If you’re dealing with a cracked windshield, it can be tough to know whether you need a full replacement or just a repair. In fact, numerous drivers put off having their auto glass repaired each year. This can lead to more serious damage and, in some cases, an accident.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of auto glass damage before moving on to the top ten signs you need a windshield replacement. By the end, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to replace your windshield.
What Are Auto Glass and Auto Glass Damage?
Auto glass is a crucial safety feature in any vehicle. It protects you from the elements and provides structural support for your car in the event of an accident. When it’s damaged, it can impair your visibility and put you at risk of injury.
There are two main types of damage that can occur to your auto glass: chips and cracks. Chips are small, shallow depressions in the glass, while cracks are long fissures that run through the entire pane. Depending on the size, depth, and location of the damage, one type of repair may be more appropriate than the other.
In general, chips can be repaired while cracks need to be replaced. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If the crack is longer than three inches or if it’s located in your line of sight, you’ll need a replacement.
Signs You Need a Windshield Replacement
Severe Cracks or Chips
One of the first and most telling signs you need a new windshield is if you have multiple cracks or chips. While a single chip or crack can usually be repaired, multiple ones weaken the entire pane of glass and make it more likely to shatter.
If you have more than one crack or chip, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get a replacement.
A Crack in Your Line of Sight
As we mentioned before, any crack that’s located in your line of sight needs to be replaced. This is because it can impair your vision and make it difficult to see the road ahead. Even if the crack is small, it’s still a safety hazard.
If you can’t see clearly out of your windshield, it’s time for a replacement that will restore your visibility.
A Crack Longer Than Three Inches
In most cases, cracks longer than three inches will need to be replaced. This is because they run through the entire pane of glass and weaken its structural integrity. While it’s possible to repair a crack this long, it’s not always effective and can result in a less than perfect repair job.
If you have a crack that’s longer than three inches, it’s best to get a replacement to ensure your safety on the road.
Damage Around the Edge of the Glass
The edge of the windshield is one of the most important parts of the auto glass. It provides structural support for the rest of the pane and helps keep it from shattering in an accident. If the edge of your windshield is cracked or chipped, it’s a sign that the glass is weakened and needs to be replaced.
Any damage to the edge of the windshield should be taken seriously and repaired as soon as possible.
A Bullseye Crack
Bullseye cracks are circular chips with a small crack radiating out from the center. They’re caused by a small object striking the glass at high speeds. While they may not seem like much, they can quickly turn into larger cracks that need to be replaced.
If you have a bullseye crack in your windshield, it’s best to get it replaced before it has a chance to spread.
Star cracks are similar to bullseye cracks, but they have multiple points radiating out from the center. They’re also caused by small objects striking the glass at high speeds and can quickly turn into larger cracks.
Like bullseye cracks, star cracks should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading.
A Crack That’s Spreading
If you have a crack or chip in your windshield, it’s important to keep an eye on it to see if it’s spreading. Cracks that are spreading are a sign that the glass is weakened and needs to be replaced.
If you notice a crack or chip in your windshield that’s getting bigger, it’s time for a replacement.
Pitting or Scratches in the Glass
Pitting and scratches in the glass are another sign that it’s time for a replacement. These defects can weaken the glass and make it more susceptible to breaking. They can also impair your vision and make it difficult to see the road ahead.
If your windshield is pitted or scratched, it’s best to get it replaced before the damage gets worse.
A Windshield That’s Old or Damaged
Even if your windshield doesn’t have any visible damage, it may still need to be replaced. This is because windshields degrade over time and become weaker with age. If your windshield is more than ten years old, it’s a good idea to get it replaced.
Windshields that have been damaged in an accident, even if they’re repaired, may also need to be replaced. This is because the damage can weaken the glass and make it more likely to break in the future.
If you’re not sure whether or not your windshield needs to be replaced, it’s best to consult with a professional. They’ll be able to inspect your windshield and give you their opinion on whether or not it needs to be replaced.
These are just a few of the most common signs that you need a windshield replacement. If you have any doubts about the condition of your windshield, it’s best to consult with a professional. They’ll be able to inspect your windshield and give you their opinion on whether or not it needs to be replaced.