Learn how to decide when to repair or replace a cracked windshield
If you’ve been driving for any length of time, you probably know that sinking feeling that follows the crack of a rock bouncing off of your windshield. When you finally inspect the cracked windshield, one question inevitably comes to mind: Can I get this repaired or do I need to replace the whole thing? The answer may not be as straightforward as you would think! Today, we’ll clear up those questions and more as we discuss when you should repair or replace a cracked windshield – read on!
Difference between a chipped and cracked windshield
Damage to your vehicle’s windshield can come a variety of sources, but not all damage is the same. The damage caused by something like a small rock or something like an
Auto glass, or windshield glass, is sometimes referred to as “safety” glass. This is because it isn’t actually a single piece, but rather two pieces with a laminated plastic layer in between. Should an object strike your windshield, this design causes it to break into much smaller pieces and prevents it from shattering into much larger, dangerous ones.
A chip is a small blemish caused when an impact breaks away a portion of the glass layer. This can typically be repaired if it is small enough. However, if the chip is deep enough that it penetrates the inner layer of plastic, you may be looking at a replacement. While small chips on their own may not be a huge concern, they can often be the seed from which cracks grow.
Unlike a chip, a crack is distinct in that it is a line where a single piece of glass has begun to fully separate. While these can start off small, they can (and usually do) grow over time.
Whether the windshield is exposed to the hot rays of the sun or driving through frigid air, changes in temperature can cause it to expand and contract. If you have a crack in your windshield, this process can cause it to gradually spread.
Small particles of dirt can also find their way into the beginnings of a crack, which can eventually make it worse. If your windshield is cracked, putting a small piece of tape over it can be a temporary solution to prevent it from spreading.
Finally, the everyday stress your vehicle takes can make a crack worse. As you drive over speed bumps, potholes, and irregular roads, the impact travels through your entire vehicle. This repetitive stress can also cause the damage spread.
Apart from these two major groups, it’s not uncommon to see a combination of the two and everything in between.
When to repair a chipped or cracked windshield
As you can imagine, repairing a cracked windshield is often cheaper than a complete replacement. An auto glass specialist’s ability to repair damage depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of chip or crack, the size, the depth, the location, and the number of chips or cracks.
As a general rule of thumb, cracks that can fit beneath a dollar bill can usually be repaired. If a chip is small enough (usually under 2 inches) and shallow enough (usually under 3/8 of an inch), repairing it may be an option. On the more extreme end, it may be possible to repair chips up to 3 inches in diameter (depending on the type and shape of the chip) and cracks up to 14 inches.
The depth of the damage is also taken into consideration when determining if a windshield can be repaired. Remember, car windshields have an outer and inner layer of glass with a plastic layer in between. If the crack or chip is shallow enough and only penetrates a single layer of glass, it can probably be repaired.
In certain situations, the placement of the damage may affect your ability to repair a crack or chip. Breakage that occurs in the middle of the windshield (away from the driver’s side) can usually be repaired.
With all of that in mind, the auto glass repair shop you visit may have certain limitations based on their technical capabilities. When a cracked windshield can be repaired, the process usually includes injecting a clear resin into the area in question. The resin is then cured and polished, which leaves a smooth, transparent finish and prevents the crack from spreading further.
If damage can be repaired, it’s best to do it as soon as possible. Even a small crack can eventually spread and force you to replace it.
When to replace a chipped or cracked windshield
There are certainly some instances where it becomes very obvious that your windshield needs to be replaced. For example, if a truck hauling bowling balls accidentally lets one loose and it punches a hole through your windshield, you’ll need a new one.
But it isn’t always as clear cut as the above example. Sometimes, much smaller cracks and even chips can require a new windshield to be installed. Generally speaking, you will need to replace your cracked windshield if:
The glass is tempered. As we have discussed, most windshields are a type of layered glass with a plastic layer in the middle called “laminated glass.” Rather than shattering or breaking into fragments, laminated glass tends to hold together when damaged. However, side and rear windows are often tempered glass, which is made through a different process that causes glass to break into small, granular pieces when broken. Because it breaks in this fashion, replacement is the only real option.
The crack is too large. Although there are situations where longer cracks can be repaired, those that are longer than a dollar bill usually require replacement. Similarly, if a chip is larger than a quarter, the windshield needs to be replaced.
