Auto Glass Safety and Maintenance

Windshield Repair vs. Windshield Replacement

Author: Simon Carter

One beautiful morning you sit in your car, ready to get to work, and you see there is a small chip at the base of your windshield. You may spend as much time as you want to wonder how it got there, but the fact of the matter is that it is there and you have to do something about it before it turns into a bigger problem for you.

Sometimes, it is more than just a small crack, and you know the reason behind the damage as well but what you are confused about is the fact that whether a simple repair from an auto glass shop nearby will suffice, or will you be ending up paying for the complete windshield replacement. The damage needs to be assessed carefully, bearing three major factors in mind that need to be evaluated before making any final decision :

1) Location of Damage

This is one of the essential characteristics of an injury to the windshield. If the crack or the scratch is in the line of sight of the driver (on driver’s side) such that it obscures the vision and its clearly visible, the law prevents such vehicles from being driven without repair. Most auto glass shops do not repair the windscreen if the damage is on the driver’s side. Therefore, windshield replacement becomes necessary in such circumstances. Similarly, if the crack originates from the corner, a replacement is the most suitable solution again. As any structural issue on either corner can compromise the stability of the entire windshield. If, however, the crack is on the passenger’s side, it may be repaired, based on the severity and size of the damage.

2) Size Of Damage

A small chip that is less than the size of a quarter (one inch in diameter) is easy to repair, however, if that repair is in the line of sight of the driver, the location forces a replacement. Also, in the event of the damage size being more than that of a quarter, it definitely will require a replacement. Such damages aren’t easy to repair unless there is advanced equipment available at an auto glass shop.

3) Severity Of Damage

As a general rule of thumb, if there are three or fewer cracks or chips on one side of the windshield, a repair may be preferred. However, several damage points weaken the overall strength of the windshield, thus demanding a complete replacement. Also, if the damage is due to a collision, the frame of the screen may have loosened due to the force of the impact, again paving the way for a replacement.

The noteworthy point is that any repair only cosmetically improves the condition of the windshield. There is no reinforcement, meaning your windshield stays weak and susceptible to collapse. Replacing the windshield is definitely not a small expense but a necessary one when it comes to the overall safety and integrity of your vehicle, yourself and your passengers. Any small or significant damage should get checked by a professional auto glass expert. All insurance companies cover the cost of both a windshield repair and replacement, so there is no need to worry.