Does my windshield need to be replaced?

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Busted auto glass or windshield that is cracked and shattered.A rock hits your car windshield. Debris falls off the back of a truck. A chunk of ice hits the windshield just right. That’s the bad news. The good news is an unexpected crack or chip does not mean your car’s windshield needs to be replaced.

You can find out for sure at a local repair shop. Your mechanic can look at the damage and decide whether the car needs a windshield repair or replacement. Often, this check can be done during a regularly scheduled oil change, maintenance, or repair appointment. Don’t wait too long; your windshield is an important part of you and your passengers’ safety.

Vehicle windshields are made of laminated glass manufactured strong enough to withstand impacts and provide structural support. Typically, front windshields are comprised of three layers. Rear windshields and side windows are usually manufactured with tempered glass.

Simply, vehicle windshields play a key role in safety, which is why it often needs to be replaced when there is damage. However, a windshield can be repaired if the damage fits in any of these criteria.

Crack is small

Small cracks and chips can usually be repaired without compromising visibility. In general, chips and cracks less than six inches can be fixed as long as the damage is not in an area that might impact the structural strength.

Position of damage

The location of the windshield crack or chip plays a large role in determining whether repair or replacement is the right solution. If the damage is situated in front of a camera or sensor, impedes driving visibility, or in any area that could compromise strength, a full windshield replacement is usually needed. A mechanic can look at the damage and tell if you a windshield can be repaired. 

Windshield repair or replacement?

Beyond the size and position of the windshield damage, there are several other key differences between a windshield repair and replacement. A windshield repair is usually cheaper and takes less than an hour. The car can be driven as soon as the repair is complete. While a windshield replacement takes the same amount of time, it is usually recommended that the car not be driven until an hour after the replacement.

Depending on the cost, car insurance does not usually cover a windshield repair or replacement; it depends on the amount of deductible and the terms of the insurance. Contact a mechanic to find out if windshield repair is feasible, get a free quote, and get a clear windshield view.

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