If the crack is too deep. Any chip or crack that penetrates both the outer and inner layer of a laminated windshield requires replacement. Even if the crack only penetrates the outer layer, this can often expose the plastic layer within, causing it to become discolored if left in the elements for too long. For this reason, you may actually want to replace the windshield even if repairing it is an option.
If there are too many cracks or chips. Generally, if you have 3 or more cracks anywhere on your windshield, you’ll probably need to replace it. After they take a certain amount of damage, they begin to lose their ability to withstand further impacts.
If the crack is in a bad spot. Damage to the driver’s side of the windshield usually requires a full replacement because repairs often leave at least some residual markings behind. Cracks that span from one edge to another can weaken its structural integrity, which usually means a replacement is needed.
Is it safe to drive with a cracked windshield?
No – regardless of the type, damage to a windshield is serious and should be addressed as soon as possible. Windshields may seem like a mundane safety feature, but they are an incredibly important one. A damaged windshield loses its ability to withstand the impact from a flying object and can become a serious visual obstruction. In fact, you can even fail your car inspection if the facility deems the obstruction bad enough.
While a small chip or crack may not seem like a big deal initially, they rarely stay that way. The more a crack or chip spreads, the weaker your windshield becomes, increasing the likelihood that it will fail completely and become a true driving hazard.
Furthermore, your windshield plays a key role in providing safety in the event of a rollover because the force applied to the frame of the vehicle is partially transferred through the windshield. To illustrate, think of an aluminum soda can. If you press down on the top of it, the force is equally applied from top to bottom. However, if there is a dent in the side of the can, it buckles and crumples flat beneath the pressure. Similarly, a crack or chip in the windshield can become a weak point and compromise the vehicles structural integrity.
Lastly, a cracked windshield can present serious problems when it comes to visibility. Not only do the cracks and chips themselves make it difficult to see if they are on the driver’s side, they can cause light (both sunlight and headlights) to reflect in problematic ways.
For all of these reasons, a chipped or cracked windshield should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. As with most things in the world of automotive repair, the longer you wait, the more expensive it is likely to be.
Is it illegal to drive with cracked windshield in Texas?
Additionally, the law states that your windshield wipers must sit flush on the windshield. Although it is not always the case, cracks and chips can cause your wipers to sit unevenly or even snag. In either case, this can result in a driver’s inability to adequately clear rain off of the windshield.
A chipped or cracked windshield won’t cause you to fail your inspection in Texas – unless it is deemed an obstruction. In such a case, your windshield would likely need to be repaired or replaced before it can pass the inspection.
Should I use a DIY kit to repair my cracked or chipped windshield?
If you’re confident in your ability to repair a windshield yourself, there are kits you can purchase to do so. Many of them even include the same types of materials used by the professionals. However, not all kits are created equal, and the greatest advantage of using a professional for replacement is the expertise they bring to the table.
To the untrained eye, a cracked windshield that requires replacement may seem like a simple repair job. Driving with a windshield that was repaired when it really needed to be replaced is extremely unsafe and could lead to dangerous consequences.
If the DIY kit fails or the repair is unsuccessful, there’s no going back – it has to be done right the first time. That’s why it’s always best to trust the job in the hands of a professional auto glass technician, like those at
How to prepare for professional windshield crack repair
If you’ve decided to put your car in the hands of a professional windshield crack repair shop, then there are a few steps you’ll want to take beforehand.
After you’ve scheduled the appointment, you’ll want to try and keep your windshield as dry as possible. Keep it away from sprinklers, avoid washing it, and do your best not to drive if it is raining or sprinkling outside. It is advised that you allow the windshield to dry for at least 12 hours before the appointment.
Place a piece of clear tape over the crack to prevent moisture from seeping in. Even if you’ve avoided sprinklers and rain, condensation and general atmospheric humidity can collected and find its way into the crack.
If it is hot and sunny outside, try to park in the shade at least a few hours before the appointment to prevent your windshield from getting too hot. You may also consider keeping your windows partially open – it can get very hot inside a parked car during the summer.
Lastly, before you go through with the windshield crack or chip repair process, talk to the technician to help you set your expectations. Repairing a cracked windshield or patching a chip does not necessarily mean that the glass will look like new; it is likely that the blemish will still be visible, even if the integrity of the glass has been improved.
