The windshield is an extremely significant safety feature of a car. It adds strength and durability to its structure and prevents passengers from being removed out of the moving vehicle, in the event of an accident. However, just as any other part of a car, a windshield also goes through its share of intense wear and tear, requiring regular checks, and even a repair or replacement.
Given below are some factors that will help you determine whether to opt for a windshield repair or replacement service.
- Size: Most chipped front glass can be repaired. However, if it is not repaired in time, chances are, that the small chips will turn into bigger ones. For example, if you are driving on a corrugated gravel road, and end up taking an aggressive turn or hit a big pothole, the damage to the glass may end up being amplified. But, chips larger than 3/8 inches and cracks longer than 3 inches indicate an immediate need for a glass replacement. A large crack can also impact the vision by reflecting the sunlight glare, making it difficult to see clearly what lies ahead on the road.
- Location: If cracks occur on the edge of the front glass, then the glass must be replaced immediately. Prompt action will decrease the tendency of the cracks to spread quickly. It is also recommended to replace the glass if the chip lies directly in the line of vision of the car’s driver.
- Timespan: Chips and cracks, both can damage the front glass of a car. Hence, these must be addressed immediately. The longer you ignore the problem, the less likely it becomes to perform a successful repair, ultimately requiring a replacement.
A timely repair can prove to be extremely useful, and below mentioned are some reasons to help you understand why you should opt for it:
- Convenience: A small chip or a crack can be repaired within an hour.
- Cost-effective: Repairs are much more cost-effective as compared to replacements.
- The insurance advantage: As repairs are far more economical, most insurance companies will waive the deductible and pay for the repair.
A windshield makes approximately 60% of the structural integrity of a vehicle. Therefore, opting for a timely repair and replacement service is not just an essential aspect, but can also prove to be cost-effective. Most chips and cracks are easily repaired unless you ignore the issue, which will eventually require you to replace the front glass of the car.
Here are some points to keep in mind while opting for a replacement.
- Certified technicians: Always ensure to take the car to a certified service center. A service center which employs expert windshield technicians can guarantee a proper replacement.
- OEM glass: Make sure to opt for an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) glass for installation. Anything which is an OEM equivalent or an aftermarket glass should be avoided, as the latter is a short-term solution, and sometimes, even a dangerous option as far as safety is concerned.
- Proper fit: There may be instances when the new car glass cannot be installed as accurately as done at the time of the production of the vehicle. Therefore, to avoid such an instance occurring up, make sure that the new one is selected according to the car’s make and model for a proper fit.
- Adhesive: Urethane adhesives are certified to meet crash test criteria, and they also offer faster drive-away times. The best urethane adhesive is quite expensive as compared to the other adhesives available in the market. But, it is recommended that one chooses quality over cost.
Post installation of the front glass, there are some imperative must-dos that one should keep in mind, and make a note to practice the same. Below mentioned are such precautions:
- It is not advisable to drive the car until the adhesive is finally dried as it may ruin the results of the replacement work. It is recommended that you follow safe drive-away time as mentioned by the technicians.
- Do not wash your car before 24 hours as it may damage the seal between the adhesive and the glass.
- Keep at least one window open to avoid building pressure inside the vehicle, or else it may blow a hole in the front glass, resulting in air and water leaks.
A successful automotive front glass installation complies with 100% manufacturer standards. These standards, when followed precisely, lead to safe installation and prevent the lives of the passengers from being in danger, in the event of a collision. One of the consequences of an improper installation might be excessive noise while driving at a high speed.
To conclude, let’s just say that a car glass repair should be your first option, and unless necessary, should you opt for a replacement service. Although there are scenarios when it becomes mandatory to replace the front glass, it is still suggested to opt for the repair first policy. And of course, no matter the size of the chip or crack, it is highly advisable to get it checked immediately. Always choose certified technicians for the repair and replacement of the front windshield glass.