Should Your Repair or Replace Your Windshield?
Finding a crack or chip in your windshield is a dreadful occurrence almost every driver has to deal with sometime in life. After catching a glimpse of the damage, the question remains: Should you repair or replace it? Whatever you do, you need to decide quickly, as driving with a cracked windshield can worsen the problem and lead to a dangerous situation.
Follow the tips below to decide which choice is right for you:
1. Determine the Extent of the damage
The size of the chip or crack is important. Experts can easily repair most chips smaller than a quarter and most cracks less than 3 inches long. However, according to the Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard guide, the maximum damage for windshield repairs is a 3-inch-long chip and a 14-inch-long crack. Naturally, professionals can’t repair these cracks in all situations, as the crack’s location is a factor.
Depth is also important. Any chip that extends through the outer and inner layer of glass is too deep to repair, a situation which requires a new windshield.
2. Check the Location of the Damage
Where the crack or chip is, plays a role in whether you need a windshield repair or a replacement. Any chips or cracks that spread to the outer edge of the glass typically mean you’ll need a windshield replacement, as this type of damage means the windshield may no longer be structurally sound. Since windshields help to keep your car from collapsing in a rollover crash, any instability here could have serious consequences.
Additionally, experts recommend not repairing cracks that form directly in the driver’s line of sight. Even with the best repair, you may still get some distortion that can affect the driver’s perception of the road. The same goes for cracks that happen around certain sensors embedded in the windshield. Even the slightest imperfections can cause these sensors to malfunction, which means you may not be able to use various types of automated driver assistance systems.
3. Consider the Cost of a Repair vs Replacement
Naturally, repairing a windshield is cheaper than replacing one. Getting a windshield repaired typically costs less than $100. However, to replace the windshield itself, you may have to pay between $200 and $1,000, depending on the model of your car and where you live.
If you have to replace your windshield, make sure you choose the correct one. All modern windshields should be made with laminated glass to prevent small glass pieces from flying everywhere in the event of a crash. Additionally, some windshields need to house an embedded antenna for the radio. If you’re uncertain about what type of windshield to choose from, be sure to rely on the advice of a seasoned automobile glass professional for help. Choose a provider certified by the Auto Glass Safety Council to make sure that you’re getting the best service possible.
No one wants to deal with the hassle of getting a crack in a windshield. Now that you know more about when to repair or replace your windshield, the process should be smoother for you. You’ll be armed with the knowledge to make an educated decision that can help keep you safe on the road.