Here are 3 easy ways to tell …
Hi, there. We noticed that your windshield has been attacked. Rock, was it?
What a pain, right? As if you didn’t have enough to worry about already, now you are forced to deal with getting the damage repaired or even replacing your windshield altogether. Furthermore, how are you supposed to know which one to do and when you’re supposed to do it?
The first thing you want to do when faced with a “repair or replace” dilemma is do a little investigative work yourself and ask yourself the following questions …
1. WHERE is the damage?
Is it a minor chip somewhere off to the side where you don’t necessarily notice it very much? Is it a crack that runs right in front of your field of vision? If it’s more like the first one, you should still move on to question 2. If it’s the second one, you should DEFINITELY move on to question 2 because anything that interferes with your ability to see street signs, stop lights, or the road in general is just asking for trouble.
2. HOW BIG is the damage?
Sometimes cracks that are only a couple inches or so across can be repaired, which is why it is important to check around. Different companies may have different equipment and, therefore, offer slightly varied services. Still, until an auto glass expert actually looks at the damage, live and in person, don’t get your hopes up. Ultimately, if they think that it’s time for you to replace your windshield, it’s because your glass is now a safety issue.
3. HOW DEEP is the damage?
Unfortunately, even if the damage appears to be relatively minor or shallow on the surface, there is a chance that it is deeper than it looks. If the chip or crack goes down far enough, it can actually compromise the structural integrity of the windshield, which is a pretty big safety issue. Your windshield has always been meant for the protection of everyone riding in your vehicle and it can’t do it’s job properly in an accident if it has already been weakened.
“Okay, now wait a minute,” you say, “Can’t I just fix this myself?”
Sometimes, sure! There are definitely kits available for purchase if you would prefer to fix your own glass, but you should always keep in mind that you will likely get what you paid for. In other words, don’t expect the same quality in the DIY kit as you would if you employed someone who fixes windshields for a living. At the end of the day, especially if you’re feeling unsure, it is always best to hire a professional.
No one likes to deal with damage to their windshield, but it’s a good idea to have a starting point, just in case. Just make sure to call around and find out what kind of damage can be fixed and what needs to be replaced, check what your insurance covers, and don’t wait too long to fix the damage. Your safety and that of those riding in your car should always be the main objective!
For more in-depth information into your windshield and specific types of damage, check out this handy reference!