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Media post: Common Windshield Crack Types: Stress, Ding, Chip

Your vehicle’s windshield protects you from whatever the strong breeze brings, may it be dust, debris, rain, or small pebbles. If the debris is something as impactful as small rocks, drivers can be met with cracked windscreens.

Open-road driving will always subject drivers to mishaps. Most of these mishaps consist of windshield cracks or chips, which are common annoyances any driver will experience. When these damages occur, the first question is whether they should get a windshield repair or a full replacement. This decision will wholly depend on the type of windshield crack, of course.

In this article, we’ve listed a few common cracks that can develop on your windshield to help you determine whether your vehicle windshield needs a simple repair,  a full-blown replacement, or simple DIY methods.

7 Types of Windshield Cracks

1. Chip – despite their size, tiny rocks and pebbles can potentially crack the windshield, causing small portions of the glass to break upon impact. When there’s a chip on the windshield, it becomes more susceptible to further chipping and the development of cracks.

2. Stress Crack –  These cracks happen even without direct pressure on the glass. Instead, they occur due to abrupt and drastic changes in temperature. If the surrounding area is too hot, the glass can expand, but if it’s too cold, it can contract. When these temperature changes happen abruptly, they can form stress cracks in the windshield. A typical scenario where these cracks can occur is when a car is overheating while the air conditioning is still running, causing one side of the windshield to heat up while the other cools down.

3. Half Moon –  these typically result from impacts with other rocks or other hard objects. These cracks resemble bull’s eye cracks, except they’re not perfectly circular.

4. Bull’s Eye – pebbles and rocks from the road usually get dislodged from the soil and hit the vehicle’s windshield. These cause bull’s eye cracks. This type of crack can damage the outer layer of the glass so much that a chunk of it can be removed due to impact.

5. Edge Crack – These are typically defined as cracks that begin within 2 feet of the edges of the vehicle’s glass or extend to touch the edge. They often suddenly manifest and measure approximately 10 to 12 inches in length.

6. Floater Crack – These are cracks that don’t reach the edge of the windshield. Instead, they begin anywhere within the windscreen and not within 2 feet of the edge.

7. Combination Break – When a windshield sustains several cracks, it’s called a combination break, as it comprises both cracks and chips.

Can the Crack Still Be Repaired?

Determining whether a broken windshield can still be repaired or requires a complete replacement depends on various factors. While some of these chips and cracks can still be repaired, many are irreparable. In these cases, professionals would recommend a complete replacement for a sturdier windshield that lessens the chances of road accidents due to poor visibility. Some key assessment factors include,

– The crack size and depth – One of the primary factors considered during windshield repairs is the crack’s depth and size. Technicians can usually repair a chip if it has a diameter of approximately one inch or less. Similarly, a crack can be repaired if it measures no more than three inches long. If the length surpasses that of a dollar bill, repairing it may not be possible.

– Location – The crack’s location is an important factor. Repairs can be a little challenging if the crack is positioned directly within the driver’s line of sight. After repairs, discoloration or unevenness may interfere with the driver’s visibility through the auto glass. Here, the driver’s height may also impact the situation.

– Type of Crack – As the previous section shows, windshield cracks vary in shape and size. If the chip or crack is small enough to be concealed by a quarter, it can still be repaired by the experienced hand of auto glass technician. However, repairing the damage becomes more challenging if there are multiple cracks in the auto glass. Therefore, it’s advisable to allow the technician to identify the type of crack first to find the best solution to the problem.

If the cracks on your windshield are deep cracks on both sides, are lengthy, are a combination of different cracks located in the driver’s line of sight, or are cracks that are stained or polluted, then these are cracks which require the complete replacement of your windshield.

To conclude, knowing what kind of windshield crack type you’re dealing with is important. Using this knowledge, you can lessen the chances of getting into accidents on the road and have repairs done immediately. With immediate action and the advice of a professional windshield repair and replacement service, you can save your windshield from further damage and maybe even improve its aesthetic appeal.

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