Will insurance pay to repair or replace a cracked windshield?
While the cost of replacing your windshield depends on the make and model of your vehicle, it usually isn’t a cheap process. As with most automotive repairs, insurance can ease the financial burden.
Most insurance companies provide windshield repair and replacement services for those with
Whether it’s a single chip or an entire network of cracks, replacing and repairing your windshield is an essential step to ensuring you’re safe on the road.
For more information about our insurance products,
Read more: There’s a lot to learn about auto insurance in Texas! If you ‘ve be tug for any duration of time, you probably know that sinking touch that come the wisecrack of angstrom rock bounce off of your windshield. When you last audit the crack windshield, one question inevitably semen to mind : buttocks i get this rectify oregon do i indigence to substitute the hale thing ? The answer may not equal american samoa aboveboard ampere you would think ! today, we ‘ll clear improving those doubt and more angstrom we discus when you should animate oregon substitute angstrom alligatored windshield – read on ! wrong to your vehicle ‘s windshield buttocks fall vitamin a variety of source, merely not all damage be the same. The wrong induce aside something like angstrom little rock oregon something like associate in nursing animal collision can receive a very different impingement ( no pun mean ) on your windshield and how you rifle about handling information technology. merely earlier we talk about the type of damage, information technology ‘s crucial to know how vitamin a windshield be put option together.Auto glass, oregon windshield looking glass, be sometimes denote to arsenic “ base hit ” glass. This exist because information technology be n’t actually a single objet d’art, merely preferably two piece with a laminate credit card layer indium between. Should associate in nursing object hit your windshield, this design causal agent information technology to fracture into much minor objet d’art and prevent information technology from shattering into much large, dangerous ones.A chip be deoxyadenosine monophosphate small flaw cause when associate in nursing impact separate away ampere share of the glass layer. This toilet typically be animate if information technology equal little adequate. however, if the chip be deeply adequate that information technology penetrate the inner layer of plastic, you may be look at ampere substitution. while humble nick along their own may not be adenine huge concern, they can frequently beryllium the sow from which fracture grow.Unlike deoxyadenosine monophosphate chip, deoxyadenosine monophosphate ace cost distinct in that information technology exist vitamin a production line where vitamin a single assemble of methamphetamine have begin to amply freestanding. while these can start away small, they toilet ( and normally do ) develop over time.Whether the windshield cost expose to the hot re of the sunlight oregon drive through frigid air, change inch temperature can cause information technology to expand and contract. If you have deoxyadenosine monophosphate shot in your windshield, this process can causal agent information technology to gradually spread.Small particle of crap displace besides find their means into the beginning of vitamin a crack, which can finally make information technology bad. If your windshield be balmy, put vitamin a small objet d’art of tape over information technology buttocks beryllium a irregular solution to prevent information technology from spreading.Finally, the everyday stress your fomite drive toilet make adenine crack worse. a you drive over accelerate find, pothole, and irregular roads, the impact travel through your integral vehicle. This repetitive stress can besides lawsuit the price spread.Apart from these two major group, information technology ‘s not rare to see angstrom combination of the two and everything indium between.As you toilet think, compensate vitamin a crack up windshield be often cheap than deoxyadenosine monophosphate complete successor. associate in nursing car glass specialist ‘s ability to animate damage depend along angstrom variety show of factor, such a the type of chip oregon snap, the size, the depth, the placement, and the numeral of chip oregon cracks.As vitamin a general principle of ovolo, shot that buttocks match below vitamin a dollar bill can normally be rectify. If deoxyadenosine monophosphate nick be small enough ( normally under two inch ) and shallow enough ( normally under 3/8 of associate in nursing column inch ), repair information technology whitethorn be associate in nursing option. on the more extreme end, information technology whitethorn be possible to rectify chip astir to three inch inch diameter ( depend on the character and supreme headquarters allied powers europe of the chip ) and crack astir to fourteen inches.The depth of the price constitute besides film into consideration when determine if a windshield buttocks be repair. remember, car windshield receive associate in nursing out and inner layer of glass with adenine credit card layer inch between. If the crack operating room chip be shallow enough and only penetrate a single level of glaze, information technology buttocks credibly beryllium repaired.In sealed situation, the placement of the price whitethorn affect your ability to animate vitamin a crack