Sometimes bringing your car for a checkup may result in you finding out there are problems with the vehicle, such as a crack on the side window you did not see or internal issues. On the other hand, sometimes you’re driving and a piece of debris hits your windshield, resulting in a huge crack across the front of the auto glass.
When you find out at a maintenance appointment, it may be due to a minor incident prior but the latter incident may result in you being in a panic. What are your next steps? Is this something that an average driver can fix or do you bring it to a mechanic? Most of all, is it a windshield/auto glass repair or replacement? Don’t be blindsided or feel confused, keep reading to find out the answers to these questions:
Repair or Replacement?
The first step when you notice a crack or dent in the windshield is whether or not it can be repaired, or if it has to go to more extreme cases of a replacement. Using a magnifying glass, you can identify which category it falls under. Below are the qualifications for repair and replacement:
Your auto glass can be repaired if:
- The crack is shorter than the length of a $5 bill
- The chip is smaller than the diameter of a quarter
- The damage is small and circular
- The damage is fresh
Your auto glass should be replaced if:
- The crack is longer than the length of a $5 bill
- The chip is larger than the diameter of a quarter
- The damage is directly in the driver’s line of sight
- There are multiple cracks
- The damage is deep, penetrating the inner layer of safety glass
- The damage is directly over a heating element or radio antenna
- The crack reaches into the windshield’s edges
A rule of thumb is that if it’s a crack or chip that is perpendicular to the surface of the glass, or at a shallow angle, it can most likely be repaired. As long as no large pieces of glass have flown off, it can be fixed. Notice that because long cracks are not capable of being repaired, small chips and cracks need to be fixed immediately before it becomes bigger.
How to Keep it from Growing
Damage has been done by the time you notice there is a dent or crack in your windshield or auto glass but to prevent it from becoming a bigger crack, there are a couple options.
First off, you can protect the damaged area. Until you are able to get it fixed, you can seal it with clear tape or nail polish so that it is sealed and protected from external dirt and debris. In addition, you can avoid extreme temperature. If you see that it is going to be a hot day, do not blast the air conditioning as the crack will get bigger with the heat on one side and coldness on the other. If you have to wash it or clear debris off of it, do not press against the glass too hard or else the whole piece of auto glass will break. Lastly, if you know there is a crack and you have to drive to a location to get it fixed, do not drive aggressively because it will out unnecessary stress onto the glass.
You can pick from two options: either do it yourself or leave it to the pros. If you chose to repair your windshield on your own, there are repair kits out there to help you do this. They come with all the elements you need to repair the crack or chips. If you choose to get it done by an auto glass technician, they will take care of it. Replacements will have to be done through a technician but what’s great is that they are trained to carefully repair or replace your auto glass so that you can be stress-free.
Depending on the reasoning behind the repair or replacement, most insurance companies will cover the costs. If you have comprehensive coverage, then you wouldn’t have to pay a deductible for repairs! Another bonus to getting your windshield fixed as soon as possible.
When it comes to auto glass, it is no joke. Take care of the windshield as much as the rest of the car because it is an important component of your car. If you are looking for a new windshield or auto glass repair or replacement, contact our team and we’ll set up a quick appointment for you!