Is It Necessary to Replace a Cracked Windshield?

car windshield

The windshield of your vehicle protects you from the bugs and insects that you may encounter while you are driving. More importantly, it can also protect you during an unfortunate road accident. However, there may be instances wherein you notice a crack on your windshield.

Definitely, you should address a crack on your windshield. However, it can be quite challenging to evaluate when a repair proves to be sufficient, or when a replacement is necessary. This article tackles when a replacement for a cracked windshield is necessary.

Types of Windshield Damage

The damage to your windshield may be caused by a variety of factors such as small rocks hitting it. The extent of damage can affect only the external layer of glass, or penetrate until its second layer, passing through the plastic layer in between the two glasses. For this reason, the vehicle part experts behind suggest that you get to know how a windshield is put together first for you to be able to effectively assess the damage it has sustained. Rest assured that how it is designed is intended to protect you upon impact, shattering into much smaller pieces, rather than much larger ones which are more dangerous.

car windshield Types of Windshield Damage

• Chips

A chip is a small blemish that occurs on the portion of the first glass layer. Nevertheless, it can also penetrate through the plastic layer and make its way to the second glass layer. Generally, chips are not a major cause of concern but if they are not addressed promptly, they can lead to cracks later on.

Chips Cracks Windshield Damage

• Cracks

A crack is a visible line in your windshield where the glass has begun to separate. Even if they start small, they can grow over time, which means that you need to address them promptly. The temperature changes when you are driving, causing your windshield to expand or contract, can even hasten the growth of a crack. Even particles of dirt that find their way through the crack, or the impact of bumps and potholes that you drive over, can make it worse.

Regardless of whether your windshield has a chip or a crack, make sure to address the problem immediately to ensure that it doesn’t get to become a major issue later on.

Time to Repair

Before after windshield repair

If the chip on your windshield is small enough, usually under a couple of inches, except that it can still be repaired. In the same manner, if the chip is shallow enough, not exceeding a quarter of an inch, then you can still repair it, regardless of where the damage occurred. When it comes to cracks, those that can conveniently fit under a dollar bill can still be repaired. Like with chips, you can most likely repair a crack regardless of its placement.

Time to Replace

• Small Damage

Small Damage car Windshield

There are instances wherein even small chips and cracks already entail the need for replacement. For instance, if you already have more than a couple of small cracks in your windshield, then you should consider replacing it. Moreover, if the crack in your windshield exceeds a foot in length, or typically 12 inches, then you should also consider having it replaced.

• Damage on the Driver Side

When the crack or the chip occurs on the driver’s side, you should also consider a replacement, no matter how small the damage seems to be. The reason behind this is that a repair made on the driver’s side of the windshield can degrade the visual clarity that drivers need behind the wheel because repairs usually leave residue markings.

• Damage on the Edge

Damage on the Edge Windshield

When the cracks or chips occur on the edge of the windshield, you should also consider having it replaced entirely. Even small damage in this location can greatly weaken the structural integrity of your windshield. In this case, it may no longer be functional when it comes to offering you the protection that you need during high impact situations.

There are instances wherein it is necessary to replace a cracked windshield. More often than not, this is dependent on the extent of damage to the crack on your windshield. When it comes to the replacement though, consider whether this is covered by your insurance to eliminate the need for you to shell out a hefty sum for it.