With the cost of windshield repairs averaging $250, and replacements costing upwards of $1,000, it’s no wonder that many drivers put off addressing cracks and chips in their glass. But did you know that neglecting your windshield can actually be dangerous?
This article will cover the basics of auto glass damage and repairs, along with the top six things you should avoid doing if you want to keep your windshield in good condition.
What is Auto Glass?
Auto glass is made up of two layers of glass, with a layer of plastic in between. The plastic layer is there to help hold the glass together in the event of a break. Many newer cars have what’s called laminated glass, which is made with a thin layer of film that helps to hold the glass together if it shatters.
Types of Auto Glass Damage
There are two main types of damage that can occur to your windshield: chips and cracks.
Chips are small pieces of damage that do not go all the way through the layers of glass. They are usually caused by rocks or other debris hitting your windshield while you are driving.
Cracks, on the other hand, are much more serious. They extend through all layers of the glass and are often caused by extreme temperature changes (like leaving your car in the sun for too long) or by an impact that is too strong for the glass to handle.
Common Causes of Auto Glass Damage
The most common cause of windshield damage is rocks or other debris hitting your windshield while you are driving. This is especially common on highways, where there is a lot of traffic, and the chance for flying debris is higher. Other causes of windshield damage include:
Extreme Temperature Changes
If you leave your car in the hot sun for too long or leave it out in the cold without a proper windshield cover, this can cause the glass to crack.
Improper Wiper Use
If you use your wipers on a dry windshield, this can actually scratch the glass. Make sure to only use your wipers when they are actually needed, and be gentle with them when they are in use.
Of course, accidents can also cause windshield damage. If you are involved in a car accident, even a minor one, it’s important to have your windshield checked for cracks or chips.
6 Things You Should Avoid Doing To Your Windshield
Now that we’ve covered the basics of auto glass damage and repairs, let’s take a look at the top six things you should avoid doing if you want to keep your windshield in good condition.
1. Don’t Ignore Chips or Cracks
As we mentioned before, chips and cracks can quickly turn into serious problems if they are ignored. If you notice any damage to your windshield, no matter how small, it’s important to have it checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
2. Don’t Use Your Wipers on a Dry Windshield
This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people make this mistake. Using your wipers on a dry windshield can actually scratch the glass, so only use them when they are actually needed.
3. Don’t Leave Your Car in the Hot Sun
extremes can cause the glass to crack, so try to avoid leaving your car in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. If you must leave it in the sun, make sure to use a windshield cover.
4. Don’t Use Abrasive Cleaners
When cleaning your windshield, be sure to avoid using any cleaners that are abrasive or contain harsh chemicals. These can damage the glass and make it more susceptible to cracks and chips. Instead, opt for a gentle cleaner made specifically for auto glass.
5. Don’t Ignore Warning Signs
If you start to notice that your windshield is cracked or chipped, don’t ignore it! These are warning signs that the damage is getting worse and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
6. Don’t Attempt a DIY Repair
Repairing a windshield is a delicate process that should only be done by a professional. Attempting a DIY repair can actually make the damage worse and put you at risk for injury.
Additional Risks of a DIY Repair
Aside from making the damage worse, attempting a DIY windshield repair can also be dangerous. If you don’t have the proper tools or experience, you could end up injuring yourself.
Windshield Repair or Replacement?
In some cases, a professional may be able to repair your windshield rather than replace it. This is usually only an option if the damage is minor and does not extend through all layers of glass. If the damage is more severe, a replacement will be necessary.
Cost of Windshield Repair vs. Replacement
The cost of a windshield repair is usually much cheaper than a replacement. However, the cost will vary depending on the severity of the damage and the make and model of your car.
When to Replace Your Windshield
There are a few instances where a replacement is necessary, such as:
The damage is too severe to be repaired.
The damage is in the driver’s line of sight.
The damage extends through all layers of glass.
If you’re not sure whether you need a repair or replacement, it’s always best to consult with a professional. They will be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.
How to Find a reputable Windshield Replacement Company?
When looking for a reputable windshield replacement company, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Be sure to ask about their warranty. Most reputable companies will offer some type of warranty on their work.
Reach out to our team of experts for help finding a reputable company in your area.