Is it Time to Replace Your Windshield?

It is common for most of us to neglect a small chip or crack on our car’s windshield. What we don’t realize is that leaving them unresolved can lead to more problems in the future. Not only do we risk further damage to our windshields, it’s also aesthetically unappealing. On top of that, we are also compromising the safety of the driver, passengers and pedestrians.

Our car’s windshield is designed to provide protection against the elements and also works as a support for our car’s frame. Windshields in the past were more prone to breakage and fell apart easier as compared to today’s counterparts. Modern windshields are sturdier, composed of two layers of outside glass with an inner liner of automotive safety glass. This inner layer, referred to as the lamination, is what keeps the outer layers from falling apart or caving in during an accident.

Shelling out for a new windshield really isn’t something anyone looks forward to. Averaging between $200 and $2000 depending on your vehicle, windshield replacements can give our wallets a severe beating. Luckily, thanks to modern advancements in technology, most minor windshield damage can be easily repaired. The decision to repair or replace a windshield is best left to professionals, but that doesn’t mean we can’t educate ourselves on the matter.

Here are a few things to consider when assessing your car’s windshield damage:


Size:


The size of damage is often the first thing to consider when deciding to repair or replace your windshield. Unless you have a gaping hole on your windshield, small chips and cracks may still be saved. Chips no bigger than a quarter can easily be filled in by most auto glass repair shops. The same goes for cracks no longer than the size of a dollar. In some cases, professional technicians may still be able to remedy damages slightly larger than these, thus it pays to consult with one beforehand. Bear in mind that damage larger than these will more often than not, require a complete replacement of your windshield.


Type:


Identify the type of damage your windshield has by going through this quick guide.

  • A “bulls-eye” is a large chip that is circular in shape.
  • A “half-moon” is similar to a bulls-eye except only partially circular.
  • A “star-break” is a short radial crack stemming from one point.
  • A “combo-break” is the combination of a bulls-eye and a star-break.
  • A “pit” is a small piece of missing glass.
  • A “stress-crack” occurs without anything impacting the windshield.
  • An “edge-crack” forms two inches off the edge of the windshield.
  • A “floater-crack” is one which forms at the center of the windshield.

Knowing what type of damage your windshield has incurred can definitely help you and your technician decide on the proper course of action.


Location:


Rule of thumb dictates that if your windshield vision is obscured and limiting your perception of your surroundings, the only option is to have your windshield replaced before anything worse happens. Even decent repairs leave behind some kind of discoloration, mistiness, or unevenness on your windshield. Damages found directly at the line of sight of the driver, no matter the size, will often merit replacement.

Cracks found on the edge have the tendency to spread if left untreated, compromising the structural integrity of your windshield. A windshield technician might only be able to partially repair an edge chip or a crack. Damages found inside the windshield is almost impossible to repair.


Severity:


If your windshield no longer resembles its old self, nor serves its original purpose, replace it. Multiple spider-web cracks, replace it. Giant gaping hole in the middle, replace it.

For your windshield’s structural integrity and your own safety, it’s best not to prolong the situation. Waiting too long will only make the damage worse, in turn, the cost to fix them will be higher. Stress from hot and cold weather conditions as well as constant usage only add to the dangers of driving a broken windshield. We highly advise finding a reputable auto glass repair shop to assess what is needed to be done.

At King Brothers Collision, we offer a wide range of services for your auto glass needs from acrylic applications, resin injections, to full windshield glass replacements. Feel free to contact us at 313-534-8090 (Redford) or 734-744-8557 (Livonia) for any of your vehicular inquiries.  You can also contact us through our on-line contact form or request a quote right from our website!

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