Why You Should Get That Cracked Windshield Looked At Immediately
You have a crack on your windshield, probably from debris in the road flying up and hitting your windshield. If it's not getting in your way, or if it's small and relatively unnoticeable, you may be tempted to let it slide, especially because you probably don't want to make room in your budget for superfluous car repairs. But windshield cracks are actually pretty serious no matter their size, and can get worse over time if they are not taken care of right away. On the plus side, your car insurance provider will often help pay for repairs or replacements if necessary.
Why Windshields Are Important
Windshields don't just keep your view clear and keep debris from flying into your face while you drive. They are actually an important part of your car's structural integrity. For example, if you are ever in an accident where your car rolls over, your windshield helps keep your roof from caving in. In addition, your airbags use your windshield as support for when they deploy. When airbags deploy they push against the windshield, which gives them enough support to keep any of the car's occupants in their seats instead of flying forward.
What Cracks Can Do
Even the smallest crack can eventually grow into a big problem if it isn't taken care of quickly. During periods of extreme hot and cold weather the glass can expand and contract, which will cause the crack to grow. Frequent exposure to sunlight can do this as well. This can eventually mean that the crack may interfere with your vision, but it can also reduce the structural integrity of your vehicle, making it a driving hazard. In addition, if your airbags ever deploy into a cracked windshield, two things could happen: the glass could shatter, causing injury, and you could even be propelled through your windshield if it cannot support your airbags.
Repair vs. Replace
In many cases small cracks can be repaired. Not only does it take less than an hour to do so, but the process is relatively inexpensive; your insurance may even cover it completely as it is more cost efficient to cover small repairs rather than full replacements. Whether you can get the crack repaired or not depends on a variety of factors, from the size and depth of the crack to where it is located on your windshield.
If the crack is too big, too deep or in a location that will compromise the structural integrity of your car, the full windshield will need to be replaced in order to be considered safe. Cracks that are on or near the windshields edge are often considered too dangerous to simply repair. Luckily, insurance may cover this as well.
You may have three choices: "Same-OEM," "OEM-Aftermarket" and "Third Party Aftermarket." Your insurance probably won't completely cover the cost of any OEM (original equipment manufactured) windshields, but they might be able to pay a certain percentage, leaving you to pay a smaller difference. Contact a company like Speedy Glass - Phoenix for more information.