When To Repair vs When To Replace Your Auto Glass

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Cracking The Crystal Think about a champagne flute. The glass it is made from is so fine and dainty. Now, think about the front window of a store. That glass is incredibly thick and durable in order to resist wind and weather. It's amazing how different these two types of glass are. Do you know what else is amazing? The fact that glass has been made in the United States since the Colonial era. That's right — there was a glass factory in the colony of Jamestown in the 1600s! We won't claim to be as awesome as these early glass artisans, but we are good at supplying you with information about glass. You can find that information here, on this blog.


Every vehicle owner will, at some point, face a dilemma involving their auto glass. Whether it's a small chip from a pebble on the highway or a more significant crack from an accident, deciding between a repair or a full replacement is essential. This decision isn't just about aesthetics; it's primarily about safety. Here's a deeper dive into understanding the circumstances that dictate your best course of action.

The Damage Assessment

The first step in addressing auto glass damage is evaluating the extent of the problem. Tiny chips or minor cracks, often smaller than a dollar bill, can typically be repaired. These repairs are swift, often taking less than an hour. Furthermore, many insurance companies cover the cost of minor auto glass repairs, recognizing that it's cheaper than a full replacement and can prevent further damage.

The Location of the Damage

Where the damage occurs on your windshield or auto glass plays a pivotal role in your decision. If the crack or chip is directly in the driver's line of sight, it might warrant a replacement, even if it's small. That's because repairs, though effective, can sometimes leave behind minor distortions that can distract or impair the driver's vision.

The Depth and Length of the Crack

Even if a crack is outside the driver's immediate viewing area, its depth and length can determine if a repair is feasible. Very deep cracks that penetrate both the outer and inner layer of the glass, or especially long ones that snake across the windshield, usually require a replacement for safety reasons.

The Age of the Auto Glass

Older auto glass, especially if it has been exposed to extreme temperatures or other stressing factors, may be more susceptible to damage. In these cases, even minor damages might signal that the structural integrity of the glass is compromised. Replacement becomes a prudent choice in this case, ensuring that the glass can withstand normal driving conditions and protect the vehicle's occupants.

The Safety Implications

Your vehicle's windshield does more than offer a clear view of the road; it plays a crucial role in the structural integrity of the car. In many modern vehicles, the windshield aids in the proper deployment of airbags and helps prevent ejection during an accident. With so much at stake, ensuring your windshield is in optimal condition is vital for your safety and that of your passengers.

Navigating the repair versus replacement dilemma can be challenging, but understanding the nature and implications of auto glass damage can guide your decision. Consult with professionals who can evaluate the damage and provide expert recommendations. Remember, it's always better to err on the side of safety. Whatever choice you make, ensuring the well-being of all vehicle occupants should always be the top priority.

Reach out to an auto glass repair service near you to learn more.

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