The windshield of your vehicle often suffers damage from stones and pebbles. This damage is usually a chip, crack, or another fracture. A trained technician needs to repair or replace the windshield if it has been damaged. If the windshield is damaged beyond repair, you will have to have it replaced.
But how do you know when you should replace your windshield and what are the benefits of doing so? Read on to find out why replacing your windshield may be the safest option for you.
When to Replace Your Auto Glass
When driving a vehicle, safety is the most important thing. Many drivers think it is OK to drive with a crack or chip in their windshield. However, it is not, and doing so can put everyone in the vehicle at risk.
In a head-on collision, your windshield provides around 45% of your vehicle cabin’s structural integrity, and in a rollover, up to about 60%. It is imperative that you maintain the structural integrity of your vehicle’s windshield, so if you get a chip or crack, have it assessed by a windshield professional as soon as you can, so you can get it repaired or replaced. If the chip or crack can’t be repaired, you will have to replace your windscreen.
Why Should You Replace Your Windshield?
A chip or crack on your windshield is not just an unsightly mark on your car; it can also be a major safety concern. Experts say that driving with a windshield that has chips or cracks risks the life of everyone in the car and those on the road around you, as you are more likely to have an accident.
A damaged windshield can pop out on impact. Your windshield gives your car a great deal of structural support, and you may even find that your roof collapses due to your windshield not being properly glued or set, or not being properly installed.
Your windshield protects you and the other occupants in your vehicle, both while you are driving and in the unfortunate case of an accident. As the frames of vehicles become thinner, the windshield is becoming a more important safety feature. If your windshield is not properly replaced, it will not adhere to your vehicle, which could create a safety risk.
When is it Time to Replace Your Windshield?
Some cracks and chips are repairable based on their size and location. However, just because a crack or chip is small does not mean your windshield can be repaired. Sometimes the structural integrity of your windshield has been compromised by the damage, and therefore must be replaced in order to keep you safe.
Another situation that would lead to your windshield needing replacement is when the crack or chip is located along the edge of your windshield. This also affects its structural integrity.
And lastly, if the crack or chip is located within the sweeping radius of the driver’s windshield wiper, the driver’s view may be distorted and therefore compromised, even after it has been repaired.
If your windshield falls into any of the above categories, or if your windshield technician determines that the crack or chip cannot be repaired, your windshield will need to be replaced.
What to Look Out For
It is imperative that you replace your windshield using quality products supplied by a professional technician. This is vital to your safety in the vehicle. As your windshield provides much of your vehicle’s structural integrity, it plays an important role in your vehicle’s restraint system should you get in an accident.
Look for registered companies that have met specific safety standards that have been set out by a safety board or council, such as the Auto Glass Safety Council. These companies have been verified to provide safe and proper installation. They have also undergone site inspections, audits, standard compliance checks, and reviews.
Only use certified windshield technicians to replace your windshield. Even if you are using a company that has been validated, ask the technician who is performing your replacement whether the safety council has certified them.
When you first contact the windshield replacement company, check what type of materials they will use in your replacement. Quality and cost are normally directly related, so if the cost seems too low, the company is probably using inferior materials. Your vehicle may have had a windshield with UV filtering, acoustic interlayer, thermal interlayer, and spots for sensors and cameras. When replacing your windshield, ensure that the same features are included with the new glass.
Replacing your windshield is obviously more expensive than repairing it, but if the cracks and chips are too large or in the wrong position, you may have to replace your windshield for safety reasons. While replacement may be more inconvenient than repair, it allows you to rest assured that you are not going to have any issues with the structural integrity of your vehicle. Ensure that you use a professional and registered company to replace your windshield, as inferior products may be even more dangerous than not replacing your windshield at all.