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What do you do when you see a crack on your windshield? Repair or replace? The answer depends on three factors: location, size, and severity of the damage.
Where is the crack located?
Cracks located at the edge of the windshield tend to spread quickly and weaken the structural integrity of the glass. The worst location for a crack is directly in the driver’s line of sight. In such cases, immediate replacement is necessary since repairing can cause glass distortion and distortion in any degree is dangerous. Glare could blind the driver caused by the light reflecting off the crack in the photographer’s windshield.
How big is the crack?
If the crack or chip larger than an inch in diameter, the recommendation may be replacement. To assess the odds of each individual repair being made successfully you should check with a technician, all cases are determined on an individual basis. Most rock chips can be repaired. Keep in mind that rock chip repair is strictly cosmetic and won’t reinforce the window.
How severe is the damage?
If your windshield has more than three cracks or a very deep crack, replace. If your vehicle was involved in a major collision or hit by a large object, replacement is recommended because a major impact will most often result in the weakening of your windshield’s glass and supporting frame. As such, another impact, no matter how minor, might result in your entire windshield cracking and breaking.
Damages that usually cannot be repaired:
- on inside of the windshield
- deep damage on both layers of glass
- damage over rain sensor, internal radio antenna
- damages that reach into the driver’s critical viewing area
- complex multiple cracks
- very long cracks (i.e. over 18 inches long)
- contaminated cracks
- edge cracks and chips