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Crack Down on Windshield Damage: A Guide to Types and Repairs

Your car's windshield is a critical component, far beyond its simple appearance as a glass panel. It plays a vital role in your safety, acting as a barrier against the elements and playing a significant part in the structural strength of your vehicle. However, despite its importance, windshields are vulnerable to various forms of damage, often from everyday occurrences like flying debris or sudden temperature changes.

Understanding the different types of windshield cracks, their potential impact, and the appropriate methods to address them is not just about preserving the look of your car, it's about upholding its safety features and ensuring your protection on the road.

Windshield cracks can vary significantly in their nature and severity, and each type requires a specific approach for repair or replacement. By being informed about these different crack types and how to effectively deal with them, you can make knowledgeable decisions to ensure your safety and maintain your car’s functionality and appearance, highlighting the criticality of timely windshield replacement.

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1. Chip

A chip is a small point of damage on the windshield that is typically caused by a rock or debris hitting the glass. Chips are usually round or star-shaped and can be as small as a dot.

How to Address a Chip

Chips can often be repaired if they are caught early. Repairing a chip involves cleaning the area and injecting a special resin into the chip. This resin is then cured and polished to restore the clarity and strength of the glass.

2. Bullseye

The bullseye crack is circular and looks like a target, hence the name. It's caused by an object of a similar shape hitting the windshield.

How to Address a Bullseye

Like chips, bullseye cracks can often be repaired if they are not too large. The repair process is similar to that of a chip.

3. Star Break

A star break has a series of cracks coming out from the impact point, resembling a star. This type of crack can spread easily if not addressed.

How to Address a Star Break

Star breaks can be tricky to repair, but it's possible if the cracks are not too long. The same resin used for chips and bullseyes is used here.

4. Combination Break

A combination break has multiple characteristics, like a chip with cracks coming out of it. These are more complex and harder to repair.

How to Address a Combination Break

Depending on the size and depth of the combination break, it may be repairable. However, in many cases, windshield replacement might be the safer option.

5. Edge Crack

An edge crack starts at the edge of the windshield and can quickly run towards the center. It's often caused by stress, such as from a poorly installed windshield.

How to Address an Edge Crack

Edge cracks are usually long and require a windshield replacement

6. Stress Crack

A stress crack occurs without an impact. It can be caused by extreme temperature changes or a structural defect.

How to Address a Stress Crack

Stress cracks will often necessitate windshield replacement, as they compromise the structural integrity of the glass.

Crack Down on Windshield Damage: A Guide to Types and Repairs

When to Repair or Replace

Deciding whether to repair or replace a windshield depends on several factors:

Size and Depth: Small and shallow cracks can often be repaired. Larger, deeper cracks typically require replacement.

Location: Cracks at the edge of the windshield or in the driver's line of sight usually require replacement. Additionally, when opting for a replacement, it is essential to ensure ADAS calibration, especially in vehicles equipped with advanced safety systems.

Time: The longer you wait, the more dirt and debris can enter the crack, making it harder to repair.

DIY vs. Professional Repair

While there are DIY repair kits available, they may not provide the same quality or lasting results as a professional repair. It's generally advisable to seek professional assistance, especially for larger or more complex cracks.

Insurance and Windshield Repair

Many insurance policies cover windshield repair and even replacement. Check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage.

Preventing Windshield Damage

While you can't prevent all windshield damage, you can reduce the risk by:

  • Keeping a safe distance from vehicles, especially on highways.
  • Avoid parking under trees or in areas where falling debris is common.
  • Using a windshield cover in extreme temperatures.

Understanding the common types of windshield cracks and how to address them is crucial for maintaining your vehicle's safety and functionality. Whether it's a small chip or a large crack, addressing windshield damage promptly can save you time and money in the long run, and most importantly, keep you safe on the road. Remember to consult with a professional for the best advice and service, and always consider safety as your top priority.

Simi Valley Mobile Auto Glass

Hours: Monday to Sunday 7 am - 8 pm
Phone: (805) 465-6350
Address: 1538 Patricia Ave, Simi Valley, CA 93065

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