Since a windshield is the first line of defense between you and a variety of external elements, it always remains exposed to a wide range of damages. When the automotive windshield glass is hit, it can get chips and cracks. If it is a small chip or crack, the auto glass technician will repair it in minutes. But if the damage is irreparable, the technician will need to perform an auto glass replacement. The unique design of the windshield is created to provide the occupants of a car or SUV protection while driving on the road. Therefore, it is crucial that you pay serious attention to the proper maintenance of the auto glass and as soon as you spot a damage, you should go for an auto glass repair or an auto glass installation as per need.

But a big question you may have in mind is how often you should get the windshield of your car or SUV replaced. In this article, we will discuss this point as well as talk about many other things for your knowledge. At Magic Glass Repair in Austin, TX, we always encourage car owners to ask questions and seek answers from our experts in order to make the right decisions.

Types of Windshield Damages

car windshield crack repair

Windshields sustain different kinds of damages. Depending on the actual cause of the damage, an auto glass can sustain multiple variations of chips and cracks. What kind of solution will be ideal is determined after a thorough assessment of the damage by a highly experienced auto glass technician.

Common windshield damages are as follows:

  • Minor Chips
  • Star Breaks
  • Clover Leaf
  • Bull’s Eye
  • Half Moon
  • Bee’s Wing
  • Combination Break

While most minor chips can be repaired quickly, severe damages will require a complete auto windshield replacement. To find out more about each of these specific types of damages, talk to one of our experts.

Can You Repair the Auto Glass Damage?

It is for the technician to determine whether your broken windshield can be fixed with a repair or it will need a replacement.

Key factors that play a key role are as follows:

  • Size of the damage
  • Location of the damage
  • Depth of the damage
  • Number of chips

Sometimes, even if the chip is small, the auto glass technician may ask you to go for a car windshield replacement. This is when there are multiple chips or the chip is located directly in the driver’s line of vision. That is why an accurate damage assessment is of utmost importance.

How Long Does a Windshield Last?

The glass used in a windshield is not ordinary glass. Glass manufacturers use tempered glass to make windshields. Tempered glass is much stronger and more resilient than the plain glass you see in daily life.

When it comes to windshield replacement, one thing that you should definitely know about the lifespan of a windshield glass. When an auto glass sustains damage, its lifespan is reduced. However, an undamaged windshield can last for several years in a row – sometimes the entire life of a car, SUV, or truck. But you should seek an expert’s review on the actual condition of your windshield and find out whether it is strong enough to fully support the vehicular frame. If the auto glass shows signs of weakness, you may need a replacement.

Compared to brake pads and tires, windshields have a much longer lifespan, often 8-10 years. Based on different makes and models of cars, the average lifespan of an auto windshield is considered to be five years.

One thing you should do to extend the lifespan of your car windshield is regular care and maintenance. Remember not to leave the glass dirty and don’t let dust and debris gather on the glass. Presence of dirt and debris on the glass surface will lead to scratches, thereby reducing the lifespan. Just like you wash and clean every other part of your car or SUV, you should also clean the front windshield and the rear window glass as well as other auto glasses.

In the event of a large crack or severe damage, the windshield will need a replacement in order to restore the structural strength of the vehicle. Damages have a significant effect on the lifespan of the auto glass.

When Should You Replace Your Broken Windshield?

There are some damages that make a windshield replacement necessary. For example, if an object comes flying onto the windshield at high speed and punches a hole through it, a new installation will be required. But, like it has been said before, every damage is different as it is the job of the technician to decide whether a windshield glass repair or a windscreen replacement will be ideal.

You will need a windscreen replacement if:

The Crack is Too Large

Cracks that are longer than a dollar bill are usually irreparable. Likewise, if a chip is larger than a quarter, a new windshield will need to be installed. Usually, if a chip or a crack is very large, a repair will not fix the problem. So, the technician will need to remove the broken auto glass and install a new one in its place. In some cases, even large cracks can be repaired.

