When to Fix that Crack in Your Windshield
Nearly everyone needs an auto body shop at some point in the life of their car. We put our cars through a lot: so much so that recent research found 77% of cars need maintenance or repairs!
One of the most common repairs needed on our cars is glass repair. Can you avoid these breaks? And if you’ve already gotten one, you’ll want to know how serious it is and whether you can have it repaired or will have to get the whole windshield replaced.
There are Six Different Basic Kinds of Windshield Breaks
Hard to believe, but experts at a body shop know which kind is which, and the crack pattern can determine how the glass might further break. If you?re interested, the six types are half moon, bullseye, crack, star breaks, combination break, and surface pits.
Nearly all of them can be fixed at some point: but only if the breaks are fairly small and the location is right. The body shop can tell you for certain, but it’s best not to wait. A small crack or chip easily becomes a large problem if not taken care of.
The Most Common Causes of Windshield Breaks
One of the easiest ways to get a break is to drive your vehicle over a gravel road. Airborne rocks come from cars in front of you, so stay well back from other motor vehicles if you must go down such a road.
If gravel roads don?t get you, the next most common cause of windshield cracks is construction vehicles. These big trucks often have rocks and dirt caked on them which fly off at random moments as the vehicle travels down the highway. Keep well behind these to protect your car.
Construction and Installation Matter
You probably never gave a thought to how your windshield was installed or what quality it is, but these issues matter a great deal. Some windshields are poorly manufactured, and if you?re constantly seeing chips and dents an auto body repair shop can tell you if there’s a quality issue.
Some windshields are poorly installed, which makes them more susceptible. Poorly installed windshields vibrate as the car moves, which can lead to cracks and other damage. A poor quality or badly installed windshield should probably be replaced.
Don?t Forget the Less Common Causes
Hail damage, collisions, extreme temperature or pressure changes, lots of exposure to sunlight: all these can weaken your windshield or cause damage of one kind or another. Some of these issues can be avoided by careful parking. Others are just a part of life. But if you’ve been through a collision, even if the windshield seems fine, don’t be surprised to find cracks appearing later. The same may happen if you constantly go from a warm garage to the freezing outdoors in the winter.
When to Fix and When to Replace
Small cracks and chips of six inches or less are worth trying to fix. An auto glass repair shop can tell you definitively, but if the crack is small, is not right at the edges of the car, and is not in the driver?s line of sight, repair is definitely possible. Repairs are usually quick, taking about thirty minutes or less.
Larger cracks, or damage that interferes with the driver?s ability to see, almost always need a full windshield replacement. You?ll want to go with an experienced and reputable car body shop, though, because it?s important that the windshield be of good quality and installed perfectly.
Getting a dent or crack in the windshield of your car is no one?s idea of a good time, but if you get it fixed quickly you can minimize your stress and future damage.