Anyone who owns and drives a vehicle may experience a crack, chip, or break on the windshield. If this happens, you may experience sleepless nights thinking about windshield replacement costs and whether your insurance will cover them.
While there is no need to worry about the chipped glass falling while driving, if you have a rock chip like the one in this picture, you should get it fixed as soon as possible before it develops into a crack.
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 to 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. 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.
Using the scraper to free up the snow from your windshield is better.
1.3 Car cleaning
While waiting for repair, avoid machine car washes; the machine-mounted rags may add pressure to the already damaged windshield; 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 need to, making sure not to apply pressure on the windshield.
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.
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 driving too much 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 driving behind construction vehicles.
3. The DIY repair route
Repairing a rock chip is easy, and you can do it yourself by 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 under unstable conditions such as too much moisture or extreme temperature, you can worsen the problem, which may prompt you to seek a professional’s help.
Using these kits in a well-controlled environment, like indoors, is highly recommended.
If the windshield has a longitudinal crack, it must be repaired.
4. When to visit a Professional
Once the chip begins to converge into a long crack or a crack starts 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.
- Chips in the windshield that resembles small stars or circle deep in the glass (cone-shaped) can quickly converge into serious 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 chips, you must take your vehicle for a windshield repair as soon as possible.
- 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.
- Keep your windows slightly open to reduce the pressure and heat inside the cabin, which may aggravate the windshield’s condition.
- Do not use super glue. If you use superglue, do not expect it as a permanent solution.
- Do not use nail polish on your broken windshield; it wastes money, time, and effort.
- Do not fall for the “special” band-aid for windshields scam; you will only lose money, which may aggravate the situation.
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.
We hope you find the Broken Windshield – What To Do With Chipped or Cracked Windshield guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your vehicle.