Getting a crack on a windshield glass is all too common. If you regularly use highways and roads with a lot of traffic, you may face scenarios where a piece of rock comes flying and hits the windscreen of your car or SUV. Often, the tire of a passing vehicle picks up a piece of rock and it hits your windshield glass with force. Many times, these rocks and debris fly out from a truck carrying construction materials. All of these scenarios occur so fast that you, the driver, get a scanty chance to avoid the flying piece of debris. As a result, you find that your windshield has sustained a crack on it. You spend the next few moments thinking whether the crack can be repaired. It’s a no-brainer that if the crack is big enough, it won’t be fixed through a repair. In that case, the auto glass will need a full replacement.

So, the big question is how big a crack on a car windshield glass can actually be repaired. Let us discuss this topic in detail, so that you know when an auto glass repair will suffice and when you will need an auto glass installation after you have found your windscreen has a crack on it.

What Causes a Windshield to Crack?

The amount of exposure your windshield gets to outside elements depends on the frequency of your driving and the type of roads where you drive. If you drive on major highways several times a week, the risk of getting a windshield glass crack will be higher. Whether it is the front or back windshield, both these automotive glasses remain vulnerable to chips and cracks.

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Here are some of the key reasons why a windshield glass of a car, SUV, mini van or truck sustains a crack.

Flying Debris

Most windshield damages are caused by flying pieces of rock, stones and debris. It is the front windshield glass that often sustains chips and cracks. But the back windshield can also sustain damage. These kinds of damages can be caused while you are driving on a road or highway and also when the vehicle is parked close to a site that is under construction or renovation.

That is why it is always best to not drive too close to other vehicles (particularly those carrying construction materials).

Change in Temperature

Windshield cracks can happen due to a sudden change in temperature. Whether it is summer or winter, you should protect the windshield from extreme temperatures. In the Greater Austin Area, winters can be surprisingly cold whereas summers can be extremely hot. Sometimes, low temperatures can dip below freezing point. If you plan to avoid chips and cracks on your windshield, you should not blast the frozen automotive glass with hot air or hot water. Also, don’t turn on the air conditioning to maximum in order to immediately cool down the interiors.

For more tips on how to remove ice from the windshield without causing damage, reach out to one of our experts at Magic Glass Repair, which specializes in auto glass repair and auto windshield replacement.

Unpredictable Climate

Harsh weather is a common reason for windshield glass cracks. If your car is parked outside, the auto glass will have a high chance of getting chips or cracks during a hailstorm or hurricane. Many times, the damage will be so big or severe that the only solution will be a car glass replacement. Therefore, you should park your car in a garage during a harsh climate.

It is always a good idea to use a car cover to give the windshield and other automotive glasses proper protection.

Improperly Fitted Windshield

Cracks are bound to happen due to improper windshield installation. Most of all, your life while driving on the road in such a scenario will be at risk too. For an auto window installation to be successful, the technician needs to follow every step of the procedure in a correct and proper manner. If you get the job done by an amateur, the installation may not be proper. It is crucial to use the right installation technique and follow all the manufacturer’s recommendations. Key signs of an improper auto glass installation are water leaking around the edges, wavy glass, rattling or whooshing noises and the presence of old adhesive among others.

Whether it is a car window repair or a car windshield replacement, you should only rely on well-trained technicians such as those from Magic Glass Repair, which operates in Hays County, Bastrop County, Travis County and Williamson County in the Greater Austin Area in Texas.

Poor Windshield Construction

When it comes to car windshield replacement, you should always choose OEM quality or aftermarket automotive glass. Windshield glasses are available in a wide variety in the market. It is important to choose and use a high quality glass for your car glass replacement. Always visit a highly trusted and experienced auto glass repair shop and ask exactly what type of glass they are going to use. The technician will answer all your questions so that you are well-informed about the quality of the product and the entire method and process of installation.

There can be many other reasons for windshield damage. Knowing about them will help you remain careful and avoid chips and cracks while you are driving or while your vehicle is parked somewhere outside.

Assessment of a Windshield Crack

After your windshield glass has a chip or crack, the first step is to carry out a full and correct assessment of the damage. For the evaluation, you will need to seek the help of a highly experienced technician. To find out the right solution, it is important to evaluate the problem in an accurate manner. You should either take your vehicle to an auto glass shop or use mobile glass service. Many companies such as Magic Glass Service offer on-site repair without charging extra.

