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When to Repair or Replace Your Car Windshield Glass

Getting a chip or crack in your car’s windshield is never fun. If it blocks your vision, then it can actually make driving incredibly dangerous. To add insult to injury, you have to take time out of your busy schedule to get it inspected, repaired or replaced. And then, as if it couldn’t get any worse, you worry whether you’ll be stuck with a bill at the end of it all.

Luckily, this worst-case scenario is mostly a myth. Getting your car windshield glass inspected is actually a very quick process. The repair or replacement work is also remarkably fast. Finally, the bill to cover it all is usually handled by your auto insurance provider in South Carolina with Comprehensive Insurance Coverage.

Of course, knowing whether you need to get your car windshield repaired or replaced is another matter altogether. Thankfully, there are some quick and easy ways to tell at a glance. Read on below to find out when to repair or replace your car windshield glass.

What’s the Difference Between a Chip and a Crack in a Windshield?

As far as windshield damage goes, it typically arrives in two varieties – chips and cracks. A chip is usually defined as smaller damage to the windshield that makes a clear and vivid impression of the debris that caused it. A crack tends to draw an easily visible line through the glass — ranging from the very small (an inch or so) to the very large (the whole windshield).

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A chip’s point of impact frequently shows up in a couple of different shapes:

  • Star break — Tiny cracks that spread out from the center
  • Bulls eye — Circular damage
  • Partial bulls eye — A half-moon shaped crack
  • Crack chip (small crack in windshield less than 1 inch), or pit (gouge).

Generally speaking, these are the main points of difference between a chip and a crack in your car’s windshield, with the obvious difference being overall size and degree of damage.

Naturally, you may have heard people say that getting a chip in your car’s windshield is substantially different from a crack, as far as repair goes. While there may be some truth to that, it’s important to note the peculiarities of each type of damage in more detail.

How to Tell If Your Car Windshield Should Be Repaired or Replaced

There are 4 main indicators that can tell you whether your auto glass can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced in full:

  1. Number of Chips and Cracks — The number of chips and/or cracks in your windshield can be a relatively easy way to determine if the glass needs to be replaced. If there are chips or cracks all over the window, then you may find it difficult to see the road. This is incredibly dangerous, and in these cases, it is often better to replace the entire windshield.
  2. Size of Damage — As a rule of thumb, chips that are smaller than a quarter can be repaired.
  3. Depth of Breakage — Your car’s windshield is essentially a sort of glass sandwich. It has an outer layer of glass, a plastic interlayer, and another glass inside layer. If the chip or crack damage comes through the outer and the inner glass layers, then it’s unfortunately too deep to be repaired.
  4. Location of the Chip or Crack — If the chip or crack comes into contact with the outermost edge, then the glass will usually need to be replaced. Since the windshield provides support in the case of a rollover, this is crucial. Other locations that will need to be repaired: in the driver’s line of sight, and any time that the crack or chip interferes with the car’s automated driver assistance systems (ADAS) or other technology.

In addition to the factors above, there are some situations in which the glass will nearly always need to be replaced entirely:

  • Your car’s glass is tempered, not laminated
  • The crack in your windshield is longer than a dollar bill
  • The chip or crack cuts deep enough that it goes more than halfway into the glass

In these scenarios, you’ll pretty much always have to replace the whole glass, as repair is not usually an option.

Benefits of Repairing Your Auto Windshield Glass

There are many benefits to repairing your auto glass, as opposed to replacing the windshield entirely:

  • Faster than a full replacement
  • Cheaper than having to replace the whole windshield
  • Better for the environment by using fewer materials

Benefits of Replacing Your Auto Windshield Glass

That being said, a number of benefits also exist when simply replacing the full windshield instead of opting for repair:

  • A brand new piece of glass that looks and operates like new
  • Get authentic new glass from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or OEE (Original Equipment Equivalent)
  • New glass will seal your vehicle and reduce leaks
  • Peace of mind that you have new auto glass

Either way, working with a professional auto glass company will save you a headache. You’ll be doing the best thing for your vehicle and the safety of yourself and your loved ones.

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Conclusion

Have you experienced a chip or a crack in your car’s windshield? If so, then you should have someone take a look to make sure it’s not dangerous to drive. Let the local team at Century Glass inspect your auto glass to determine if it should be repaired or replaced. That way, you can know for sure, have peace of mind, and get the special treatment only offered from locally trained specialists. Call us today to get started.

Call the Glass Experts at Century Glass

Century Glass is the glass company you can count on. We have a team of glass professionals who can assist you with your windshield, shower door, and home glass needs. We understand reliability and convenience are key. Our customers enjoy not just clearer glass, but see life’s moments more clearly.

Call us today at:
Columbia: 803-256-8134
Northeast Columbia: 803-699-2342
Charleston: 843-614-4628

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