No matter how well you drive or how well you take care of your car, your windshield will almost certainly become damaged at some point. It’s actually one of the more common hazards of driving on a highway, and all it takes is for a tiny pebble to be thrown into your windshield by the vehicle in front of you on the highway. Fortunately, not every chip or crack will require you to buy a whole new windshield. If that was the case, people would need to go to a Calgary auto glass shop every other week. And yet, even a seemingly minor crack can cause some serious problems if it goes unchecked for too long.
The key to maintaining a good windshield on your vehicle is knowing when you need to make minor repairs and knowing when it’s time for a whole new windshield. Here are some tips that will help you make that decision.
When Your Windshield Can Be Repaired
As a rule, any chip in your windshield smaller than a quarter or crack less than 14 inches long can be safely repaired. This can usually be done quickly, sometimes while you wait in the auto glass repair shop. Your windshield can also be repaired as long as the damage is only to the outer glass layer. A windshield is generally made up of an outer layer, a plastic middle layer, and a final glass layer. As long as only the top layer is damaged, you should be fine with a repair.
When Your Windshield Should Be Replaced
A windshield should be replaced if it has a deep chip taken out of it or if there is a crack longer than 14 inches. These are often too difficult to repair reliably, and even when they are fixed the integrity of your windshield could still be compromised. You should also have your windshield replaced if a crack is close to the edge of the windshield. Even a relatively small crack at the windshield’s edge could be enough to compromise its integrity, as the edges that are holding it in place could be damaged. In other words, a crack that would be easy to repair anywhere else could be catastrophic if it is in the wrong place.
It should be noted that your windshield plays a vital role in your vehicle’s structural integrity, and seeing even a tiny crack or chip might mean that it will never truly be the same. It may seem easier and cheaper to repair minor damage in your windshield, but if there is any doubt in your mind that your windshield is unsafe, don’t hesitate to have it replaced. As long as it is installed by professionals, you can be certain that a new windshield will be perfectly safe while you drive. The same cannot always be said about a repaired windshield.
When in doubt, get a new windshield and have it installed by professionals. Your local auto glass repair shop will understand.