A cracked or chipped windshield is more than an unpleasant blemish on the car’s aesthetic appeal – it is a major safety issue. In everything, safety is paramount. You must know that in a front-end collision, the windshield gives up to 45% of the cabin’s structural integrity.
In the case of a rollover, the windshield can give up to 60% of the cabin’s structural integrity. Knowing these, it is crucial to ensure the windshield’s structural integrity. Typically, a crack in the windshield warrants replacement but thanks to new techniques, it is now possible to repair instead of outright replacement.
So, how to decide if you need repair or windshield replacement? You should consider three factors:
Location of the crack
You must know at the onset that the location of the damage can affect the ability to conduct a windshield repair. If the damage stretches to the outer edge of the glass, there is a greater chance that the windshield’s structural integrity has been compromised.
Windshield replacement should be performed if the crack is within the driver’s line of sight. This is important because it can distort the driver’s view of the road. More importantly, windshield replacement should be done if the damage involves the view of sensors like rain sensors, automatic braking systems, lane departure warning systems, and other related components.
Size of the crack
As mentioned earlier, modern techniques allow repair instead of outright replacement but this will depend on the repair company. In general, chips that are smaller than a quarter and cracks up to 3 inches long can be repaired. If it is bigger than a quarter and 3 inches long, the replacement is recommended.
The severity of the damage
The severity of the damage refers to how deep the damage infiltrates into the car’s windshield. You must be aware that a windshield is basically made of an outer layer, plastic interlayer and inside layer of glass. If the damage is through the outer and inner layer, this calls for a windshield replacement.
Aside from this, there are also other instances requiring replacement. For instance, if your car was involved in a major collision, you should replace the windshield. You should also consider a replacement if your windshield was hit by a large object. These incidents can weaken the glass and the supporting frame of the car.
If you drive with a damaged windshield, you are risking your life and the lives of the people around you. If there is damage in your windshield, it should be evaluated by professionals as soon as possible so they can recommend any repairs or replacements. Fortunately, there are many auto glass repair company that you can consider but you have to look into their reputation, experience, and professional installers.