The windshield on your vehicle plays an important role in maintaining structural stability during an accident and ensuring that you have a clear view of the road ahead of you. Debris on the road can become trapped in the tire tread of the vehicle ahead of you. Gravel, rocks, and pebbles can be flung from the tire tread into your windshield, causing a crack to form.
Small cracks might not seem like a big deal, but they can cause significant damage if left unaddressed. Advancements in technology have allowed windshield technicians to complete repairs rather than replacing a cracked windshield. Most windshields can be repaired, as long as the damage is not too significant.
The first thing you want to consider before taking your car in for an auto windshield repair is the size of the crack. Small cracks and chips can easily be repaired, but larger cracks may not be able to be fixed.
A good rule of thumb to use is to place a dollar bill over the damaged section of your windshield. If the damage is smaller than the dollar bill, a repair is plausible. If the damaged area is larger, then you should replace your windshield for the best results.
Another factor that can affect whether or not your windshield can be repaired is the depth of the crack. A vehicle's windshield can appear to be a solid pane of glass, but it is actually made up of several layers that are compressed together. This compression construction prevents a windshield from shattering and causing serious injury during an accident.
Cracks in your windshield can damage varying levels of the glass. If the damage is restricted to the top layer, a repair can be made. Damage that goes through multiple layers of glass cannot be repaired effectively, and you will need to replace the windshield.
The location of the crack is a critical component when determining whether to repair or replace the windshield. Modern technology has made it easier than ever before to create seamless repairs, but there is still the possibility of some discoloration in the repaired area.
Repairs can also change the refractive index of the windshield, resulting in potential glares that could compromise your ability to safely navigate your car. If your crack is located in front of the driver's seat, then you may be better off investing in a windshield replacement.