Windshield Damages: Do I Need a Repair or Replacement?

No matter how careful you are on the road, there are simply some unavoidable accidents. In some instances, a solid and heavy object like a branch or rock may fall or bounce off your windshield. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get out of the situation without a scratch. However, the accident may leave a dime-sized chip on your windshield. It can obstruct your view, and if not addressed immediately, it can sprout cracks soon.

If you’re planning to buy cheap Japanese cars, you might want to watch out for chips and cracks. Keep in mind that not all of them can be repaired. The chip is what marks the point where the debris made an impact. It can look like a circular bulls-eye; a star break with short cracks forming from the center outward; a half-moon shaped bulls-eye; a crack chip smaller than an inch; or a gouge. On the other hand, cracks are distinct lines in the glass. Their size can range from less an inch up to your windshield’s width. In general, cracks run horizontally in a somewhat curvy or straight line.

Should I Repair or Replace my Windshield?

Knowing how to fix common windshield wiper problems is one thing, but recognizing if certain glass damages can still be repaired is a different thing. When deciding whether to repair or replace your windshield, you have to consider several factors, including the size, severity, and location of the damage.

Size of the Damage

Most smash repair shops can fix quarter-sized rock chips and cracks that are up to three inches long. Most places will recommend windshield replacement with damages bigger than that. However, there are some service centers that use special techniques that allow them to fix cracks that are smaller than 12 inches. So, it is best to conduct your research first before deciding to get a new windshield.

The Depth of the Damage

You should also consider how deep the damage has penetrated your windshield. Basically, a windshield is like a glass sandwich. Its outer layer is made of glass, and it has a plastic inlayer. The inner layer is made of glass. So, if the damage has affected the outer and inner layer of glass, it means its depth is beyond repair.

Location of the Damage

One of the biggest factors that determine whether a windshield damage is repairable is its location. If you see that the crack extends to the glass’ outer edge, it is likely that the windshield’s structural integrity has been compromised. Keep in mind that if you get into an accident and our car rolls over, your windshield will be responsible for up to 60% of your vehicle’s structural strength. So, in this case, it is crucial that you replace your windshield promptly.

You should also avoid performing repairs when the windshield damage is within the driver’s line of sight. In most cases, the repair can cause some distortion on the glass, affecting your view of the road. Moreover, if the damage is in the way of the sensors, opt for a replacement. Rain sensors, automatic braking systems, lane departure warning systems and ADAS need a crystal-clear view to function efficiently. So, even when the repair is done almost perfectly, the aforementioned electronic components might still malfunction.

Whether you own expensive vehicles or cheap Japanese cars, it is important to have windshield damages addressed immediately. If you keep on putting it aside, dirt might get trapped in the affected area. Consequently, the damages may become bigger and more expensive to repair.

If you notice that your windshield has been severely damaged, then it may be beyond repairs. Keep in mind that your safety is paramount. A lot of drivers think that they will be completely fine driving around with a cracked windshield. The truth is, they are driving with high safety risks.

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