It’s often spoken about what you should do if you get a chip or a crack in your car windscreen, but what about the rest of the windows? For starters, the rest of your vehicles windows will typically be made from tempered glass, as opposed to your windscreen’s laminated glass. This fact alone changes what your approach should be.
When a car window’s glass shatters, it’s imperative that you get it seen to as soon as possible. It could not only restrict your view when driving but in some cases, it can make for a very cold and loud drive for you. Similarly, when you notice a chip or a crack in your windscreen – no matter how small you think it is – get it seen to and assessed as soon as possible. In a front-end collision, the windscreen provides up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle. In a rollover, it goes up to 60%. You wouldn’t want that to be compromised in any way.
Your first port of call is to judge whether your window can be repaired, or if it will need to be replaced. In terms of side and back windows, nine times out of ten they will need to be replaced. This is mainly due to the fact that they’re typically, as previously mentioned, made out of tempered glass. When tempered glass is broken, it shatters into tiny pieces, as opposed to the long shards that its laminated counterpart does. This makes repairing it impossible. You’ll be able to find out whether your glass is tempered or laminated by a sticker in the bottom corner of the window. You can explore a multitude of car replacement windows online; luckily, they come in a range of prices.
When it comes to laminated glass, there are three factors that will determine whether you’ll be able to repair or not; size, depth and location. For example, large, deep cracks will most likely require a replacement as opposed to small, shallow chips probably being repaired.
Nowadays, repair technology is pretty advanced. Because of this, it can be possible to repair some larger cracks, however in most cases, small chips and cracks that are up to three inches long can be repaired easily.
When it comes to glass, there are three layers. The outer layer, a plastic interlayer and an inside layer. If the damage has penetrated the outer and inner layer then it is too deep to perform a windshield repair.
If the damage extends to the edge of the glass, then it’s more likely that the structural integrity of the glass has been compromised and should be replaced. Additionally, should the damage affect rain sensors, lane departure warning systems, automatic braking systems or other automated driver assistance systems, it may not be possible to repair.
If in doubt, get your glass inspected by a professional. They will let you know whether or not it’s repairable.