Learning About Glass Repair And Replacement

Understanding Windshield Cracks and Nicks: When It's Time to Replace Your Windshield

by Christopher Snyder

When you are driving your car around and notice a crack in your windshield, you probably get nervous. While a small chip or crack may bother you because you feel it detracts from the value of your car, it isn't always necessary to fix the problem right away. On the other hand, if you have a crack that is in your direct line of vision, you may need to fix the problem immediately because it's difficult to see. A rock hitting your windshield and leaving a small crack used to mean you needed to replace the glass, but advances in auto-glass manufacturing have made it possible to get a crack repaired instead.

Small Cracks and Nicks in Your Windshield

A nick the size of a quarter or smaller and a crack three inches or fewer long can be repaired, according to Auto Trader. They state that a windshield with a crack larger than three inches usually will be recommended for replacement instead of repair. While technology has allowed for larger nicks to be repaired without your needing to replace the entire windshield, if the repair is in the direct sight of the driver, the windshield may need to be replaced. The materials used to repair glass can cause the glass to be slightly distorted. While this is fine on the outer edges of the windshield, it is more problematic when the area is often looked through by the driver.

When You Wait to Repair Cracked Glass

If there's a small crack in your windshield, and you wait to repair it, the crack can grow larger over time. In addition, dirt can get into the crack. This will cause problems when it comes time to repair the crack, ruining the clarity of the repair. As you drive along the road with a small crack in your windshield, the movement of the car and any bumps that you hit can make the crack grow larger. The structural integrity of the windshield can become weaker the bigger the crack becomes, so it's important to have the crack assessed right away.

A small nick in your windshield may be no cause for alarm, but if there are two or more nicks within a few inches of each other, you may need to replace your windshield. One nick isn't a big problem, but more than one causes that area of the windshield to become weak. Talk with your windshield-replacement professional to see what they suggest when you have several nicks in one area.