One of the questions we get asked a lot here at Auto Diagnostic Specialists is whether or not to replace a cracked or chipped windshield. Because we can’t hook up a machine to give us a clear answer, we asked the experts over at SafePro Auto Glass for some general rules about when to repair or replace a windshield.
The first consideration is whether the chip or crack impairs the driver’s line of sight. If it does, replace the windshield immediately. Most states in the U.S. consider anything that impairs a driver’s vision to be a non-moving violation, resulting in a good excuse to pull you over. Second, if the chip is close to the edge of the windshield, it is likely to grow in size or crack due to the the high stresses on the outer areas of glass. Last, if the chip is larger than the size of a nickel or the crack is longer than an inch, it has a high likelihood of growing in size and compromising the strength of the windshield. A windshield serves as a structural element in the roll cage of the vehicle and should never be weakened.
Your windshield is an integral part of your automobile’s structure. Knowing when it’s time to replace it is imperative to keeping your vehicle in safe order. These simple windshield diagnostics will give some guidance when determining if it’s time to replace the glass or acceptable to continue driving.