When it comes to your car, each component plays an important role in keeping you safe on the road. From engine and headlights to tires and windshield, keeping every component in top shape is crucial to avoiding accidents and having a safe ride. Unlike other parts made of metal, the windshield is more fragile and prone to damage. Even though laminated glass is used for designing windshields, glass remains vulnerable to chips and cracks. As the front and fragile part of any vehicle, flying debris, rock, or car crash could damage the glass.
When a windshield gets damaged, there are two options- repair or replacement. Based on the severity of the damage, an auto glass professional can tell if a repair can fix the issue or if glass replacement is the only solution. If the chip is small and doesn’t extend on the outer border of the windshield, repairing is possible. Repair or replacement is essential to restore the integrity of the windshield and keep your ride safe. If you’re unsure whether your car’s windshield needs replacement, here are some signs that indicate you need a new windshield.
Windshield performs multiple functions- protects passengers against wind and bugs, as well as provides a clear view of the road. A chip that looks tiny and harmless may compromise your vision. A crack can reflect light and compromise a driver’s vision. Chips or spiderweb-like cracks may give an illusion of a vehicle or block your view of another car or person. So, if a crack is compromising your visibility, get the glass repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
If your car’s windshield has become old or you travel often on the highways, you may notice signs of pitting within your windshield. Pitting is a common problem that happens when debris, gravel, or tiny rocks hit the glass and creates small dents. It is commonly seen in cars that spend more time on the high-traffic road that exposes the auto glass to flying debris and sharp rocks that leave behind small pits. Pitted glass can become a safety hazard because pits scatter reflected light, compromising the driver’s view. Pitting is most noticeable at dusk and dawn. Not replacing the pitted glass is a mistake because it can reflect light and also doesn’t shed rainwater that can compromise the outside view.
Most car brands use laminated glass that has a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). This special coating on the glass protects the windshield from shattering into sharp pieces after an impact. Even if limited glass breaks, it shatters smaller, blunt pieces. While this plastic coating plays an important role in preventing injuries in the event of an accident, over time it starts separating from the glass. When the coating leaves a glass surface, you may start noticing a white haze around the edges of your windshield. White haze shouldn’t be ignored because it tells that your windshield has aged and in case of an accident, the glass could shatter into large, sharp chunks.