Windshield Assessment: To Repair or Replace

Auto Glass technician removing windshield on automobile
Auto Glass technician removing windshield on automobile
Auto Glass technician removing windshield on automobile

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┬áliBroken Windshieldne 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.

Auto Diagnostics: Discovering Hidden Problems


The purpose of auto diagnostics is to ensure that drivers know exactly what is wrong with their vehicles. When the brakes squeak, the engine won’t start, or the transmission refuses to change gears, most drivers don’t know what to do, or who to call. Automotive shops have special diagnostic tools that pinpoint the exact problem, however, many diagnostic tools and machines are too large and bulky to remove from the shop, so the vehicles will need to be taken to the shop.

Diagnostic machines can find problems that are located in even the smallest parts of the vehicle, like the sensor, the starter, the battery cable, or the ignition switch. Most defective parts will not cause a serious problem, and will mostly likely fail to show any symptoms. However, if the problems are not located and repaired, these minor problems can become major problems over time.

Diagnostic machines allow drivers to know exactly what problems their vehicles have, so they can decide if and when they want the repairs performed. When vehicles come into a repair shop, and the mechanic is suspicious about the actual problem, the mechanic will most likely perform a full diagnostic. The diagnostic tests will confirm or deny the mechanic’s suspicion. Some problems are major, and parts have to be ordered from the manufacturer. However, while some parts are expensive, others are not, and can probably be purchased from local automotive shops.

Many auto shops will not charge drivers for diagnostic testing, if the drivers choose to allow the shops to perform the repairs. Drivers can also take their vehicles to the diagnostic shop on their own; this way the drivers can get a full report of all the problems their vehicle is experiencing, and determine which repairs they want the mechanic to perform right away, and which repairs can wait. Drivers who are considering purchasing a new or used vehicle should also have the vehicle checked before signing the purchase agreement.

Many auto dealerships will not perform any testing or repairs. This is due to the fact that many auto dealers sells their vehicles “as is.” For this reason, it is recommended that drivers get their vehicle checked or inspected prior to performing a transaction in the exchange of money and merchandise. Most auto dealers will not discuss the condition of their vehicles, if they feel it will forfeit a sale or cause the customer to look at another dealership. In some cases, most dealers are honest about the vehicles they sell, and will warn and inform customers that they should get their vehicle inspected.