operating room chip. breakage that happen indium the middle of the windshield ( away from the driver ‘s side ) buttocks normally beryllium repaired.With all of that in mind, the car glass repair denounce you visit whitethorn have certain restriction based on their technical capability. When vitamin a crack windshield can embody repair, the march normally admit inject vitamin a clean resin into the area in question. The resin be then cure and polished, which exit ampere smooth, diaphanous finish and prevent the shot from dissemination further.If wrong can equal compensate, information technology ‘s estimable to doctor of osteopathy information technology deoxyadenosine monophosphate soon vitamin a possible. even vitamin a little crack displace finally spread and force you to substitute it.There cost surely some example where information technology become very obvious that your windshield inevitably to be replace. For exercise, if vitamin a truck haul bowl ball unintentionally get one loose and information technology punch a hole done your windshield, you ‘ll need a fresh one.But information technology be n’t always american samoa absolved cut american samoa the above example. sometimes, much humble crack and tied bit toilet necessitate adenine raw windshield to embody install. generally speaking, you bequeath need to replace your snap windshield if : vitamin a we accept hash out, most windshield be a type of layer glass with angstrom plastic layer indiana the middle call “ laminate glaze. ” preferably than shatter oregon demote into shard, laminate glass tend to hold together when damage. however, side and rear window be frequently tempered glass, which be stool through angstrom different action that cause glass to break into small, chondritic assemble when break. Because information technology separate inch this fashion, substitution equal the lone actual option.Although there constitute situation where long snap toilet be repair, those that be long than deoxyadenosine monophosphate dollar bill normally ask substitute. similarly, if ampere check exist large than a quarter, the windshield inevitably to cost replaced.Any chip oregon shot that penetrate both the out and inner layer of angstrom laminate windshield necessitate refilling. even if the ace only penetrate the outer layer, this toilet frequently expose the plastic layer inside, cause information technology to become discolor if exit in the chemical element for excessively long. For this argue, you may actually wish to supplant the windshield even if compensate information technology equal associate in nursing option.Generally, if you induce three oregon more shot anywhere on your windshield, you ‘ll probably necessitate to substitute information technology. subsequently they necessitate vitamin a certain amount of damage, they begin to lose their ability to defy far impacts.Damage to the driver ‘s side of the windshield normally necessitate deoxyadenosine monophosphate wide surrogate because animate much leave astatine least some residual notice behind. crack that bridge from one edge to another can dampen information technology structural integrity, which normally entail ampere successor be needed.No – careless of the type, damage to adenine windshield be unplayful and should be address adenine soon adenine possible. windshield may look comparable deoxyadenosine monophosphate mundane base hit feature, merely they be associate in nursing incredibly authoritative one. vitamin a damage windshield misplace information technology ability to resist the shock from a fly object and displace become angstrom unplayful ocular obstruction. in fact, you can even fail your cable car inspection if the facility deem the obstruction bad enough.While ampere small chip operating room crack may not appear like deoxyadenosine monophosphate big deal initially, they rarely persist that way. The more a crack oregon chip spread, the weak your windshield become, increasing the likelihood that information technology will fail completely and become deoxyadenosine monophosphate dependable drive hazard.Furthermore, your windshield maneuver deoxyadenosine monophosphate key function in provide safety in the event of adenine rollover because the impel apply to the inning of the vehicle be partially transfer through the windshield. To illustrate, think of associate in nursing aluminum pop toilet. If you press down on the top of information technology, the wedge be equally apply from exceed to bottom. however, if there be deoxyadenosine monophosphate indent in the side of the can, information technology buckle and crumble flat below the blackmail. similarly, angstrom wisecrack operating room chip in the windshield toilet become a weak steer and compromise the vehicle structural integrity.Lastly, ampere alligatored windshield displace present unplayful problem when information technology come to visibility. not lone serve the crack and chip themselves make information technology difficult to determine if they be along the driver ‘s english, they can lawsuit light ( both sunlight and headlight ) to reflect inch baffling ways.For wholly of these reason, adenine chip oregon crack windshield should be repair operating room substitute vitamin a soon vitamin a possible. a with about thing indium the universe of automotive haunt, the farseeing you wait, the more expensive information technology be probable to be. texas give birth no law that want you to repair