PROFESSIONAL WINDSHIELD REPAIR & WINDSHIELD REPLACEMENT, SAN DIEGO
Your vehicle’s windshield may not seem like the most important part of the automobile, but aside from enabling the driver to see the road clearly while protecting the driver and passengers from projectiles and from the elements, the automobile’s windshield is actually one of the most essential structural components of a motor vehicle, helping to support the frame of the automobile (in rollover accidents, the vehicle’s windshield can provide more than half of the structural integrity of the automobile), keeping the driver and passengers inside the automobile in case of an accident, and supporting the vehicle’s airbags when they are deployed.
When Should I Replace My Windshield?
Your vehicle’s windshield should be replaced any time your safety or that of your passengers may be compromised.
If there is a crack or a chip in your automobile’s windshield that is less than six inches wide and long, it may be a candidate for auto glass repair.
On the other hand, there are several conditions where repair is not advisable or not possible:
If your vehicle’s windshield is chipped or cracked directly in the line of sight of the driver, then there are no two ways about it – this situation is a driving safety hazard, and your vehicle’s windshield needs to be replaced as soon as it is possible to do so.
If the crack or the chip in your automobile’s windshield is located along the edge of the glass panel, where the windshield meets the body of the vehicle, then it will not be possible to repair the chip or crack in the windshield effectively, prevent spreading, or to ensure the structural integrity of the vehicle and the water-tight seal, and therefore your automobile’s windshield should be replaced as soon as possible.
If the windshield chip or crack is obscuring a camera or a sensor that is a part of your vehicle’s visual or navigation system, this situation will generally prevent the proper functioning of the device and will necessitate that the automobile’s windshield be replaced.
Are Windshield Cracks Dangerous?
Automotive windshield glass is sometimes referred to as “safety glass”. What this means is that the automobile’s windshield is actually composed of two panels of glass with a thin layer of vinyl between them. This configuration helps to make the windshield sturdier, and helps to prevent the glass from shattering. Instead, the glass typically tends to break in place, and adhere to the panel such that the structure of the windshield stays more or less intact when broken.
However, if the glass in one or both of the panels has been compromised or weakened by a significant crack or chip in the windshield, then the panel may not provide the same level of protection in case of breakage, and it is likely not to provide the same level of structural support to the vehicle in case of an accident – especially a more severe rollover accident.
Thus, even a small chip or crack in your vehicle’s windshield that doesn’t look like a big deal does mean that your vehicle’s structural integrity is weakened, and therefore operating your vehicle is less safe for you and for your passengers when the windshield in this condition.
If your automobile’s windshield is cracked, you should consult with an experienced auto glass professional as soon as possible, before the crack or chip begins to spread or get larger, in order to determine whether or not it can or should be repaired, and keep you and your family safe on the road.
Will a Windshield Chip Spread?
A chip in your vehicle’s windshield can often be repaired if the chip is not much larger than a quarter. A chip in your automobile’s windshield can rapidly spread into a long crack that can’t be repaired, so such a chip should never be ignored. Every day that your vehicle is on the road, or even just exposed to changes in temperature while parked, without repairing a chip in the windshield, is taking a chance that the chip may turn into a long crack. A larger chip may also be a serious threat to your car or truck’s structure and therefore a substantial safety hazard that cannot be repaired.
If your vehicle’s windshield is chipped, you should assume that the chip will spread if it is not repaired soon. How quickly this will happen will depend on a variety of factors.
Water and Moisture: If it rains or if you wash your car, the water can enter your windshield through a chip or a crack and stay inside the windshield. Water inside your windshield can then potentially weaken the entire windshield and therefore make your vehicle substantially less safe in case of an accident. Water in the windshield can also lead to an expansion of the chip or of the crack.
Dirt and Grime: Similarly to the situation with water and moisture, dirt can also enter a chip or a crack in the glass and weaken the structure of a vehicle’s windshield. Dirt and grime can also combine with the moisture, (yes that means mud), and then expand in hot weather, making matters even worse, and potentially causing the chip or crack to spread.
Temperature and The Sun: One of the things that many people seem to love about San Diego is the sunny weather, but sun and heat can definitely take their toll on a cracked or a chipped windshield. The hotter your vehicle’s windshield gets, the more likely it becomes that a chip or a crack will increase in size, or that where it has already spread a little bit, it may begin to spread more quickly. This effect can be an even bigger problem when the temperature gets hot enough for the vehicle’s occupants to decide to roll up the windows and to turn on the car or truck’s air conditioning, in order to cool down the temperature inside the automobile.
Because of the fact that the vehicle’s windshield is actually composed of two layers of glass that are stuck together, as the sun begins to bake the outside layer of glass, and as the air conditioning starts to cool down the inner layer of glass, the temperature difference between the two layers can cause structural stress to the windshield, which is not a problem with an intact windshield glass panel. However, if your vehicle’s windshield is chipped or it is cracked, then you guessed it – the pressure caused by this temperature differential can result in the chip or the crack getting bigger, or growing more quickly.
Body Torsion and Structural Stress: Normal, everyday events that happen all the time while driving a car and that are not a problem for an uncompromised windshield can turn what seems to be a minor crack or chip in a windshield into something much bigger and more problematic. Unfortunately, this kind of stress on a vehicle’s windshield is hard to predict and even harder to prevent, but anything from driving too fast over a speed bump, to closing the car door too forcefully, to making a sharp turn or suddenly applying the automobile’s brakes can put added stress on the body of the vehicle, which subtly twists or reverberates into the glass panels in the windshield, and can make a chip or a crack spread and grow.
Windshield Replacement Near Me
Our San Diego mobile auto windshield glass units can be dispatched to anywhere in San Diego county. Just give us a call or complete our convenient free estimate form and our professional windshield replacement technicians will replace your vehicle’s windshield affordably at whatever location is the most convenient for you, with the highest standards of safety, reliability and professionalism, and you will typically be able to safely get back on the road in your vehicle within two to three hours or less.