According to the Auto Glass Safety Council, in a front-end collision and in a rollover, the windshield can give up to 60% structural integrity. With this, it is important that you do not think about compromising it. When you see the damage, you have to immediately go to the auto glass shop for repair or replacement.
Before anything, it is important that you know the two forms of windshield damage – cracks and chips. Cracks refer to damage that creates a distinct line in the glass, which runs horizontally or somewhat wavy. This damage can range from under one inch or up to the windshield’s width.
Chips, on the other hand, refer to damages that dent the point of impact by debris. The point of impact may take the form of a star break, pit, crack chip, partial bulls-eye, and bulls-eye. When it comes to a damaged windshield, new advancements allow repair instead of outright replacement.
It is important that you have a general knowledge when it comes to windshield repair. Repair can only apply to windshields made of laminated glass. Here’s how to know if the windshield needs repair:
Size of the damage
As mentioned, new advancements allow repair but it will depend on the repair company. In general, chips that are smaller than a quarter and cracks up to three inches can be repaired easily. You must know that the ROLAGS (Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard) laid out limits on repair sizes depending on the damage type.
The upper limit of a chip is three inches while the crack is up to fourteen inches. If it is more than the set limit, your windshield needs replacement. Then again, the repair will vary depending on the shop’s capabilities as well as the location of the damage.
Depth of the damage
The depth is related to the size. Depth describes how deep the damage penetrates into your windshield. You have to understand that a windshield is called a glass sandwich – the inside layer of glass followed by a plastic interlayer and then finished by an outer layer. If the damage is through the windshield’s outer and inner layer, it is considered too deep and it will need replacement.
Location of the damage
Another factor is the location of the damage. Keep in mind that the location will affect the ability to repair the windshield. If the damage stretches to the outer edge, it means that the structural integrity has been compromised. This will mean replacement.
If the damage is within the driver’s line of sight, repairs will lead to more distortion. This can impair your view of the road. For this damage, you need a replacement. Lastly, if the damage affects the rain sensors, lane departure warning systems, and automatic braking systems, a repair will not be effective.
As with anything, safety is paramount. Many drivers think that it is fine to drive around with a damaged windshield. It should be emphasized that it is not fine to drive around with a damaged windshield. Make it a habit to visit an auto shop whenever you see damages so it will be thoroughly evaluated by professionals. In the end, this is to ensure the safety of everyone inside the car.