Do you need windshield replacement or windshield repair? If you have a large crack, it needs to be replaced. Small chips can be repaired, if the cracks emitting from the chips are not too big. If you do have a chip in the windshield with a star crack, having it repaired sometimes prevents the cracks from growing longer. Cracks larger than 3-4 inches cannot be repaired, you will need a new windshield.
Car Glass Chip and Crack Repair
In order to properly repair your windshield, you must identify the type of damage your that has occurred first. Chips in your glass, unsurprisingly called glass chips, are usually caused by rocks and other materials flying into the windows or windshield.
The small collection of cracks around a center of contact point is referred to as a star. A larger series of cracks, called combination cracks, are more difficult to repair and may require complete windshield replacement.
Keep in mind that you should get the crack or chip repaired quickly. Cracks will spread quickly during extremely hot or cold weather. Glass does react to temperature changes and expansion and contraction will increase the size of the crack. Moisture can also get inside the crack and freeze, creating additional damage. Prompt windshield repair is important.
Auto Glass Repair vs. Auto Glass Replacement
The overall condition of the windshield and location of the damage typically determines the requirements of repair. Cracks located near edges commonly call for replacements. In most cases, repairing the damage is less expensive than a full replacement.
However, if the situation is not addressed right away, the effectiveness of the repair declines. No one wants to pay for an ineffective repair done too late, following with a complete replacement as the end result. Over time, especially during harsh weather, the damaged areas can expand compromising your vision and safety.
Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Glass
Do I need to buy a windshield, or other glass piece, directly from Ford, BMW or the manufacturer?
- No, most auto glass repair shops have the windshields in stock, or they will order the glass for you. You do not need an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) windshield. You can have the glass etched with your VIN if you desire.
How much will it cost to replace my windshield?
- A new windshield, with installation, costs between $200 to $500, depending on the car model. Your auto insurance may cover a portion of this cost, depending on the amount of your deductible.
There is a rock chip in my windshield. Can this be fixed or do I need a new windshield?
- Most small chips or star-shaped cracks can be repaired. Professionals use an epoxy system to force the repair material into the chips or cracks to fully seal them. This also provides a fairly clean repair that does not interfere with your view.
How large of a crack can be fixed?
- Normally, cracks that are three inches or less in length can be successfully repaired. Chips that are smaller than 3/8 of an inch in diameter are also normally repairable.
I have a broken side window. Do glass shops do this kind of work or do I need to go to the dealer?
- Yes, most automotive glass shops perform car window repair, replacing every type of glass that is on your car, windshields, side windows, rear glass, vent glass and sun roof glass replacement can be done for you. You can go to a dealership, but it will likely cost considerably more.
The windshield plays a major role within your car’s safety restraint system. It stops you from ejecting from the vehicle and allows the airbags to deploy properly during an accident. The windshield is also an important factor maintaining the structural strength of your vehicle. Did you know an estimated 45% of structural integrity is provided by your windshield in the event of a front-end collision? During a rollover accident, that number jumps to about 60%.
Chips and cracks in your windshield also interfere with your vision. In many states, driving with a cracked windshield can be a violation. If the crack, or cracks, travel through the critical visibility area, you may receive a ticket. Cracks in the rear window can also be a violation. In this case, a windshield replacement can save you significantly over legal costs.