There are so many different ways a vehicle’s windshield can suffer damage. Whether a crack or chip is caused by a pebble that’s been kicked up on the highway or a major collision, once a windshield has been compromised, so has the safety of your vehicle. This is why it’s important to restore your windshield to its prior condition as soon as possible.
For most people, the first question that comes to mind after a windshield has been damaged is whether it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. The answer to this question will depend on how severe the damage is and where it’s located. Read on to learn more.
Windshield Repairs: The Basics
Often, a small chip or crack can be repaired by a reputable body shop without needing to replace the entire windshield. This can save you significant money while still ensuring that your vehicle remains safe. It’s usually a fairly quick repair and your insurance company will likely cover it.
For repair to be an option, cracks must generally be less than 12-inches long and a bullseye or chip must be smaller than one inch. If the inner or outer layer of the glass is damaged, then a repair usually isn’t possible.
To repair small damage, the shop will inject the crack or chip with a resin that seals it and strengthens the glass. If the windshield is cracked, the shop may also drill small holes at each end to keep it from spreading.
If you believe your windshield can be repaired, it’s important to take care of it right away. Not only does a damaged windshield make your vehicle less safe, but something as small as hitting a pothole can cause a small chip or crack to spread or cause the glass to shatter.
In most states, including California, it’s also illegal to drive with a cracked windshield that impairs the driver’s ability to clearly see the road. Since this can be left up to interpretation, it’s better to just fix the problem before you have to fight a ticket in court.
Knowing When It’s Time to Replace
If a small chip or crack is in your line of sight, then it’s much safer to replace, rather than repair, your windshield. A replacement is also better if there are multiple chips or cracks in the windshield, if the damage is at the edge of the windshield, or if the windshield is old and covered with divots.
Cracks that are longer than 15 inches and chips or bullseyes that are larger than three inches will require a windshield replacement. Since your vehicle’s glass contributes to its overall stability, integrity, and safety, it’s always better to replace a windshield that can’t be repaired back to its original strength.
If your vehicle has features that involve the front glass, like the sensors that control automatic braking or advanced driving systems, then body shops will often recommend replacing the windshield.
Although replacing a windshield will take longer and cost more than a repair, it’s the best way to ensure that the windshield is completely safe and the visibility isn’t compromised.
Repair or Replace? Either Way, AutoWorx Can Help!
Whether you need a repair or a full replacement, the pros at AutoWorx can help restore the integrity of your vehicle and get you back on the road in no time. Learn more about our windshield and glass services, then give us a call at 310-478-3400 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule your appointment today.