4 Damage Factors That Impact Your Auto Windshield


Damage to your windshield doesn't automatically mean you need to replace it. Car windshields are made of safety glass, which is designed to be durable and somewhat repairable depending on the situation. Read on to learn more about repair and replacement options.

1. Type of Damage

The type of damage can vary. A stone strike, for example, may cause a simple chip in the exterior of the glass or it may lead to a large starburst or spiderweb style crack. Hard impacts, such as from large rocks or hailstones, can lead to a crack across the windshield. Very large impacts, such as from a collision, can shatter a window. Generally, small stone strikes and very short cracks can be repaired, but all other damage requires a new windshield installation.

2. Depth of Damage

Auto safety glass is made up of three main layers. The outer and inner layer consists of tempered glass, which is heat-treated so that it doesn't easily break or shatter. These glass layers are attached to a vinyl or plastic laminated layer, which helps absorb impact forces and prevent breaks. This laminated also prevents the glass from breaking into small shards. A deep chip or scratch that penetrates this laminated layer cannot be repaired as it compromises the integrity of the glass too greatly. A new window installation is necessary.

3. Location of Damage

Even minor damage may require a new windshield installation if it is located in the wrong part of the windshield. The area of view right in front of the driver is called the critical vision area (CVA). Any chips or cracks, no matter how small, in the CVA typically mean that it is time for a new windshield. This is because repairs to the glass do cause some visual distortions, which are most visible in the CVA. Windshield damage near the edge of the windshield may also require a full replacement, even if it is just a small chip. Damage near the windshield edges can compromise the integrity of the seals that hold the glass in place.

4. Severity of Damage

Naturally, the severity of the damage will impact whether the windshield needs to be replaced. If the stone gouges out a huge chunk of glass, then replacement may be needed even if the damaged area is relatively small. A crack that continues to grow after the impact occurs may also mean it's time to get a new window, as patching an actively growing crack rarely works out. 

Contact an auto safety glass replacement service if you suspect you need to have a new windshield installed.


16 November 2021

maintaining the brakes on your car

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