If you are like most people, you might start downplaying auto glass chips and cracks the instant you spot them. After all, if you don't have to register your car anytime soon, why would you take care of repairs now? Although it might not seem like a pressing issue, letting windshield damage go might only make the problem worse down the road. Here are two lies people tell themselves about windshield damage, and why you need to address these issues sooner rather than later:
1: "That rock chip isn't moving."
Nothing is more frustrating than watching a piece of gravel escape the truck bed ahead of you and slam into your windshield. However, after you pull over to inspect the damage, you might not be as worried. After all, how much more damage could that smooth, round divot possibly cause? Because rock chips can look simple and self-contained, many drivers figure that they can go awhile without worrying about repairs. Unfortunately, research has shown that over 90% of rock chips grow into cracks, which could impair your line of sight and weaken your windshield.
Although rock chips might look harmless, a closer inspection would tell a different story. Jagged rocks can leave behind a chip perimeter filled with micro-cracks, which can let water seep into your windshield, freeze, and expand. Since the metal frame that surrounds your windshield expands and contracts in hot and cold weather, weaker chipped areas can flex under extreme temperatures—accelerating the cracking process.
Instead of turning a blind eye towards those rock chips, have them repaired as soon as possible. Experts can fill chips with strong resin, which keeps water out and restores the structural integrity of the glass. Although it might seem like an added expense, rock chip repairs start at around $10, while a full-scale replacement of a rare windshield could cost as much as $1,500.
2: "It's only a cosmetic issue."
If you have a cracked or chipped windshield, you might be more worried about how your auto glass looks than what it means for your safety. After all, what will your boss think when you pull up in a car that looks neglected? However, glass damage is a lot more serious than a simple cosmetic issue. Here are three dangers that a damaged windshield could pose for you and your family:
- Glass Shards: Your windshield is designed to withstand a certain amount of impact without shattering. Unfortunately, if you drive around with a windshield that has already withstood a lot of damage, that glass might be more likely to send glass shards flying during an accident.
- Rollover: Believe it or not, your windshield supports as much as 30% of the weight of your car's roof. Unfortunately, weakened auto glass might buckle more easily during a rollover, which could make that wreck much worse.
- Ejections: Because windshields act as a barrier between your passengers and the road, cracked glass could make ejections more of a possibility. Fortunately, having cracks and chips repaired restores strength to the glass, so that you can keep everyone safer.
Because driving with a damaged windshield is so risky, most places enforce the rules by issuing traffic tickets for driving an unsafe motor vehicle. In fact, the violation can carry a fine of up to $250, which is a lot more than a simple chip repair would run you. If you are worried about repairs interfering with your daily schedule, you shouldn't be. Most rock chip repairs can be performed while you wait, while a complete windshield replacement usually takes under an hour.
By understanding the truth about auto glass damage, you might be able to keep existing problems from becoming worse, and keep your car safe and sound. For more information, contact a company like BRITE-VIEW GLASS.