Dealing with Chips and Cracks in Your Auto Windshield
October 2, 2023
So, do you have a chip or crack in your windshield? A stone kicked up from the road or another impact can lead to chips and cracks in your windshield. Over time, these imperfections can expand. If left unaddressed, you might end up needing to replace the entire windshield. However, many people are not aware that these chips and cracks can often be fixed. In fact, some minor windshield damage can even be mended at home using a repair kit.
Why should you care about that chip or crack?
The windshield is not just a piece of glass that keeps bugs out of your teeth. It is a critical component of your car’s structural integrity. In plain language: it is pretty darn important.
Safety First! If you have ever seen a car rollover in a movie (or unfortunately, in real life), you may notice that the car often holds its shape. A good part of that is thanks to the windshield. It helps to distribute the force and keep the roof from caving in. A chip or crack can compromise this safety feature.
Airbags Need It. If you are in an accident and the airbags deploy, they rely partly on the windshield to work correctly. The windshield helps direct the airbag towards you, keeping you safe. A weakened windshield can mess with this system.
It Could Get Worse. Today’s chip could be tomorrow’s massive crack. Temperature changes, especially the shifting from cold to hot, can cause that tiny chip to grow. And trust me, a larger crack is far more expensive to repair.
So, now that we are on the same page about the importance of addressing windshield damage, let us dive into what you can do about it.
Steps to Manage Windshield Chips and Cracks
Do not Wait, Evaluate! The moment you notice a chip or crack, take a good look. How big is it? If it is smaller than a dollar bill, there is a good chance it can be repaired instead of replaced. This is great news for your wallet!
Keep It Clean. Before you decide on any repair, it is essential to keep the damaged area clean. Cover the chip or crack with clear tape to prevent dirt and moisture from getting in. It might sound a bit silly, but it can make the windshield repair process smoother and more effective.
Repair vs. Replace chips and cracks in windshield
Deciding between repairing or replacing a windshield can be tricky. Here’s a basic rule of thumb to guide your decision and ensure road safety and clarity.
Typically, if the chip is smaller than a quarter and the crack is not in the driver’s line of sight, it can be repaired. The process involves injecting a special resin into the chip or crack, which when cured, restores the windshield’s strength and clarity.
If the damage is in the driver’s line of sight, or if there are multiple cracks, you might need to replace the entire windshield. Yes, it is pricier, but safety first, remember?
DIY or Professional Help? There are DIY kits available in auto stores that can help you patch up small chips. They can be handy and cost-effective. However, if you are not comfortable or if the damage looks severe, it is best to see a pro. A professional will have the right tools and expertise to ensure the repair is durable and safe.
Insurance Might Help. Good news! Many auto insurance policies cover Auto glass/windshield repairs (and sometimes replacements) without a deductible. It is worth giving your provider a ring to check your coverage. They might even have preferred providers that can give you a discount.
How to avoid future chips and cracks?
Protecting your windshield from future chips and cracks is essential. Here are some preventive measures to ensure your drive remains clear and safe from unexpected damage.
- Keep a safe distance from trucks, especially those carrying gravel or debris.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes, like pouring hot water on a frosty windshield.
- Replace your wiper blades regularly to prevent scratches.
- Park away from direct sunlight, if possible, as prolonged exposure can weaken the windshield.
In conclusion, while a chip or crack in your windshield might seem minor, it is essential to address it promptly. Not only is it a matter of safety, but timely action can also save you from a more costly repair or replacement down the road. Remember, your car takes care of you on the road, so make sure you take care of it in return. Safe driving!
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