You want your car to look pristine everywhere you go. After all, a clean, well-maintained car runs much better than a dirty or damaged one. And the better your car looks or runs, the less you have to spend on repairs.But, despite your best efforts, your car still sustains minor damages every day. You may go over a speed bump too quickly, scraping the bottom, or you may scratch the paint with your keys as you try to find the lock. Gravel or debris may also fly into your windshield, causing chips and cracks.Windshield damage happens all the time, so you may feel frustrated every time you see a new chip. Below, we’ve given you a brief overview of what causes windshield damage so you can try and avoid it. We’ve also given you a guide to which types of damage an expert can repair.
Windshield Damage Causes
Many factors can cause windshield damage. But if you know what conditions to avoid, you can also avoid constantly repairing your windshield.
1. Driving on a Gravel Road
When you drive on a road covered in gravel or other debris, your car could spin the gravel into the air, and that gravel could hit your windshield. Most airborne rocks or gravel comes from the cars in front of you, however. Stay a safe distance behind them, especially if you notice them spinning up rocks.
Even a normal road could have debris on it. Watch for gravel and other debris flying off the road behind other drivers. Take evasive action as safely as possible to avoid windshield damage.
2. Driving Behind Construction Vehicles
Construction vehicles often have debris caked on them, which means that dirt, rocks, tools, and other materials could fall off them and onto your car. Keep a safe distance if you see any construction vehicles ahead.
3. Poor Construction
Sometimes windshields just have poor manufacturing, so they break at the slightest strain. If your windshield has this problem, you
Sometimes windshields just have poor manufacturing, so they break at the slightest strain. If your windshield has this problem, your mechanic or glass expert will let you know when you go in for repairs. You should replace the windshield in this situation.
4. Poor Installation
A poor installation makes the windshield loose on the front of your car, which means it vibrates when the wind blows too hard or you accelerate quickly down the highway. The vibration will cause the windshield to crack. Your mechanic will probably have to take it off and either reposition it or replace it to make it stop vibrating.
You already knew that car accidents could break your windshield-not to mention the rest of your car. However, smaller accidents can also cause damage. Children playing sports in your yard could accidentally hit it with a baseball, or their rock throwing contest could get out of hand. Avoid this problem by parking your car in the garage.
6. Temperature Changes
If the temperature in your area changes drastically all the time, prepare to spend a lot of money on your windshield. Severe cold or severe heat make your glass contract and expand. And since the materials around the glass heat the edges faster than the middle heats, different parts of the windshield expand and contract at different times, which can lead to cracks.
Sunlight can cause the same problems as temperature changes. It heats up the metal and other materials around the glass, making the glass’s outer edges expand much faster than the middle, so the glass cracks. Keep your car in the shade or your garage to avoid this problem.
8. Pressure Changes
Abrupt pressure changes from high speeds, explosions, objects pressing on the windshield, etc. can cause stress cracks.
Hail has the same effect on your windshield as gravel. It causes chips or cracks, depending on the hail’s size. If it starts to hail, slow down to ease the impact.
Damage That Can or Can’t Be Repaired
When your windshield cracks or chips, you may panic, thinking that you’ll have to pay lots of money to replace it. However, you don’t always have to replace it. If your windshield damage meets the criteria below, you’ll only have to get repairs:
- Chips no bigger than 1 inch in diameter. They may look like bull’s-eyes.
- Star breaks no bigger than 1.5 inches in diameter.
- Combination chips and breaks no bigger than 1.5 inches in diameter.
- Surface pits with a diameter less than 0.13 inches.
Most windshield damage, like edge cracks or rock chips, can quickly spread all over your windshield, and you can’t repair them. You’ll have to replace the windshield instead. And, if you don’t repair the damage listed above ASAP, those will spread cracks all over your windshield as well. So don’t put off getting repairs. Call your mechanic or local glass expert to learn about your repair options.