The Crack is Too Deep

A windshield consists of three layers: the inner and outer glass layers and the third layer of PVB in between. If the damage is so severe that it has penetrated both the outer and the inner layer, you will need a replacement. Even if both the glass layers have not been penetrated but the damage has exposed the plastic layer, the technician will most likely recommend a replacement.

Multiple Small Chips or Cracks

Usually, it is easy to repair a small crack or a chip in the windshield. But it is difficult to repair multiple chips or cracks together. If your windscreen sustains multiple small chips at a time, it will be impossible to repair the damage. Even if you get all the chips repaired, the structural integrity of the vehicle will not return and your safety on the road will remain compromised as a result.

If the Crack is in a Critical Spot

A crack on the driver’s side even when it is small will need a car glass replacement. This is exactly why the location of the chip or crack matters a great deal. A small chip anywhere on the windscreen other than the driver’s side can be easily repaired. But any damage on the driver’s side of the automotive glass is serious damage, which needs careful assessment by the glass technician.

If your windshield has damage, you should seek immediate help from an expert auto glass technician. Whether the technician will fix the windshield crack or replace the broken windshield altogether will be known after an accurate inspection of the damage. However, every time your windshield has a large chip or crack or multiple damages at once, a replacement is likely. If you live in the Austin area, TX, head over to Magic Glass Repair to get a free consultation by an auto glass specialist or schedule a car window repair or windshield replacement.

Magic Glass Repair also provides mobile glass services including mobile auto glass repair and mobile windshield replacement in Travis County and Hays County for busy working professionals.

Can You Wait to Replace or Repair Your Broken Car Glass?

No matter what type of damage it is, your windshield must get urgent attention. While some vehicle owners may think of a windshield as a general safety feature, the windshield is actually a very critically important safety component of a car or SUV. As soon as a windscreen is broken or damaged, its ability to bear the impact of a flying object reduces in a significant manner. Therefore, it is unwise and dangerous to let a replacement or repair job wait.

You may neglect glass damage by thinking it is a small one. But small chips and cracks do not remain as they are. If you continue driving, the damage will spread further as well as become a potential safety hazard.

While a broken car glass compromises your safety and those of others in the car, you might also be issued a ticket because it is illegal to drive with a damaged windshield in the Austin area, Texas. Every time your windshield gets a chip or crack, you should seek professional help.

How to Protect Windshields While You Wait for a Repair

Should I Use a DIY Kit for Windshield Scratch Repair?

Though you will come across different kinds of DIY repair kits in the market, you will also need expertise to perform the job. If it is a truly small chip in an area other than the driver’s direct line of vision, you may be able to repair it, but getting expert help is always highly recommended.

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8 Common Questions About Auto Glass Damage And Repair

When buying a DIY repair kit, you will need to purchase the right kit to perform the repair job in an accurate manner. If the repair kit is not ideal or top quality, the strength of the windshield even after the fix will remain compromised. Moreover, how will you decide whether the damage in your windshield needs a repair or replacement? There is also a chance that the DIY repair kit will fail to do its job – but then it will be impossible to go back and do it all over again.

Considering all these points, it is always better to turn to an experienced automotive glass professional than attempt the job yourself and end up worsening the damage even more than before.

Talk to a Windshield Replacement Expert

There are multiple reasons when you may need to replace your windshield with a new one. If the automotive glass of your car, SUV or truck is damaged, broken or old, you should immediately seek professional help. At Magic Glass Repair in Austin, TX, we specialize in auto glass installation, auto glass repair, car window repair, auto windshield replacement, windshield crack repair etc. If you have a question about how often a windshield should be replaced or want to schedule an inspection of your chipped or cracked windshield, reach out to one of our auto glass specialists. Our professionals are highly trained and skilled both in the repair and new installations of windscreens for all makes and models of vehicles.

To get a free consultation or windshield replacement quote, you can call our office phone number or send us an email.