It is all too often that a driver gets into the driver’s seat, only to notice a crack or chip on their windshield. Even more dangerous is being on a roadway when rocks, cement, or other bits of debris shoot up to crack the glass. Unfortunately, most drivers will have to deal with a cracked windshield at some point in their life, and that is why it is important to understand how these cracks will affect one’s driving, their safety, and their insurance.
Some of these cracks can be repaired, however, and this is why every drive should take a close look at how to prevent cracks from spreading and when it may be time to have the windshield completely replaced.
Danger: Obstruction of Driver’s View
The first thing that all drivers should recognize is how dangerous it may be to leave their cracked windshield untreated. Whether it is repairs or a replacement, cracks create major safety issues with the vehicle beginning with an impairment of one’s field of view. Moisture, direct sunlight, and even minor bumps will spread these cracks and structural weaken the glass. As windshields are one of the most important safety features of a vehicle, it is important to address this problem immediately.
Repair or Replace?
There are two easy rules to go by when it comes to deciding whether repairs or replacements are necessary. First, any nicks or cracks that are larger than a quarter will need to be replaced completely. If the crack or chip can be felt on both sides of the windshield, a replacement will also be necessary. Luckily, catching this damage early on will result in the driver saving both time and money by skipping the replacement. When replacing a windshield, the two options for products include OEM windshields and aftermarket windshields. OEM windshields cost more but are made to the specifications noted by the car manufacturer themselves.
Windshield Repair Companies
If the damage is caught early, the best option for repair is the use of a product that has been specifically been made for windshields. These glue-like substances will be placed directly on the chips and cracks and are used to provide integrity to the structure of the windshield. These products can be purchased at local auto stores, but many windshield replace companies will also offer them as part of their services.
For those that decide to use a binding material that has not been created specifically for windshields, there are a few important considerations to make. Not only should the material be exceptionally strong, it must also be durable enough to stand up to moisture, direct sunlight, and other extreme changes in temperature. Owners should also test the product on a small location of the windshield that is well out of their view to ensure that the material matches the translucency of the windshield.
Cracked and damaged windshields may be a common occurrence, but they do not need to evolve into an expensive fiasco. By finding and fixing this damage quickly, drivers could save themselves thousands of dollars as well as improve the safety of their vehicle.
Peter Wendt is a freelance writer and car collector living in Austin, Texas. When one of his prized possessions got a huge crack in the window, Wendt took it to this expert, and they had it fixed in no time.