Windshields: many drivers have been through the hassle of having theirs dinged or cracked, often through no fault of their own. This happens most often in the winter, but as I just experienced, they are a year-round nuisance. These dings may be good for a window installer, but are bad for a driver’s pockets.
A crack that obstructs the driver is dangerous, and deemed illegal in many states. A damaged windshield should be replaced as soon as possible. A crack, especially if it is obviously impairing the driver’s view can, at any time, bring the police up behind you and bring a fix-it ticket in your window.
However, if it is caught early, a ding can stay a ding and cost much less. Usually a windshield crack repair only costs around $50 to be repaired while a new windshield can be up around $700. Insurance will sometimes pay for the ding repair, but coverage often dictates a high deductible on windshield replacement. So a person ends up paying the full amount anyway.
Windshield Crack Repair
If you get a ding, here are some things that you can do to keep it from splitting out into one (or more) crack(s) until you have a chance to get it repaired:
- Resist putting pressure on it.
- Keep it clean and dry. Foreign substances in the damaged area increase the chance of creating a star that splits off.
- Avoid temperature changes. Keep the car in a temperature controlled area, like a home or parking garage, as much as possible. Try not to turn on the heat or air conditioning, since the sudden change of temperature, or the difference in temperature between the outside and the inside of the glass can add stress to the damaged glass.
- Put some clear packing tape over the pit. Make sure that the tape does not obstruct your vision – keep the square of tape as small as possible to cover the pit.
Always remember, the windshield in your vehicle is an important component of the overall structure. Although it is the large windshield cracks that present the largest safety issues, it is important to remember that the nature of glass means that a chip or hole can easily spread. Play it safe and get it replaced.