So you are driving peacefully, and suddenly, a rogue rock hits your windshield – just like that, your windshield has a chip or worse, a crack. Even if it’s just a crack, there’s a good chance that it will spread throughout your auto glass over time.
A cracked or chipped windshield is tricky to address for many car owners. It can be expensive to repair or replace the glass, and many owners also want to know whether a repair or replacement for the damaged windshield is needed.
This quick guide covers what you need to know after a damaged windshield.
As a general rule, if the size of the chip is smaller than a quarter or the crack is under 3 inches long, it can be repaired. Windshield repair technology is very advanced nowadays, so small amounts of damage can easily be fixed. The Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS) guide is an excellent reference to know the auto glass damage that needs to be repaired.
However, the size guideline varies depending on the location of the glass damage.
Depth is closely related to the size of the windshield damage. This factor refers to how deep the damage has penetrated the glass. Your car’s windshield comprises three layers of glass – the other glass layer, a plastic interlayer, and an internal glass layer.
If the damage extends through the outer and inner layers, your best course is windshield replacement because it’s too deep for glass repair.
The damage location significantly impacts whether you need an auto glass replacement or repair. For instance, if the damage is located to the glass’s outer edge, the glass’s structural integrity likely has been compromised. If this is the case, a windshield replacement is your best bet.
Another critical location is the driver’s line of sight. Windshield repairs usually cause distortion, which can compromise the driver’s view. Again, it’s best to replace the damaged auto glass in this case.
As with all things automotive, safety is a crucial factor to consider. Although it’s considered relatively safe to drive a car with a damaged windshield for short distances, the damage should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
Your windshield is a vital component of the structural integrity of your car. Plus, the windshield also protects the driver and passengers. With weakened glass, a broken windshield can’t provide the intended level of protection to the occupants.
When Should You Repair Or Replace Auto Glass?
Generally speaking, auto glass service professionals can repair more minor chips and cracks for a reasonable fee. However, if the damage is more significant and can affect your ability to drive safely, windshield replacement is a must.
Whether it’s a small crack or a serious one, make sure that you address the problem as soon as you can. Depending on your state, there are cracked windshield laws that you need to follow in order to stay safe.
Contact San Diego Auto Glass & Tint’s Windshield Experts
At San Diego Auto Glass and Tint, we’ve seen it all. If your windshield is damaged, we’ll tell you all of your options. Our goal is to provide high-quality, fair service. We won’t try to sell you anything you don’t need. When our customers are happy, we’re happy.