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Windshield Repair or Replacement: How to Decide Which One Is Right For You

A windshield might not seem like it plays an essential role in your car’s safety—after all, how strong could glass be? Turns out: very strong. According to the Auto Glass Safety Council, a windshield contributes up to 45 percent of the structural integrity of a vehicle in the event of a front-end collision. In case the vehicle turns over, the contribution goes up to 60 percent. Since the windshield is a vital component of your car, any damage to it should be repaired urgently. When deciding whether to get a windshield repair or replacement, here are some essential questions you should ask yourself.

Is it safe to drive around?

When deciding whether to repair or replace your windshield, safety should be your priority. This cannot be stressed enough. If the windshield is compromised, all the force—in the event of an accident—will hit the driver and passengers.

Has my visibility been impaired?

A crack may be small, but is it limiting your visibility? If so, then repairs are vital. In Maine, for example, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle with a crack longer than six inches anywhere on your windscreen; additionally, if there’s even a one-inch crack in the driver’s line of vision, driving the vehicle is not allowed.

What is the size of the crack?

The size of the crack also determines whether you should get it repaired or replaced. According to the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA), a chip or a bullseye, less than 1 inch in diameter or cracks up to 12 inches in length, can be restored. While this is the standard, complications may occur if there are multiple cracks. Moreover, smaller cracks that cross paths with each other also pose a higher risk, making replacements more suitable.

How deep is the crack?

A windshield has a fine layer of plastic in between the glass surfaces. The plastic is bonded to the glass, making it more secure. If a crack has penetrated the outer layer and has reached the plastic, then the damage is irreversible, and it has to be replaced. If the inner layer is somehow damaged, then it’s advisable to get the whole windshield replaced, even if there’s no damage to the exterior.

Where is the crack located?

The position of the crack also affects how much of a hazard it can be. If the damaged area is closer to the edge of the glass, then it’s more prone to shattering. In that case, an auto glass expert will recommend a replacement.                                                                                                                                                                         Auto Glass in San Antonio has over 30 years of experience in windshield repairs and OEM windshield replacement. Our trained technicians specialize in quick and effective repairs, and our replacements come with a lifetime guarantee. For a free estimate, call at (210)793-7115 or drop us a message.  

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