Your Windshield is chipped! What do you do?
This situation may sound familiar to you. It’s just a regular day, and you are driving to work, keeping well within the speed limit. All of a sudden a bike turns a sharp corner in front of you, throwing up a tiny rock that hits your windscreen with force- leaving a deep pit right in the middle of the glass! Even though you are irritated, there is little you can do. When you drive back home at night the pit reflects the glare of the streetlights in a million angles, hampering your vision and making you squint to see clearly.
You are very busy over the next few days, and ignore the chip. Who has the time to drive across to the repair shop, anyway! Before you know it, the chip has expanded and is now a crack that runs directly in front of your vision. Now there is no way you can neglect this, and you decide to take the car over to the mechanic’s shop — where you are told that a total windshield replacement is the only solution.
What should you have done? For starters, you should never have postponed getting it looked at. Quite often, a chip can be repaired by an expert technician, provided it is in a place that is not too close to the edge of the windscreen. Also, it should be clean and free from dirt or debris.
The moment your windshield gets chipped, you should ideally stop the car and cover the chip with clear duct tape. Make sure it’s the kind of tape that does not leave a sticky residue, as that can make matters worse! If you don’t have the time to swing by a shop, make sure you call a mobile auto glass service and have them come to your doorstep to check it out.
In most cases, smaller pits that are less than the diameter of a quarter can easily be fixed by injecting a resin-based filler into the pit and smoothening it out neatly. It is cured using high-intensity ultraviolet light, and finished so that it is almost blemish free. Longer cracks that are up to six inches in length could be repaired in a similar manner as well, depending on the depth and location of the crack.
Till the glass is fixed, try not to drive around too much. The vibration and movement could cause the crack to expand. Besides, every time the doors are opened or shut, there will be a stress on the windshield. This can be minimised by keeping one window slightly open at all times so that there is no increase in the air pressure impacting the glass. Avoid parking in the sun, as the cracked glass will expand...and definitely don’t take the vehicle out in the rain! During winter, do not run the defroster as this can cause temperature differences on either side of the crack.
Bring the vehicle to a repair shop at the earliest...or call the mobile repair service to your home or office, if you are in a time crunch. Either way, do not put this off for too long as then it may turn into a total windscreen replacement. If you catch it while it is still minor, it can save you quite a bit of money and effort. A windshield repair is almost invisible and keeps the structural integrity of the windshield intact. Save money, and stay safe!