To Repair Or Replace: That Is The Question!

So, you’re cruising down the highway at exactly 67 miles per hour and all of a sudden….pop, crack, boom! What the heck was that? Well, friend, you’ve just received your very own windshield chip from a stray rock, courtesy of the semi driver who just blew by you like you were standing still.

After you control your desire to commit road rage, take a deep breath, pull over and get out to assess the damage. The last thing you need is to keep driving if your windshield is beyond repair. You’ll need to immediately call for a tow to get back to your destination safely.

But (there’s always a but) all hope of getting out of this quickly and cheaply is not lost. With advancements in windshield materials and strength, it’s quite possible to get a chipped windshield repaired without having to totally replace the glass. If you do end up replacing your front windshield as opposed to repairing it check out

Your best bet is to call around to different auto glass repair shops to determine, first of all, if your windshield is repairable. Some businesses can actually repair a crack up to nearly a foot long.

Where the crack or chip is will largely determine if it will need completely replaced. If your crack is near the edge of the glass, you’ll probably end up having to replace it entirely as the structural foundation of the glass has been compromised. Additionally, if the damage is directly in your line of vision, you should always replace the windshield.

The Clock Is Ticking

Craked Windshield In Colorado SpringsTiming is of the essence as minor damage can quickly turn into major damage if you wait to long to repair. So assess the situation quickly, and determine your plan of action. Dirt and debris can get into the crack, making it nearly impossible to repair, so move fast if you want to save some cash.

Obviously, it is much less expensive to repair a windshield than to completely replace it, which could cost you upwards of hundreds of dollars. On average, the cost to completely replace a windshield (depending on the size of the vehicle) is roughly $350-$400, but could go as high as $1,000 to replace a truck windshield.

Depending on the extent of the damage, a minor repair job is drastically cheaper and will probably cost you under $100. Even with the cost difference, it’s highly advised that you don’t pinch pennies and repair your windshield when it should obviously be replaced.

Damaged windshields are extremely hazardous to not only you, but any passengers that are in your vehicle. If you do opt to replace your windshield, many people opt to do the labor themselves to save money. You should only consider this if you’re mechanically inclined.

Safety when you’re driving is paramount and more important than any repair bill. Additionally, a professional auto glass installation business will ensure that your new windshield fits snugly and keeps all debris and moisture out.

In cases of windshield replacement, Colorado Springs natives should be sure to contact their insurance carrier first to see if the damage and replacement is covered.


About Windshield Repair…

There are essentially two different types of windshield-related maintenance situations – 1.) to just replace a window entirely, or 2.) to try to repair the damage incurred with some type of repair kit, shop treatment, etc. In all honesty, it’s probably obvious to most as to which option seems more sensible by virtue of just looking at the extent of their situation. For instance, if there’s a sizable crack or impact point (with cracks emanating outwardly from it) a complete replacement is probably going to be needed. (if not immediately than at some point in the future). The reason for this is simple – this type of glass tends to be under lots of pressure and with its high density structure it’s not uncommon to see gashes turn into long splits and so forth. In such cases you’re probably best served by just visiting a specialists shop or even better, your dealership and having them stick in a new one. Assuming that you’re interested in a basic repair option, here’s how it is generally done…A Crack In The Windshield

First off, you should really do this kind of repair in an area that’s temperature-controlled. Simply put, if you were to try this under a sweltering sun it’s very likely that everything won’t turn out as expected due to swifter drying times, etc.   Secondly, you’ll want / need a repair kit – they can be picked up at any auto repair shop.

The initial thing to do is remove any loose pieces of glass in the ding; most individuals will use a razor blade-like implement to accomplish this. Once that’s finished, clean the entire area with soap and warm water then dry it off completely. Inside of your repair kit there should be a device with at least four suction cups which is to be positioned directly above the affected area. Positioning is important, so take your time and make sure that each cup attaches firmly to the surface. Next, you will find a repair tool of some sort in there which should slide into the suction-cupped apparatus, locate it and attach it as directed.

As a final preparation before we begin the actual procedure, look at the positioning again from inside of your vehicle (if possible). You just need the nozzle to be right on or inside of the damaged area. Now it’s time to add the resin if everything looks accurate. In most cases you only need to add around 2-3 drops, but then again this will depend on how big the chip in your windshield actually is. Next, quickly stick the plunger piece into the tube and tighten / smash it down on top of the resin that you just added. The idea here is to completely fill all the crevices and create a flat sort of surface to work with. Before you walk away and leave it just like that, remember to loosen it again and then retighten it down in order to eliminate any trapped gases (very critical).

After one or two minutes, you can remove the device and apply the included film which will flatten everything. While an hour or so is plenty of time for the resin to set, consider leaving it alone overnight to dry. Finally, remove the film and use a razor blade to scrape away any excess resin.

Windshields; Once a Luxury, Now they’re the Law

Once upon a time, owning an automobile was considered quite the luxury. Owning an automobile that had a windshield was even more extravagant! Most drivers had to make do with a pair of goggles. Rain, wind and the flying gravel that hit you in the face was all part of the fun. Things have since changed.

Auto Glass in the Early Days

“Wrap-around” glass was the precursor to what we would call the windows and windshield of modern vehicles. By the early 1920s, most cars in production offered driver and passengers near complete protection from the elements. Glass, metal, wood and/or canvas was used to construct a fully enclosed compartment.

Advances in glass-making techniques improved the strength of the final product, and mass production made sheet glass more affordable. There was less distortion and the driver enjoyed better visibility. This also helped make driving more safe. More and more people were falling in love with the automobile, and the roads became busier every year.

Henry Ford and the First Laminated Safety Glass

Henry Ford was fascinated by advances in glass-making that involved combining cellulose with layers of glass. The resulting windshields were less likely to shatter into dangerously sharp shards. Injuries to the occupants involved in automobile accidents began to fall. The Ford Company used laminated glass in the manufacture of all its cars after 1929.

Poly Vinyl Butyral (PVB) was developed to replace cellulose in the production of laminated glass. The cellulose had a tendency to discolor over time, reducing the driver’s visibility. PVB was far more resistant to discoloration and punctures and produced a superior safety glass.

The late 1930’s saw the development of tempered glass. Produced by heating and subsequent rapid cooling, tempered glass was less expensive to produce than laminated glass at the time. It was also not as thick as laminated glass. It was soon widely used to make the side windows and mirrors of the automobiles of the day.

By the 1960’s advances in auto glass production enabled curved windshields and side windows to be designed and installed in new cars. Not only did this improve the designs and aerodynamics of the vehicles, but it made more space available for passengers.

While auto glass advances made the view from the inside better, there was still the issue of all the sunshine that was getting in. Heat reflecting laminates were created to keep some of the heat out of the cars. Tinted glass was developed that absorbed some of the sun’s rays as they entered the vehicle.

Now it’s the Law

Some automobile companies voluntarily made the use of safety glass mandatory in all their vehicles. Governments began to get involved in the 1960’s to guarantee that all cars on the road were equipped with safety glass. Strict regulations have since been put in place. Windshields cannot be cracked or chipped in such a way that driver visibility, and thus road safety, are compromised.

Even when it comes to windshield replacement, certain rules must be observed. Don’t even think about driving away until the adhesives have had time to set and dry properly. The safety of you and your passengers depends on it!