Auto Glass Cracks and Chips: What To Do?

glass chip in windshield

No matter how carefully you drive in Tucson, Arizona, you could still spot an unexpected chip in your vehicle’s windshield. If that happens, it can be hard not to feel anxious. Still, this is far from a life-or-death scenario.

Have you just noticed your first-ever windshield chip or crack? If you have, there’s nothing to worry about — auto glass coverage claims won’t affect your insurance premium, and there’s a good chance you won’t even have to pay for repairs. That said, you’ll definitely want to choose the right shop for auto glass service. Read on for a thorough look at what to do in this situation.

What Are Common Types of Windshield Damage?

Many people refer to “windshield chips” as a single type of damage. However, that isn’t really the case, as there are multiple ways in which auto glass can chip. The shape or pattern of your chip could make the difference between an easily-fixable windshield and a sheet of glass that needs to be replaced entirely.

Ultimately, your auto glass repair shop in Tucson will determine what should be done with your windshield. Still, it’s good to have some idea of what to expect ahead of time. Some of the most common forms of windshield damage include:

Bullseye Windshield Chips

If your windshield has chip damage, there’s a good chance the chip in question is a bullseye chip. This chip is named for its distinctive shape — much like the classic dartboard target, it consists of a small dark spot surrounded by a ring.

A professional auto glass shop can often repair bullseye chips well enough to prevent the damage from affecting other parts of your windshield. Despite this, the original impact point might still be visible after your repair is complete.

Half-Moon/Partial Bullseye Windshield Chips

This form of damage closely resembles bullseye chips, with one exception. Instead of having a complete circle in the middle like their counterparts, these chips only have a half-circle at their center.

Half-moon chips often occur when a rock or other foreign object hits your windshield at the right angle. Because of that, it can be trickier to repair partial chips than fullchips.

Windshield Star Cracks

This form of cracking starts with a basic chip like the ones described above, but it also involves multiple small cracks. These begin at the initial point of impact and extend outwards.

It isn’t always guaranteed that you will be able to get your windshield repaired if it has a star crack. The length of the cracks will determine whether repair work will be possible.

Combo Windshield Chips

In some situations, your windshield can develop multiple forms of windshield damage at once. These are known as “combo chips.” They’re a combination of at least two previously-listed types of windshield damage.

Combo chips go beyond simple windshield chipping, but even this situation can potentially be fixed with repair work. Of course, this depends on where your damage is located and how big the damaged area is, among other factors.

Get A Windshield Repair or Windshield Replacement Quote

Do You Need a Car Window Replacement?

For many drivers, finding a chip in their windshield can be alarming, primarily since it means they might have to replace their windshield soon. While a chipped windshield should always be addressed by Tucson auto glass professionals, a total replacement isn’t always inevitable. You might be able to get a smaller-scale windshield repair instead.

Before starting their work, the mechanics at your auto glass repair shop of choice will inspect your windshield to determine whether it should be repaired or replaced. In the process of making this decision, they’ll consider the following:

  • The location of your chip. Even after repair work from auto glass experts, previously-damaged spots in your windshield can suffer from “fog” and other visual issues. Because of that, small chips located directly in your line of vision are enough to require auto glass replacement.
  • How far the chip is from your windshield’s edge. Your windshield damage could cause problems if it’s too far to one side or the other. Damage in these areas can develop and grow before you know it, potentially putting the integrity of your vehicle’s roof at risk. Thus, windshields with damage near their outer edges must be replaced to protect you in the event of a crash.
  • The size of the chipped area. As a rule of thumb, repairable windshield chips can’t be larger than a single inch in diameter. Furthermore, these chips shouldn’t have hairline cracks coming from them — and in Tucson’s summer heat, these cracks can develop rapidly.
  • The depth of your chip. Along with knowing the surface area your windshield chip covers, you’ll want to consider how deep it is. Even if your chip seems small, it can’t be adequately fixed if it reaches the windshield’s middle vinyl layer. In fact, damage to this layer requires windshield replacement, even if the outer layers are perfectly fine.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Chipped Windshield Repair Work

Let’s say you’ve reviewed the guidelines above and believe your windshield chip is eligible for repair. In that case, you’re probably wondering what your auto glass repair shop’s mechanics will do to fix your windshield.

These days, most qualified auto glass shops use the vacuum pressure repair process. Here’s a quick look at how that process works:

  1. First, mechanics will remove minuscule glass particles from the damaged area. They might also drill a small hole through your windshield’s top glass layer to allow trapped air to escape.
  2. When that’s done, a glass resin injector will be placed around the damaged spot.
  3. Once that tool is in place, it will alternate between vacuum and pressure cycles to infuse the outer glass layer with transparent, UV-curable glass resin. That should bring your windshield’s structure and appearance back to normal.
  4. Then, any excess resin from the injection process will be removed.
  5. After that, the resin will be cured with a UV light. It will harden and transform from a liquid to a solid in the process.
  6. Finally, mechanics will look at your repaired windshield and see if they need to provide any clean-up/polish work.

Despite the multiple steps involved in windshield crack repair, it isn’t a lengthy process — in fact, it should take no longer than 30-40 minutes. Better yet, your repaired windshield will be practically indistinguishable from a brand-new pane of glass.

The Dangers of DIY Windshield Crack Repair

If you’re like most drivers, you’re interesed in opportunities to save on auto work. But while there are smart ways to get a bargain on car repairs, other money-saving strategies might not be in your best interest. For example, most drivers should leave repair work to professionals — including windshield crack repair.

There’s a good chance you’ve seen DIY auto glass repair products for sale, and you might have even been tempted to buy one. But if you purchase a less-than-trustworthy solution or aren’t careful while fixing your windshield, you could easily make your auto glass damage worse than when you started. In doing so, you might accidentally turn a repairable chip into something requiring a total car window replacement.

On top of that, only qualified Tucson auto glass experts can reliably determine whether or not your windshield is actually fixable. These people know windshields inside and out, and they’ll understand exactly what type of service your auto glass needs — keeping you as safe as possible in the process.

Best of all, you can still save money while reaping the benefits of professional auto glass work. The best companies providing windshield crack repair make a point of offering opportunities to save, such as promotions and financing.

Know Where To Turn for Auto Glass Service in Tucson

Do you need car window replacement or chip repair in Tucson? If so, you can’t afford to put this work off for even a day. Windshield damage doesn’t take long to spread — the longer you wait, the more significant your damage will become (and the more expensive fixing it will be).

But that doesn’t mean you should pick any random auto glass company to work on your windshield. The shop you trust for this work should be able to provide the following:

  • AGSC and Dow-certified technicians. No matter what kind of automotive work you need, it should be handled by qualified mechanics.
  • Complimentary mobile service. Look for a mobile auto glass service provider willing to come to you.
  • Promotions and financing options. After all, you deserve to save on your windshield replacement.
  • Free quotes. Don’t estimate how much it will cost to fix your chipping windshield — know exactly how much you’ll pay beforehand.
  • A broad selection of services. Whether you need glass repairs, a replacement windshield, or ADAS calibration, your auto glass shop needs to be ready to provide all of these auto glass services.

To get all these perks and more in Tucson, choose Max Auto Glass to fix or replace your windshield! Max Auto Glass is a division of BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers, meaning you can get our services at any BRAKEmax shop (or anywhere else, thanks to our mobile service).

Get A Windshield Chip Repair Quote Today

The Max Auto Glass Difference

  • High-Quality Products
  • Technicians Certified By The Auto Glass Safety Council™
  • Excellent Customer Service
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