Windshield Maintenance

Repair Or Replace? What Is The Best Alternative For A Cracked Windshield?

January 15, 2021
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A windshield not only provides a clear 360-degree view of your surroundings, but it also protects the interior of the car from dust and debris. Furthermore, it provides aerodynamic stability to your vehicle.

Despite the various safety precautions we take, we’ve all had to deal with a cracked windshield at some point in our lives. What should you do when you find yourself in such a situation?

Before we get into the details of what to do with a cracked windshield, let us start with the basics.

How strong is my windshield?

A windshield is made up of a safety glass known as laminated glass, which is impact resistant. Windshields also have a high penetration resistance, which ensures the safety of the driver and passengers. If it suffers damage, the breakage is localised at the impact point, resulting in a chip or crack. This ensures that the driver’s visibility is not affected.

Hence, in an unlikely event where the windshield shatters, it breaks into small cuboid shapes instead of sharp shards, thus preventing injury to the occupants of the car.

Types of windshield damages

Various types of damages can occur on a windshield. Whether it should be repaired or replaced is a decision that will depend on the type of impairment and various other factors.

Bull’s eye crack
When a blunt piece hits the windshield, the crack acquires a circular shape. At times, a small piece of glass may also chip off. This is the most commonly occurring example of a cracked windshield.

Stress crack
A stress crack is a type of internal crack that is usually caused by sudden temperature changes. For example, if a car buried in snow is washed with hot water, the sudden temperature change can cause a stress crack on a windshield.

Star crack
When a sharp object strikes a windshield, it causes a star-shaped crack. This is another commonly occurring crack where pieces of glass might also fall off. Star cracks can spread quickly if not dealt with swiftly.

Edge crack
This crack occurs at the edge or within two inches of the windshield lining. It tends to escalate quickly if not dealt with quickly.

Half-moon crack
Similar to a bull’s eye crack, this crack also occurs when a small blunt object hits the windshield, but instead of a circular crack, the cracked windshield has a semi-circular shape.

Repair or Replace?

Now that we have covered the basics, we can move on to the important question.

Many factors decide whether your windshield can be repaired or needs to be replaced.

The size of damage

Not every cracked windshield needs to be replaced. The size of the damage is an important determinant in the decision-making process. A minor chip of about 40 millimetres (a little smaller than a golf ball) can be easily repaired by a trained technician in 15 to 30 minutes.

The severity of damage

Whether it is a bull’s eye, star crack, or half-moon, while 40-millimetre damage on a cracked windshield can be repaired, the severity of the damage should also be taken into consideration. If the chip damage is restricted to the outer layer of the glass, it can be fixed with a repair job. However, if the damage has penetrated the inner glass layer, it is advisable to replace the windshield.

The extent of damage

Multiple chippings on cracked windshields weaken the structural integrity of the glass. Hence, in such cases, it is better to replace the windshield rather than repair it.

Some points to remember

If a crack on the windshield begins or ends at the edge, it must be immediately repaired or replaced, depending on the damage and its extent. Cracks on the edge tend to escalate quickly if not attended to immediately. Also, if the damage obscures the vision of the driver, it can endanger the lives of the car’s occupants.

Last but not least, your car glass is vital for your safety. Thus, even in case of the slightest damage, you need to get it checked by a professional. The smallest crack may seem like nothing, but if not taken care of, you might have to completely replace your windshield.

If you are looking for a professional to consult for your cracked windshield, your search is over. AIS Windshield Experts provides fast, safe, and hassle-free services for your windshield. Save money on a company that operates on pro-repair culture, which means that we replace your windshield only after exhausting all other options. With 80+ centres in 45+ cities and several mobile vans, Windshield Experts is the one-stop solution for all your auto glass problems.

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