If you’ve owned a vehicle that has a windshield, you know the drill. You might hear the click of a rock bouncing off your glass. Maybe a crummy windshield wiper does the trick. Sometimes, they seem to pop up out of nowhere, but they’re always around. Chips.
Little blemishes on your pristine windshield that probably feel more annoying than dangerous. To many people, these chips may be more of an aesthetic issue than a safety problem. But, like many automotive issues, they should not be ignored. Today we’re talking about when you should get a chip repaired, why repairing chips is so important, and whether you should do it yourself or not. Let’s go!
TALKING ABOUT WINDSHIELDS
Before we get into the whens, whys, and how, it’s important to distinguish between your windshield and the rest of the glass in your car. First off, your windshield is laminated glass compared to tempered glass throughout the rest of your vehicle. Laminated glass is created by bonding layers of glass with resin, whereas tempering glass is a process that makes a single piece of glass stronger. The real difference is that in an accident, tempered glass breaks and shatters, but laminated glass will, generally, shatter but stay in one piece. Second, the windshield is a major part of the structural support of a vehicle. Lastly, not only is your windshield a massive component of the safety systems of any vehicle, but on newer vehicles, the windshield is home to several different Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS). More on that in a little bit. To put it simply; your windshield is an incredibly important part of your vehicle.
WHEN SHOULD I GET A CHIP REPAIRED?
Because of their small size, you may be tempted to ignore small chips or blemishes on your windshield. Unfortunately, that inaction may end up literally costing you money down the road. These small chips can turn into larger, more costly cracks in a relatively short amount of time. Things like car washes, and even changes in temperature can put the kind of pressure on your windshield that can cause a chip to turn into a crack quickly. So while you may want to put off or ignore your chipped windshield, getting repairs done quickly will save you time and money in the long run.
WHY IS A REPAIR IMPORTANT?
We’ll set aside, for the time being, the fact that windshield chips are unsightly. We want to focus on the safety issues at play. As we talked about earlier, your windshield plays a large part in the structural integrity of your car. It helps to keep the roof up (especially during an accident) and leaves room for airbags to deploy during an accident. However, on newer vehicles, the windshield has an array of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist Systems) sensors attached to it. ADAS features like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and rain sensors all come from components attached to your car’s windshield. Generally, small chip repairs won’t bother the cameras and sensors that are attached to your windshield. Left too long, though, that chip can turn into a large deep crack, requiring a windshield replacement and a complete re-calibration of your safety systems.
PROFESSIONAL OR DIY?
As we’ve talked about in our paintless dent repair guide, a quick scan of the internet will reveal any number of articles and videos explaining how you can repair your windshield chips and blemishes. As technology has advanced and with the increased importance of a windshield to a vehicle, it’s now more important than ever to let a professional handle any windshield issues. A poorly done DIY windshield repair job could result in further damage to the glass or ADAS systems being thrown out of spec.
Lastly, if your windshield is beyond repair and a replacement is necessary, insist on seeking out a shop, like Eustis Body Shop, with highly trained professionals that will use an OEM windshield and parts for your vehicle. These are parts ordered directly from your vehicle’s manufacturer. Using aftermarket windshields could result in a poor fit, lower quality glass, coatings, and miscalibrated ADAS sensors.
Eustis Body Shop is your stop for auto glass repair and replacement. Our I-CAR Gold Class Certified technicians have the training, the tools, and the proper OEM parts to do the job right. Visit us at any of our six locations across Central and Eastern Nebraska or contact us anytime!