A cracked windshield is a safety issue that needs fixing. Track down a vehicle repair specialist with windshield expertise DexKnows auto glass is a good place to start — and get it put right.
It’s not just the appearance
Windshield cracks look ugly, but that’s not the problem. A larger crack, especially one running through the driver’s line of sight, interferes with visibility and can get you a ticket. It can even make the car or truck less safe.
The windshield is actually part of the vehicle’s structure, so when it’s cracked, there’s more chance of the roof being crushed in rollover-type accidents. It also helps prevent the occupants from being ejected during a rollover (which is a significant cause of road accident deaths) and ensures the airbags deploy properly. In short, a cracked windshield is a safety hazard.
Cracks start as chips
Windshields are made from a thin sheet of plastic sandwiched between two layers of glass. Stones thrown up by other vehicles can chip the outer layer. Sometimes these will remain just an irritating blemish, but oftentimes a crack will start spreading outwards.
The vibration from normal road use can be enough to make a crack grow, but university research has shown that heat and cold make the damage much worse. Water is a problem too. Whether from rain or the car wash, water can get into the chip or crack, and we all know what happens when water freezes!
What you can do about it
Have chips repaired promptly. A specialist with the right skills and equipment can clean it out and inject a special transparent resin. Search DexKnows windshield repair for one near you. Remember, though, that no repair is invisible. The purpose of a repair is to stop the chip from turning into a crack, not to restore the optical properties of the glass.
In the past, a cracked windshield had to be replaced, but today some auto repair places with windshield expertise will fix smaller cracks. You should ask a specialist what they’d recommend for your windshield crack, but you can also use this rough guide: If it’s shorter than six inches it may be possible to repair it for a fraction of the cost of a new windshield.
This may not be a concern if your insurance covers windshield replacement, but more and more insurers baulk at the cost of replacing a windshield. They’d rather have it repaired if possible, and some will waive the deductable for doing so. There is also a “green” aspect to discarding a damaged windshield: laminated glass can’t be recycled, so that’s 20 pounds or more of landfill.
Who to go to
Not every auto repair shop is set up to deal with windshields. You need to find one who is, so search DexKnows auto glass for one close by. Don’t put it off. A cracked windshield is a safety issue, and no one wants to drive an unsafe vehicle.