A crack, a ding, a nick – there are several ways the glass on your windshield can show signs of damage. However, there are times that the glass will be eligible for a quick repair rather than a replacement. You should know what to look for and when a repair or replacement is appropriate.
Signs of Damage
One of the most common ways windshields suffer damage is when a rock or other piece of debris strikes it, leaving what is called a “star break.” This looks like an impact point with cracks radiating from it. Other types of damage include the following:
- A ding or crack chip, which is often the size of a quarter
- A pit, which happens when there is a tiny bit of glass missing
- A bulls-eye, which is circular, or a partial bulls-eye
Each of these present situations in which a technician may be able to repair the glass as opposed to completely replacing it.
When Repair Works
A quick repair is nearly always more affordable and efficient than having to replace an entire piece of glass. A professional can typically repair auto glass when the damage is not in your line of sight or along the edge. Even the best fixes could leave a slight mistiness or unevenness that could affect your visibility while driving if it crosses your line of sight. Damage along the edge of a windshield compromises the strength of the glass, which is why a replacement may be ordered in those situations.
A technician will also have to examine the size of the damage – smaller cracks and chips are easier to repair than lengthy ones. If you think your windshield can be repaired rather than replaced, take your car in immediately. The longer the chip sits the more opportunity there is for dust or dirt to get in the chip, making an efficient repair more difficult.
Lastly, if the damage occurs over an internal antenna or a rain sensor, a technician will likely recommend replacing the glass. Additionally, if the cracks have become contaminated in some way, you will likely be in store for a total windshield replacement.