Why It’s Important to Fix the Crack on Your Windshield

The most obvious reason behind your windshield’s presence on your car is to deflect bugs, rain, debris and winds. However, as automotive safety technology advances, so do the uses of auto glass.

So exactly, how important is it to fix a cracked windshield? It’s extremely important. In fact, the windshield acts as a deflector of debris, a ‘backstop’ for airbags, and it even protects the structural integrity in the event of an accident. Read on to learn about the important functions of windshields.

Windshields as Deflectors

The windshield in your car protects you and your occupants from dust, bugs, rocks and other debris as well as UV-A and UV-B Rays. But, that wasn’t always the case. In early automobiles, windshields were constructed of simple window glass similar to your home’s windows. Of course, this relatively thin material was prone to breakage, causing the glass to shatter into sharp little pieces.

The windshield, like much of our automotive manufacturing process, was improved by the work of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. Mr. Ford observed an up-and-coming technology referred to as glass lamination in which a windshield assembly consists of a layer of cellulose (which constitutes the majority of plant cell walls) sandwiched between two pieces of glass. When the glass was fractured by debris, the adhesive middle layer helped to maintain the shape of the windshield and prevent shattering.

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Windshields as Information Screens

More and more vehicles are being manufactured with Heads-Up Displays, or HUDs, which reflect an image against your windshield to display information like speed, the time, or about upcoming obstacles or dangers. The benefit of positioning the display as such is to allow the operator of the vehicle to read this information without diverting their eyes away from the road.

It is still under debate whether the Heads Up Display model is safer than traditional displays; but what is not up for debate is the role windshield play in the safe operation of a vehicle.

How Auto Glass Protects You in an Accident

Aside from the lamination process making the glass safer in the event of an accident, there are other considerations for the windshield to be designed the way it is. One of the lesser-known reasons why it’s important for us to have windshields is that often they are designed to be a ‘backstop’ for the airbags, directing them to the proper position to prevent head damage.

Additionally, properly installed windshields contribute to the overall rigidity and structural integrity of the car, especially in the event of a rollover accident. Automotive-grade, industry-leading materials are used to create a bond between the car and the windshield at a molecular level. This helps prevent the roof of the car from caving in if the vehicle were to roll over.

Given these reasons, it’s obvious why Max Auto Glass is so passionate about windshield repair and replacement done the right way. Although the day-to-day uses may be taken for granted, we need our auto glass to be there for us in the event of an emergency.

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Will the Crack in My Windshield Grow?

Damage to windshield glass can be very unpredictable. A small chip from a rock may not spread for ten years, while another small chip may grow into a two-foot-long crack in 30 minutes. But the good news is that even if your windshield is severely cracked, it will not randomly shatter or cave in on you. Only an extreme impact from something like a brick or a wreck can cause the glass to do that.

If there is a crack directly in your line of view, we do not recommend continuing to drive the vehicle. Even if the damage is minor and repairable, if it is in the driver’s direct line of vision, insurance companies require windshield replacement.

How Do I Know If My Windshield Can Be Repaired or If It Should Be Replaced?

The extent of damage to the auto glass will determine the answer to this question. In general, if the damage is directly in the driver’s line of sight, larger than a quarter in diameter, longer than a dollar bill, or goes through to the inner layer of plastic, the windshield should be replaced. If the damage is small, shallow, and not in the driver’s line of vision or along the edge of the glass, our expert technicians can repair the glass. We will fill in the damage, restoring the strength and appearance of your windshield.

What Is the Difference Between an OEM and an OEE Windshield?

This is a common question when a windshield needs to be replaced. An original equipment manufacturer (OEM) windshield is produced by the same glass manufacturer who made the windshield that came with your vehicle off the assembly line. Alternatively, an original equipment equivalent (OEE) windshield is made by a different auto glass manufacturer but matches the material and safety standards of the OEM windshield.

In most cases, cost is the biggest difference between the two windshield types. The price of an OEM windshield can be from 40% to 60% more than an OEE windshield.

Keep in mind that some auto insurance companies will only pay for OEM windshield replacement for newer cars (usually vehicles not more than one to two years old), while others will not cover the cost of an OEM windshield because of its higher price.

When deciding between the two types of windshields, evaluate what is covered by your insurance or what your budget permits. We can help you sort through the pros and cons of each type of windshield and determine which windshield will be the best choice for you.

Why Is Using the Vacuum Pressure Repair Method Good for Windshield Repair?

At Max Auto Glass, we strive to provide the most effective and most affordable windshield repair method while maintaining strict quality standards. This is why we utilize the vacuum pressure glass repair method. This method provides some important benefits, including:

  • Preventing chips and cracks from spreading further
  • Returning the glass to its original strength and integrity
  • Restoring the glass to a smooth, clean surface
  • Not allowing for light scatter and haze, which are often a side effect of glass damage
  • Saving you money

What Happens During a Windshield Chip Repair?

Professional windshield repair by our technicians is usually a quick process that won’t take more than 30 to 40 minutes. The process follows these steps:

  1. A tiny hole will be drilled through the top layer of glass within the damaged area to release any air trapped within. Any loose glass particles will be scraped out as well.
  2. The technician will tightly secure the glass resin injector tool around the damaged area.
  3. The tool will cycle between vacuum and pressure to carefully inject a clear, curable resin into the damaged outer glass layer, restoring the structural integrity and appearance of the glass.
  4. The injector tool is removed, and any excess glass resin is eliminated from the repair area.
  5. A UV light is used to cure the resin, changing it from a liquid to a clear solid.
  6. The area is cleaned and polished as needed, making the repaired area nearly invisible and restoring the strength of the glass.

After a Cracked Windshield Is Repaired, Will the Damage Still Be Visible?

Your focus when it comes to cracked windshield repair should be on safety and not on aesthetics. After the glass resin cures, it can sometimes be slightly visible when looking closely.

Remember, the main goal of glass repair is to restore the structural integrity of the windshield. If aesthetics are important to you, windshield replacement is probably the best option.

Can I Use a DIY Repair Kit to Fix a Crack in My Windshield?

DIY auto glass repair kits can vary in quality and materials, but most drivers don’t have the knowledge or experience to know what is good or bad or how to perform a proper windshield crack repair.

Auto glass professionals have both the experience and expertise to repair a windshield and do the best job. Damage that looks repairable to the untrained eye could lead to a dangerous problem on the road when a DIY repair is attempted. This could mean a need for a full windshield replacement due to your well-intended repair efforts.

Does Max Auto Glass Offer Windshield Repair Financing?

Yes! At Max Auto Glass, we know that sometimes necessary vehicle repairs can pop up at the least opportune times. That’s why we are proud to partner with trusted financial providers to help give our customers access to the money they need for windshield repair and replacement. We offer a variety of financing options, including the BRAKEmax VIP CFNA credit card.

With this exclusive credit card, you’ll go through a quick and easy application process and receive a dedicated credit line just for your vehicle’s needs. You’ll enjoy stress-free financing, no annual fee, and low monthly payments.

The Max Auto Glass Difference

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