Coping with Auto Windshield Dings, Cracks, and Needed Repairs

How is your auto windshield? I ask because it’s an important topic. A cracked windshield isn’t just ugly; it’s potentially deadly as well.

Just as you check your oil and coolant levels, the tire pressure, and other issues surrounding your all-important means of transportation, you must inspect your auto glass as well, particularly the highly important windshield. You need to check for cracks, dings, and separation from the seal that holds the glass in place which can occur with your auto windshield. Finally, it’s not just a good idea to get any problems fixed quickly. It’s usually the law in most states and the people it saves may be you and your loved ones.

When I first moved to Vermont, home to some of the rougher roads once you get off the beaten path, I was amazed at how many automotive windshield repair businesses were advertised literally everywhere. While it can be hard to find a place to buy milk or post an overnight letter here, you can usually scream loud enough from anywhere to be heard by a place called Windshield World or Auto Glass Repair.

That is, I was surprised until I had lived here a few years and had seen what North Country winters do to a car, truck, SUV, or just about anything else. Just a little time taught me how important it is to nip a damaged windshield in the bud before you end up with a vehicle no longer safe to operate.

You may face the same situation where you are. Even if you are in a region of Texas, California, or Arizona which has snow as a fairly rare event, the possibility is good that you drive, at least occasionally, on dirt or gravel roads. Such roads toss up a fair amount of debris, including the pebbles and sharp rocks found within them. Add discarded rubbish like broken glass bottles and cans and junk that falls off unsecured vehicles ahead of you, and your poor windshield can take a fair amount of abuse.

Almost all of us have gotten a serious ding in our windshield. But not everyone knows how fast even a small chip in the glass can morph into a hole, a crack, or an entire expanse of spider web patterns. Extremely cold weather and very rough driving can exacerbate this situation.

The windshield of today is highly engineered. It’s designed both to protect you from the elements as you ride along as well as well as to withstand high heat and frigid cold. But it’s also been engineered to cause you less harm should the glass break. For this reason, you are less likely to be impaled by a huge chunk of glass should something humungous come flying in your windshield. By the same token, however, you may end up with thousands of tiny little pieces instead.

On a regular basis, you should make a point to inspect around the seal that holds your windshield in place. Any signs of wear, looseness, or cracking of the seal should be repaired immediately. Imagine how much pressure gets exerted on your windshield as you race down the highway and you can understand why this is necessary.

While you inspect the seal, also look at the glass itself. Big problems are usually easy to spot. But look for smaller dings and cracks in the windshield as well. These are often how the bigger problems get their start.

Although there are windshield repair kits you can buy – and a few of them do work – it may be both simpler and safer to replace the entire unit. Your auto insurance often covers this in a way that you may pay less than $100 out of your own pocket. Compare this to some of the glass in your house and it can sound like a bargain.

Be aware, too, that many windshield repair companies are mobile. They can come right to you. This is critical when you consider that you should never operate a car, truck, or SUV with a cracked windshield or one with a gaping hole. It isn’t safe for you, and hardly much better for those who might be driving or walking near you if the windshield gives way.

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