, which diminishes the driver’s view of the road and can lead to dangerous results.
Lastly, the damage can also affect sensors such as automated braking systems and driver assistance systems, rain sensors, and any other components that need a clear line of sight to perform correctly. In cases like this, you must replace completely to avoid the risk of malfunctions or faulty readings.
3) What’s The Gravity Of The Damage?
If your car was involved in a high impact collision, or a very large projectile caused the damage, replacement is the best course of action. You should also replace it if the glass has cracked in two more places.
It is likely that the damage has severely weakened your windshield’s glass layers and supporting frame. Even the slightest of impacts could result in the entire glass shattering instantly.
The Bottom Line
The critical point to note here is that it’s vital to deal with the damage as soon as possible. If you don’t, it becomes more challenging to repair because moisture and debris start to accumulate in the cracks.
These also make the damage worse, meaning you then have to replace the glass regardless if a minor repair would have been sufficient.
The longer you wait, the more damage you can expect.