Every year over 11 million auto glass service incidents occur. A tree branch, flying debris or a rock might hit your car whether it’s parked under a tree, close to a construction site, or while driving on a major road. It can happen anytime and anywhere. Result: a small crack can turn into a big problem. Here are some suggestions on how to deal with a cracked windshield.
Should I Repair or Replace?
In the past, repairing a cracked windshield was the best option. However, more recent developments in technology and glass standards have changed that. Chips up to two inches in diameter and single-line cracks up to 14-inches can be repaired.
According to the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA): “The average crack repair is around $99, while the average replacement in the United States is around $350.”
Replace It If….
Guidelines for Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS) mention that cracked windshield repairs are not possible in these scenarios:
- The windshield damage impairs the driver’s visibility.
- The crack is longer than 14 inches or the chip or bulls-eye is larger than 3 inches.
- The inner layer of glass is broken.
- The damage reaches or is near a corner or edge of the windshield.
Don't Cut Corners
According to Edmunds, an incorrectly installed windshield can pop out in a car accident, allowing the roof to cave in and crush the car's occupants. Additionally, when front airbags deploy, they can hit the windshield and blow it out if it’s not firmly glued in place.
Does Car Insurance Cover Cracked Windshield?
Your claim should be protected under comprehensive coverage. It may be a good idea to telephone your insurance company first to get their advice on how to proceed.
DIY Windshield Repair
There are several cracked windshield repair kits on the market. One of the most popular products is the RainX Fix a Windshield kit, which costs $12.50 on Amazon. Be well informed if you decide to go with a low-cost DIY kit like RainX Fix a Windshield. Visit a qualified repair outfit to assess and to repair the damage or even have it replaced.
If you choose to repair your cracked windshield yourself, see these 6 steps on how to repair a cracked windshield at home without having to go to a professional. (Remember, the fact that you decide to cheaply repair it yourself means that the repair quality of a shop isn’t guaranteed.)
Don’t Wait For It to Grow
Although it may be safe to drive with a chip in your windshield, small chips can turn into cracks and bigger problems if left un-repaired. For example, another piece of debris or a flying stone can shatter a weakened windshield.
Where Do You Live?
Each state has specific guidelines determining whether someone may drive with a chip or crack on the windshield. Even within the same state, the decision to issue a fine for driving under such conditions may lie in the discretion of the officer.