Repair Or Replace? Deciding What To Do About A Damaged Windshield


If your windshield has been damaged, you're probably wondering whether you can get away with a repair or if you need to replace the whole thing. Looking carefully at several factors can help you determine the most inexpensive solution.

How Big Is the Damaged Area?

The first thing to consider when deciding what to do about your windshield is to assess the size of the damage. Many smaller cracks and chips can be repaired safely without replacing the entire windshield, which costs much more than a repair.

If you're dealing with chipped glass and the damage is smaller than a U.S. quarter, there's a good chance it can be repaired. For cracks, anything under 3 inches can almost always be repaired, and some repair centers can deal with cracks up to 12 to 14 inches long without replacing the entire windshield.

How Deep Is the Damage?

Even small chips and cracks might not be repairable if they're too deep. Most vehicle windshields are made up of an outer and inner layer of glass with a plastic layer in between. If the outer layer of glass is the only affected layer and the damage is small enough, you'll most likely be able to have it repaired.

Chips or cracks that go through to the middle plastic layer usually can't be fixed. If the damage is on the inside layer of glass, most centers will recommend a full replacement to maintain the structural integrity of the windshield.

Where Is the Damage Located?

If you have a crack that extends to the outside frame of the windshield, you'll likely need a full replacement. Vibrations from driving can cause damage near the frame to spread quickly, and repairs near the edge of a windshield don't typically work well.

Windshields with chips and cracks that cross the driver's line of sight aren't usually candidates for repair either. Repaired glass can cause slight distortions that can be dangerous if it's where you're usually looking out of your windshield to drive.

Can You Leave the Damage Alone?

Any windshield damage can make your car unsafe to drive due to reduced visibility and weakening the overall strength of your vehicle. So whether you're dealing with a small chip or a long crack, getting it fixed promptly is important. 

The longer you drive with chipped or cracked glass, the more likely it is the damage will spread, which can turn damage that might have needed a simple, inexpensive repair into a situation where the only option is to replace the windshield completely. 

If you're still not sure whether you need a glass repair or a new windshield, take your vehicle to an auto glass center like M S Glass Outlet to have a professional assess the damage.


12 November 2019

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