Your car’s windshield is more than just a piece of glass. It plays a critical role in keeping you safe while driving, providing structural support to your vehicle, and allowing you to have a clear view of the road ahead. Unfortunately, windshield damage is a common issue that many car owners face. Whether it’s a small chip or a large crack, ignoring windshield damage can lead to more significant problems down the road. In this blog post, we’ll explore when you should take your car for windshield replacement or repair, ensuring your safety and the longevity of your vehicle.

Size Matters: Assessing Windshield Damage

The first and most crucial step in determining whether you need windshield repair or replacement is assessing the size and extent of the damage. Windshield damage can range from small chips and cracks to larger, more severe issues. Here’s a breakdown of when to consider each option:

Small Chips:

If your windshield has small chips that are no larger than a quarter, they may be repairable. Quick action is essential to prevent these chips from spreading into larger cracks.

Cracks Less Than Six Inches:

Cracks that are shorter than six inches in length can often be repaired. However, the location of the crack also plays a role in whether it can be repaired successfully.

Large Cracks:

Cracks longer than six inches or multiple cracks that intersect may require windshield replacement. Large cracks compromise the structural integrity of the windshield and are a significant safety hazard.

Location of Damage

The location of the damage on your windshield is another crucial factor in determining whether it can be repaired or needs replacement. Some locations are more challenging to repair effectively. These include:

A completely battered auto glass of a car

Edge Cracks:

Cracks that extend to the edge of the windshield are more likely to spread and are usually candidates for replacement.

Line of Sight:

Damage that obstructs the driver’s line of sight is a safety concern and should be addressed promptly. Repair may be possible for minor obstructions, but replacement is often necessary.

Cracks Near Sensors:

Modern vehicles often have sensors and cameras attached to the windshield for advanced driver assistance systems. Damage near these sensors may require replacement to ensure the proper functioning of these systems.

Extent of Damage

In addition to the size and location of the damage, the extent of the damage is crucial in determining whether repair or replacement is necessary. Multiple chips or cracks can complicate repairs, as can damage that has penetrated the inner layer of the windshield. In such cases, replacement may be the only viable option.

Act Swiftly to Prevent Further Damage

Regardless of the size, location, or extent of the damage, it’s crucial to act swiftly when you notice windshield damage. Even small chips can quickly turn into larger cracks, especially in extreme temperatures or rough driving conditions. Delaying repairs can lead to more extensive and costly windshield damage, putting your safety at risk.

Wiper blades resting on the windshield of a red car

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also influence the decision to repair or replace your windshield. Extreme temperatures, especially rapid temperature changes, can cause existing cracks to expand. Additionally, exposure to dirt, debris, as well as moisture can make repairs less effective. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the climate in your area and the conditions your vehicle is exposed to when making your decision.

Consult a Professional

Ultimately, the best way to determine whether you need windshield repair or replacement is to consult a professional auto glass technician. They have the expertise to assess the damage accurately and recommend the most suitable course of action for rock chip repair.

Insurance Coverage

Another important factor to consider is your insurance coverage. Many auto insurance policies include coverage for windshield repair or replacement. If your policy covers the cost, it’s wise to take advantage of this benefit. However, be sure to check whether there are any restrictions or deductible amounts associated with the coverage.

Rain drops running down a windshield

DIY Repairs: A Risky Proposition

While there are DIY windshield repair kits available on the market, attempting to repair your windshield without professional expertise can be risky. These kits are designed for minor chips and may not be effective for larger or complex damage. Improperly repaired windshields can compromise your safety, so it’s best to leave the job to the professionals.

Your car’s windshield is a vital safety component, and windshield damage should never be taken lightly. Assess the size, location, and extent of the damage, act swiftly to prevent further issues, consider environmental factors, consult a professional, and check your insurance coverage to make the best decision for your situation. Remember, when it comes to windshield damage, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

About AAR Auto Glass

AAR Auto Glass is a window tinting company based in Houston, offering affordable windshield replacement to those in need. Their rock chip repair services also include cracked auto glass repair and rear windshield replacement at the best prices in the area.

Assess your windshield closely using the tips mentioned in the blog above, and see if you need to take your vehicle to this auto glass repair shop at your earliest to avoid further damage to the car’s structural integrity.

Sparkling clean windshield on a blue car

About the Author

Brian Williams is a sports car enthusiast who likes debating over the results of the latest Formula One race and writing articles for third-party websites and local magazines—all related to the dynamics and wonders of cars, of course.