Just some years back, having a crack or a chip in the windshield is equivalent to tossing that windshield out the trash. That is not the case now anymore as today’s technology makes it possible to repair minor cracks and chips in your car’s windshield. Windshields are not just there to “shield” you from debris, the wind, and the rain. More than any other functionality, the windshield is actually part of the structural integrity of a car, especially in an accident. What this means is that in case of an accident and in the event a car rolls over, the windshield is part of the structure that prevents the roof from crushing the occupants inside. This makes it very important that professionals are the only ones who should attempt replacement or repairs here. There are general rules in place on whether you should replace or repair your windshield. Read on and find out how to assess whether or not your windshield needs replacement.
Assessment of the damage
A windshield needs to be strong enough to withstand wind and external stress when the vehicle is traveling at great speeds. This is made possible by the technology of lamination. This process combines two sheets of tempered glass and an inner layer holding them together for strength. This ensures that the windshield is strong enough to withstand external stresses. However, damage does occur when a particularly hard object hits the glass at high speeds. This can be in the form of chips, cracks or a combination of both. The lamination in the glass prevents the glass from shattering so not all damage can cause the glass to be replaced.
Determining When to Repair or Replace
Your vehicle will need to be evaluated by a reputable shop. This is important as most minor damages do not call for a replacement. They will correctly determine whether or not the windshield should be due for a replacement or no. The size, depth, and location will determine as to what course to take.
Size, Depth, and Location
Chips that are smaller than a quarter and cracks up to three inches long can be easily repaired. Upper limits would go up to 14 inches maximum or sometimes even longer depending on where it is. If it reaches to the windshield edges, it has to be replaced. So the size of the crack may vary depending on its location. If the damage is through the outer and inner layer of glass, this would be beyond repair. As for the location if the cracks continue to the very edge of the windshield this would again warrant a replacement. If the crack is directly in front of the driver’s field of view, this would also be a big no. Even the best repair jobs may leave warping and a slight distortion and it is unacceptable that the driver’s view is affected by this.
Safety Dictates What to Do
When deciding whether to replace the windshield or not it is very important to consider safety for you and your passengers as the primary consideration.