How to Prevent Windshield Cracks
June 11th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
Windshield cracks are hazards that every driver wants to avoid. With the right approach to windshield crack prevention, you can reduce the risk of breaking your windshield.
What Causes Windshield Cracks?
There are many reasons why windshield cracks occur, such as:
1. Subpar Installation
If a windshield was not installed properly, it might be loose. Thus, when you’re driving on bumpy roads, excess vibrations can put stress on the windshield, making it more susceptible to cracks.
2. Temperature Changes
Drastic temperature changes lead to rapid expansion and contraction of the windshield glass. In these instances, windshield glass expansion and contraction happen at different rates, which increases the likelihood of cracks.
Sunlight heats the metal and other materials around the windshield glass. It can also cause windshield glass edges to expand faster than the center of the glass, resulting in cracks.
4. Pressure Changes
If a heavy object like a tree limb falls on a windshield, it can put additional pressure on the windshield glass, leading to cracks. Or, if you’re driving in strong wind gusts, the pressure from these gusts can result in windshield cracks.
Hailstones, which are chunks of ice that form when drops of water freeze in the air, can also cause cracks on your windshield if you are traveling at high speeds. The damage from hailstone ranges from minor to severe.
How to Prevent Cracks in Windshield
There is no surefire solution on how to stop a windshield crack. Yet, there are several things you can do to lower your risk of windshield cracks, such as:
1. Avoid Busy Roads
A highway or freeway tends to have more traffic than a back road, which results in a higher chance of road debris or other particles traveling upward and hitting your windshield. So, when possible, choose back roads over highways and freeways. This allows you to encounter fewer cars on the road, as well as lower your risk of windshield cracks.
2. Maintain a Safe Distance from the Car in Front of You
Regardless of where you drive, staying a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you can reduce the risk of flying debris hitting your windshield. In addition, it also minimizes the risk of accidents and collisions if the driver in front of you suddenly stops or slows down.
3. Drive Slowly
If flying debris hits your windshield while you’re driving, the forward motion from your vehicle can increase the debris’ impact. Therefore, follow the speed limit as you can reduce the severity of the damage when flying debris does strike your windshield.
4. Park Indoors
If you can, park your car in a garage or indoor parking lot. This allows you to keep your vehicle out of sunlight that can otherwise cause your windshield glass to heat up, expand, and crack.
What to Do If You Spot a Windshield Crack
If you see a windshield crack, you should address the issue as soon as possible. A windshield crack can escalate quickly, but the sooner you resolve this issue, the sooner you can prevent it from getting out of hand.
A windshield crack should first be evaluated based on its location and severity. Generally, if a windshield crack is small and does not interfere with your ability to see the road, you can still drive your car to an auto glass repair shop to get your windshield repaired or replaced. If a windshield crack is large enough that it impacts your ability to see clearly, you need to get your windshield replaced immediately.
Windshield repairs or replacement often take about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. They should always be performed by auto glass repair experts to ensure your windshield is properly repaired or replaced.
Is It Better to Have a Cracked Windshield Repaired or Replaced?
Every windshield crack is unique, and as such, there is no telling whether a cracked windshield should be repaired or replaced until an auto glass repair expert examines it. By consulting with an auto glass repair shop, you can have your windshield evaluated and address any windshield cracks right away.
An auto glass repair shop employs windshield repair and replacement professionals who offer personalized recommendations. If these professionals believe the crack in your windshield can be fixed, they are happy to repair the windshield. Comparatively, if they believe your cracked windshield needs to be replaced, they can perform the replacement.
If you experience a cracked windshield, try not to worry and get help to correct the problem. If you address a cracked windshield as soon as you notice the problem, you can ensure this issue won’t affect your ability to drive your car safely.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Divisadero, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the San Francisco area.
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