To find out whether the automotive glass crack can be repaired or not, the technician will need to assess how big the crack is. But it is not just the size that is an important factor. Here are the key factors that the technician will consider in order to determine the most ideal solution to the problem.

Location of the Crack

Where exactly is the crack located? This is one of the key questions that will determine whether a damage can be repaired. There are some areas where a repair is not possible to do. Even if a repair is done, the results will be disappointing and your safety on the road will remain compromised.

Two critical areas on the windshields are the driver’s line of sight and the perimeter. If your auto glass sustains chips or cracks in these areas, it can be extremely difficult to restore visibility and strength with a repair job. A crack or chip that is located directly along the line of sight, this will create visibility issues even after repair has been done. Likewise, damages along the edges of a windshield are difficult to repair. Worse still, such damages can lead to total windshield failure if you get involved in a crash or collision. In most of these cases, the technician will need to perform a complete car windshield replacement.

If you have a crack along the driver’s line of sight or along the edges, you should not waste a minute and schedule an inspection with an experienced technician or hire a mobile glass service.

Length of the Crack

Whether or not a crack on a windshield glass can be repaired is determined by assessing the length of the crack. Most small chips are fixable, if you get the repairs done without any delay. It is not possible to repair chips that measure more than a quarter. If the length of a crack is over 3.5 inches, you should expect the technician to go for an auto windshield replacement.

It is important to keep in mind that the length of a crack might increase further if you continue to drive. Chips and cracks should be paid immediate attention so that they don’t turn into major problems.

When your windshield breaks, the technician will closely review the severity of the damage and find out how long the crack is. Since you may not have expertise in this field, you should reach out to a glass repair company and schedule an inspection as quickly as you can. If you find it difficult to take your car or SUV to an auto glass shop, you should opt for a mobile auto glass repair service. In this way, you will have technicians arrive exactly where you are and get the problem in your windscreen fixed without paying additional charges.

Depth of the Crack

A windshield glass consists of three layers. Two layers of laminated safety glass are joined together with a layer of plastic in between. The three layers are bonded with each other using a specific procedure. Sometimes, damage occurs only on the top layer of the car windshield glass. But the chips and cracks can also be too deep and penetrate all the three layers. That is why the depth of a chip or crack is of much greater concern than their length. It can be extremely difficult to fix a chip or crack that goes deep into the plastic or inner laminate layer.

Smaller but deeper chips and cracks are usually not fixable. In that case the technician will need to perform a replacement.

When determining an ideal solution, the technician will consider not just one factor but multiple factors as mentioned above. Each of these factors play a key role for the professional to decide whether the damage can be repaired or whether a car windshield replacement is the only solution.

Read More about:

How to Repair a Broken Windshield

Mobile Glass Service vs In-Shop Glass Repair

Driving with a cracked or chipped windshield glass is unsafe. So, you should stop driving on the road and call in professionals for repair or replacement as fast as possible. But should you take your vehicle to a shop or get in touch with a mobile auto glass repair service. Mobile glass services are actually designed for scenarios where it is not possible to physically take the car or SUV to an auto glass shop. A mobile service allows you to get an auto windshield repair or replacement done at your office, home or a place where you are stuck.

Sometimes, the damage to the windscreen is so severe that it is impossible to drive the vehicle to a shop. In that case, professionals arrive at your location and get the job done there for your convenience.

The best thing about mobile auto glass repair services is that they operate round the clock, unlike a shop that operates during traditional business hours. This means you can get a repair or installation done almost anytime you want without having to wait like you do at a shop. However, visiting a shop to fix windshield crack has its own benefits. For example, you will be able to get many other maintenance tasks done at a shop in a comprehensive manner. Most windshield repair services provide both on-site and in-shop auto glass service to customers.

Whether you should visit a shop or use a mobile glass service depends on the kind of scenario you are faced with. Many companies offer on-site window glass repair and replacement without charging extra.

Does Your Windshield Need Repair?

If you have a broken or cracked windshield, the first thing you should do is to reach out to a car glass repair service. Magic Glass Repair is a perfect destination where you will get top-notch repair and replacement services. Our company operates in the Greater Austin Area, Texas. Our highly trained and experienced technicians will assess how big or severe the crack on your auto glass is and then recommend the best solution to fix the problem with utmost accuracy.

To consult with an expert, you can either give us a phone call or write to us using the email given on our website.