So, a rock has flown into your windshield and left a lovely crack along the side. The ultimate question following this event is whether the crack will only require a quick fix, or an entire windshield replacement. On the bright side, there are some things you can examine on your own to determine the next steps for your windshield.
1.) Where is the damage located?
Having damage on any part of your windshield is never a good thing, but one of the deciding factors of whether or not you’ll need to replace it is the location of the damage itself. If the crack or chip is located along the edge of the windshield, there is a good chance you can get away with a simple repair. Although, a crack or chip on the corner of the windshield could render the entire thing unstable. If the chip or crack is located in your field of vision, however, there is a good chance your windshield will have to be replaced.
2.) How much damage is there?
One small chip on your windshield is not going to warrant a full replacement of your auto glass. Having up to three chips on your windshield means you can still have it repaired. However, having more than three chips in your windshield can make it prone to shattering without warning. Cracks in your windshield, on the other hand, are a bit different. If you have three separate cracks, please get yourself to the nearest auto glass center. One small crack usually only warrants a repair, but if the crack is longer than a pen you might be in need of a replacement.
Regardless of if you decide to head to the auto glass center right away or not, it is always good to keep an eye on any windshield damage you may have acquired. Over time the damage will get worse, not to mention the fact that law enforcement can write you a ticket for operating a vehicle with unsafe equipment. Do your best to keep on top of your windshield, and you’ll likely avoid any unsavory outcomes.