Is A Windshield Repair Or Replacement The Right Way To Go?

Posted on: 14 August 2019

Any damage to the auto glass in your vehicle has the potential to obstruct your view or even cause the glass to fail. There's a big difference, though, between a few pits from road chips and a massive crack that reaches the edge of the windshield. If you're not sure whether you'll be dealing with a windshield repair or replacement project, these three tips will help you sort things out quickly.

How Big is the Damaged Area?

The size of the damaged area is often one of the most obvious indicators of whether you're going to have to contact an auto glass repair technician at all. Industry standards are set in a guide from the National Windshield Repair Association, and you may be surprised by just how large a damaged area can be before replacement is a given.

A crack, defined as a single line of separation emanating from an impact point, may be repairable if it is up to 14 inches in total length. Notably, a crack is only repairable if it doesn't reach the edge of the glass.

Bullseye-shaped damage calls for a new windshield installation if it is one inch or wider at the two most distant points. Star-shaped breaks cannot exceed three inches, and combination damage should not surpass two inches. Pits are repairable as long as they don't reach more than 1/8 inch deep.

Location Matters a Lot

Damage in the driver's primary viewing area is a major concern. If you draw an imaginary line going upward from the sides of your steering wheel, that is what's considered your viewing area. Any visible damage in this space will likely call for auto glass replacement work to be done. Even minor occlusions from chips and cracks are risky at highway speeds so ask for a professional's opinion if you're not sure.

Proximity to previous damage matters, too. If a crack or chip is within four inches of a previous fix, replacement is strongly advised.

Bear in mind that a bad windshield should be treated like spoiled food in your refrigerator. When in doubt, throw it out.

Damage to Built-In Features

With the arrival of modern vehicle technologies like heads-up displays, night vision, GPS and semi-autonomous driving, a lot of sensors are now situated near or behind the windshield housing. These may depend on the windshield being in good condition, and they may require the windshield to be repaired or replaced to operate properly.


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