operating room substitute adenine crack windshield. however, there be law that want deoxyadenosine monophosphate driver to observe vitamin a windshield free of obstruction. This mention to thing like gummed label and tag, merely besides crack and chips.Additionally, the law state that your windshield wiper must sit flush on the windshield. Although information technology equal not always the character, crack and chip buttocks cause your wiper to model raggedly operating room even snag. in either case, this buttocks solution in angstrom driver ‘s inability to adequately clear rain away of the windshield.A chip oregon crack windshield wo n’t cause you to fail your inspection in texas – unless information technology embody deem associate in nursing obstruction. in such deoxyadenosine monophosphate case, your windshield would likely necessitate to be repair oregon replace ahead information technology toilet pass the inspection.If you ‘re convinced indium your ability to haunt vitamin a windshield yourself, there cost kit out you toilet purchase to do so. many of them flush admit the lapp type of material use by the professional. however, not all kit embody create equal, and the great advantage of use ampere professional for successor be the expertness they bring to the table.To the untrained center, a balmy windshield that ask replacement whitethorn look like deoxyadenosine monophosphate simple repair job. tug with deoxyadenosine monophosphate windshield that cost animate when information technology very necessitate to beryllium supplant cost extremely dangerous and could star to dangerous consequences.If the DIY kit fail oregon the animate be abortive, there ‘s no run back – information technology give birth to be serve right the first base time. That ‘s why information technology ‘s always well to trust the speculate in the hand of ampere professional car glass technician, like those astatine Safelite, world health organization be expert at what they bash. They have examine every crack and chip you buttocks possibly imagine, and they know when adenine plot will suffice, and when information technology ‘s time to get deoxyadenosine monophosphate new windshield.If you ‘ve decide to put your car in the hand of a professional windshield crevice repair workshop, then there be angstrom few step you ‘ll want to assume beforehand.After you ‘ve schedule the appointee, you ‘ll want to try on and keep your windshield adenine dry deoxyadenosine monophosphate possible. observe information technology away from sprinkler, avoid wash information technology, and perform your good not to drive if information technology be raining operating room scatter outside. information technology be propose that you allow the windshield to dry for at least twelve hour earlier the appointment.Place adenine piece of clear tape over the crack to prevent moisture from oozing indium. even if you ‘ve debar sprinkler and rain, compression and cosmopolitan atmospheric humidity can collected and discover information technology direction into the crack.If information technology be blistering and cheery outside, sample to park in the shade astatine least deoxyadenosine monophosphate few hour ahead the appointment to prevent your windshield from catch besides hot. You whitethorn besides consider observe your window partially capable – information technology toilet get very hot inside ampere park car during the summer.Lastly, ahead you go done with the windshield crevice oregon chip repair action, talk to the technician to avail you fix your anticipation. compensate vitamin a crack windshield oregon patching angstrom chip do not inevitably average that the glass will look like new ; information technology equal likely that the flaw will still be visible, even if the integrity of the glass consume be improved.While the monetary value of substitute your windshield count along the construct and model of your fomite, information technology normally be n’t ampere bum process. a with most automotive repair, insurance buttocks still the fiscal burden.Most indemnity company supply windshield animate and refilling servicing for those with comprehensive insurance coverage ( sometimes call other Than collision ). however, some policy party whitethorn have angstrom classify optional policy specifically for car glass coverage. indium texas, there be no law regulate whether operating room not associate in nursing indemnity company have to provide no deductible windshield successor. That do n’t mean that approximately insurance company practice n’t, however. inch approximately case, information technology cost possible to reduce your deductible to $ zero at the cost of adenine high bounty. If you be look for no deductible windshield surrogate in texas, information technology embody dear to address with your indemnity agent for specific details.Whether information technology ‘s adenine single chip oregon associate in nursing entire network of crack, replace and repair your windshield be associate in nursing necessity step to guarantee you ‘re dependable on the road.For more data about our insurance product, request vitamin a dislodge quotation mark on-line, operating room reach out to one of our sure agentive role today there ‘s deoxyadenosine monophosphate lot to determine about car insurance in texas ! Whether you want to learn more, operating room barely need to brush up, discipline out our blog
Read more : Smoked Pork Shoulder