Broken Windshield – What To Do With Chipped or Cracked Windshield

Anyone who owns and drives a vehicle may experience a crack, chip, or break on the windshield.

If this happens to you, you may experience sleepless nights thinking about windshield replacement cost and whether your insurance will cover it. 

broken windshield what to do

While there is no need to worry about the chipped glass falling while driving, if you have a rock chip like the one shown in this picture, you should get it fixed as soon as possible before it develops into a crack.

DAMAGED WINDSHIELD AND WHAT TO DO TO AVOID MORE DAMAGE

Here are a few tips to keep a windshield crack from spreading or getting worse. 

1. Avoid subjecting the windshield to extreme or sudden changes in temperature.

1.1 Air conditioner / Heater /Defroster

By merely using your air conditioning or heater on your car, you can subject your windshield to a sudden increase or decrease in temperature.

When the high temperature hits the windshield, the windshield will contract, putting stress on your already damaged windshield; when you turn the air conditioning on the highest setting, you can cool the windshield rapidly, causing it to contract, this drastic temperature change will cause a dramatic movement on the windshield which can make cracks spread even further.

In the same way, when the outside temperature is so low, the windshield would contract, and turning on the heater/defroster to the highest setting will subject the windshield to rapid expansion, which could also multiply the cracks.

The best way to avoid further damage to your windshield is not to use your heater, defroster, or air conditioner while waiting for repair or replacement. Another way is to use those devices in a minimum setting.

1.2 Removing Snow

Avoid pouring hot water to defrost your damaged windshield; the snow and the hot water would subject the windshield to a drastic change in temperature and may cause the chips to turn into cracks.

It is better to use the scraper to free up the snow from your windshield.

1.3 Car cleaning

While waiting for repair, avoid machine car washes; the machine-mounted rags may add pressure to the already damaged windshield; additionally, the soap and water may leave stains on the windshield crack or chip, which may result in difficulty when repairing.

It is not recommended to wash your damaged windshield, but you can wash your car by hand if you really need to, making sure not to apply pressure on the windshield.

1.4 Parking

Avoid parking in direct sunlight; choose indoor parking or park under the shade. Too much heat from the sun may cause the metal and rubber that hold the windshield in place to expand and may result in additional damage to the windshield.

1.5 Driving

Driving in the summer months may result in a combination of heat and vibration; this may cause a small chip to develop into a crack.

If possible, avoid too much driving in the summer until the windshield is fixed.

2. Inspect the windshield regularly

Checking engine oil, coolant, and power steering fluid levels are tasks that every driver religiously does. However, not many drivers check their windshield status before driving.

Regularly checking the windshield for damage is the best way to find a crack or chip and may prompt you to take steps to prevent long-term damage to your windshield.

Also, inspect your windshield after hail storms, long journeys, or when driving behind construction vehicles.

3. The DIY repair route

Repairing a rock chip is easy, and you can do it yourself following this guide.  All you need is an Auto Glass Crack repair kit in the market today. 

Most DIYers will have good results from these kits; however, if you perform repairs within unstable conditions such as too much moisture or extreme temperature, you can make the problem worse, which may prompt you to seek a professional’s help.

It is highly recommended to use these kits in a well-controlled environment like indoors.

If the windshield has a longitudinal crack, it will need to be repaired. 

4. When to visit a Professional

Once the chip begins to converge into a long crack or a crack begins to expand, you may need to bring your vehicle to an auto glass professional to avoid further and more expensive damage. It is highly recommended to have cracks repaired by a professional.

Similarly, if your windshield is broken beyond repair, only a replacement done by an Auto glass professional can solve the problem.

TIPS

Do’s

  1. Chips in the windshield that resembles small stars or circle deep in the glass (cone-shaped) can quickly converge into heavy cracks and may force you to replace the entire windshield, so you need to be wary of these types of chips on your windshield. Once you have identified these types of chips, you need to take your vehicle for a windshield repair as soon as possible.
  2. Close your doors very softly to avoid pressure from building up in the cabin and reduce the vibration, which places a toll on the windshield.
  3. Keep your windows slightly open to reduce the buildup of pressure and heat inside the cabin, which may aggravate the windshield’s condition.

Don't

  1. Do not use super glue. If you use superglue, do not expect it as a permanent solution.
  2. Do not use nail polish on your broken windshield; it is a complete waste of money, time, and effort.
  3. Do not fall for the “special” band-aid for windshields scam; you will only lose money, and it may even aggravate the situation.

Conclusion

Monitoring your windshield regularly and taking immediate action when minor damage is discovered will keep you away from expensive repairs and keep your car in good shape.

If your windshield is beyond repair, find a repair facility that will replace your damaged windshield at a reasonable cost.