Do I Really Need To Replace My Windshield?
Windshields are Actually Pretty Tough
Regarded as your vehicle’s number 1 safety restraint, your windshield serves as a layer of protection that keeps things out of your car, and keeps you inside. It is comprised of two layers of glass bonded together by a layer of strong vinyl or lamination. When your windshield breaks, the vinyl holds the glass in place, protecting you from falling shards that can harm you and everyone else in the car. Considering how critical its function is, your windshield should be one of those parts that you should never think of compromising on.
Not so long ago, a damaged windshield will immediately require replacement. But not anymore. Thanks to new technology advancements and techniques, it is now possible to do windshield repair instead of outright windshield replacement.
So what do you do when you see a crack on your windshield? Repair or replace? The answer depends on three factors: location, size, and severity of the damage.
Where is the crack located?
Cracks located at the edge of the windshield have a tendency to spread quickly and weaken the structural integrity of the glass. If the crack hasn’t spread yet, repair is possible. Otherwise, replacement is recommended. The worst location for a crack is directly in the driver’s line of sight. In such case, immediate replacement is necessary since repairing can cause glass distortion and distortion in any degree is dangerous. See that picture? The glare is from the light reflecting off the crack in the photographer’s windshield.
How big is the crack?
Many windshield repair shops are capable of repairing cracks up to three inches long, and rock chips that are no bigger than the size of a quarter (around one inch in diameter). If it’s bigger than that, the recommendation will be replacement. Unless it’s one of those few facilities which have advanced equipment and make use of special techniques, then it will be possible to repair wider chips and cracks that are up to 12 inches long. Most rock chips, such as the one in the picture, can be repaired. Keep in mind that rock chip repair is strictly cosmetic and won’t reinforce the window.
How severe is the damage?
If your windshield has more than three cracks or a very deep crack, replace. If your vehicle was involved in a major collision, or was hit by a large object, replacement is recommended because a major impact will most often result in weakening of your windshield’s glass and supporting frame. As such, another impact, no matter how minor, might result in your entire windshield cracking and breaking.
The Bottom line
Regardless of the characteristics of the crack, the common consensus is to have it dealt with as soon as possible. If not, dirt and moisture can accumulate in the damaged area, making its condition worse. And then you’ll have no choice but to have your windshield replaced when initially, repair should have been sufficient.
And if you’re thinking about the cost, don’t worry too much. Most insurance companies cover the cost of both windshield repair and replacement, especially if what you have is full comprehensive insurance. In the case of replacement, however, a deductible may apply. To avoid any surprises, it will be best to call your insurance company so you’ll know beforehand if there’s an amount you need to pay.
Come to Big Sky Collision Center in Billings
Here at Big Sky Collision, we have state-of-the-art technology to help us with your windshield repairs. We don’t just give it a quick look and call it good, we test it with computers to detect what we cannot see.
Of course every car that is repaired at our shop goes through our auto detailing process. But don’t think you have to be in a car crash to get your car detailed! We offer auto detailing starting at just $49; prices that can’t be beat! Give us a call at 406-259-6328 to make an appointment.