YOU'RE IN MASTERkit:

conquer car care

LEARN MORE
+

conquer car care

Whether your car is brand new or has been around the block, mechanical problems will arise. But by being proactive, you can head off a lot of headaches. This MasterKit will guide you through some common repair scenarios, help you find a trustworthy mechanic and ensure you're not getting taken for a ride.
sealing a windshield crack
Article / 3 MINS

Windshield Damage: To Repair or Replace?

Cracks and chips can spread quickly, making your windshield a genuine hazard. Here's how to determine if you can tackle the job yourself or if it's time to call in a pro.

The distinctive snap of a rock glancing off the windshield is enough to make any driver hold their breath and wince, searching for any cracks. The windshield is an integral part of the vehicle, in addition to its impact on visibility while you drive, it also helps keep the roof from crumpling in an accident. So, any chip or crack is more than an annoyance, it's a potential safety and structural issue. Fortunately, a lot of windshield damage is easy and inexpensive to take care of, especially if you tackle it early.

When and Why to Repair or Replace
It's illegal in most states to drive with a cracked or broken windshield, and each state has its own laws about size, placement and whether the damage affects the driver's view of the road. This guide walks through the state-by-state laws surrounding cracked windshields.

Most state laws also give you a deadline for fixing the problem. But regardless of whether you're at risk for a ticket, it's best to fix chips and cracks as soon as possible. Very cold or very hot days, direct sunlight, vibration from slamming car doors, or even hitting potholes can turn a small chip into a crack that quickly spiders across the glass.

DIY Repair or Hire an Expert
If you've got a small chip in the glass, it's usually fine to repair it yourself soon after it appears. This will help keep it from spreading into a longer crack that requires a full replacement.

Repair kits usually cost around $10-$15. These kits often include a syringe-like device that uses suction to pull the air out of the chip and fill it with resin. It typically only takes about a half-hour to repair the crack, plus additional time for the resin to cure.

Of course, you can also get the chip repaired by a professional, and it usually takes less than an hour. Typically this costs about $100, but it will also depend on your vehicle, the size of the chip, and where you live. You might even be able to get the repair done for free to avoid a more expensive claim later, depending on your insurance policy and how the damage occurred.

You can keep minor windshield chips from becoming a major issue with a DIY repair kit. More on protecting your windshield: [http://bit.ly/2jBg8q7]
When to Leave Replacement to the Experts
While DIY kits can take care of minor damage, it's best to leave a full replacement to the professionals. Again, as with professional chip repair, the cost of replacing a windshield will depend on your vehicle's year, make, and model, as well as where you live. But you can expect to pay about $250.

The Auto Glass Safety Council recommends asking the repair shop if they're registered with the AGSC, if the materials they use meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, what kind of warranty they offer on the work, and how long it will be after the replacement before your car is safe to drive. The time it takes for the adhesives to set and cure can vary depending on weather, humidity, and elevation.1

Pro Tip: To improve visibility on rainy days, you can apply a water repellant like Rain-X to the windshield surface. It needs to be applied when the glass is dry, though, so it takes a little bit of forethought.

You can't completely prevent the risk of highway debris damaging your windshield, but by staying on top of cleaning and repairs, you'll keep it clear and solid.
WAS THIShelpful?
UP NEXT IN THE

conquer car care

MASTERkit
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE MASTERkits
Hands fixing a wall plug
8 ITEMS  /  36 MINS

tackle home repairs

Put a plan in place so when unforeseen home repairs arise, you're ready for action.
Arm hanging out of car window
5 ITEMS  /  13 MINS

stay safe on the road

Be sure to prepare yourself and your family to deal with any roadside emergencies.