From acting as your main visibility pane to holding together the integrity of the vehicle, your car’s windshield plays a major role in keeping your drives safe. But, after many seasons of harsh weather or an unlucky meeting with a rogue construction pebble on the highway, cracked windshields can happen.
Has your windshield started to break? Don’t wait to get it repaired or replaced! Check out Automotive Training Center’s (ATC) total windshield guide below.
Car Windshield Crack Types
There are many different windshield cracks, chips, and breaks that can happen, mostly dependent on where the object that strikes the windshield hits. Here are some of the most common:
Chip: When a small rock or object meets your windshield, a tiny piece or chip is taken out of the glass. Chips will spread with time, cracking outward from their centers and evolving into a more significant affected area.
Edge Crack: Edge cracks speak for damage that occur at the perimeter of the windshield, along the outer three inches. Impact to this area often causes long, meandering cracks that usually result in the need for a full replacement.
Stress Crack: The one type of crack that doesn’t involve the impact of another object is a stress crack. When your windshield experiences an immediate, extreme temperature change, a stress crack can occur.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Windshield?
If your windshield’s crack, chip, or break is less than six inches in size, it’s possible to have it repaired. Larger damage, though, will require replacing the entire windshield.
The best-case scenario is to catch a chip as early on as possible, before it sprouts cracks or further damage. Undeveloped chips can be filled in with an adhesive kit that removes air from the windshield’s inner layer and seals the chip’s impact point off from the elements.
How Auto Technicians Handle Windshield Replacements
Removing and replacing your car windshield is a multi-step process that can be difficult to get right. For that reason, doing so on your own isn’t advised.
An auto technician who’s removing a damaged windshield and replacing it with a new one will:
- Prepare by tightly covering the car’s interior and outer body to protect it from fine pieces of glass that could come off the current windshield.
- Start the removal process by peeling off the molding around the perimeter of the windshield.
- Use the appropriate tool to cut the windshield from the points where it’s welded to the vehicle.
- Remove the old glass by carefully lifting it up and away from the car, relying on another technician’s assistance to gently push it out from the inside.
- Go through a series of priming steps to prepare the frame to adhere to the new windshield.
- Install a new windshield, then leave to set according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
You’re Invited into the ATC Shop!
We hope this article helped you wave goodbye to your windshield woes, whether you saved it in time with a quick at-home fix or sent it to your local body shop to have the professionals handle it.
If learning how a technician would approach replacing a damaged windshield piqued your interest, you’ll enjoy finding out how auto technicians tackle other maintenance procedures like oil changes, tire rotations, and more with our free eBook, How Automotive Technicians Handle Scheduled Vehicle Service. Download your complimentary copy today.