Do You Know Your Windshield?

Questions About your Windshield

Modern vehicle windshields are stronger than ever — often consisting of two curved sheets of glass with a plastic layer laminated between them for safety — but this has not made them resistant to cracks, chips or scratches. Damage to your windshield can be both an eyesore and a safety concern.

Windshield Repair

But how do you know when your windshield needs a simple repair and when it needs to be replaced?

Windshield Repair

Windshield chips, dings and scratches can happen at any time from small pebbles pelting your car on the highway to damage from severe weather. Although windshield damage measuring less than an inch can look minor, you should take care of it immediately as even the smallest chip can quickly spiderweb causing your view to be obstructed. Additionally, it is illegal in most states to drive with a damaged windshield.

The general rule of thumb is if the crack is less than three inches long or the chip is smaller than a quarter, the damage can typically be repaired, but you should try to take care of it quickly. The longer you leave chips and cracks unaddressed, the more likely dirt will build up making it difficult to perform a successful repair.

Auto body technicians, like at Three Rivers Auto Glass, will use a special vacuum to remove air from the damaged area and fill it with resin to seal the crack. The resin is clear and becomes invisible, allowing the windshield to be restored to its original integrity.

Windshield Replacement

If you have a crack that is longer than three inches or expanding, or a chip that lies in your field of vision, you need to replace your windshield. Timely windshield replacement is essential to your safety, as the windshield is up to 85 percent of the structural integrity of a vehicle. Additionally, cracks near the edge of your windshield have a higher tendency to spread so immediate attention is required.

Most windshield replacements can be completed in under an hour with limited maintenance issues. When replacing a windshield, remember there is no room for error when setting the windshield. Poor initial placement almost always leads to compromises in installation quality.

Denny Toth