Unexpected incidents can happen at any time, and this is especially true when you’re on the road. Imagine carefully driving behind a truck loaded with dirt and stones, when suddenly a rock comes tumbling down on your windshield. Before you know it, something terrible happens—you swing off the side of the road to avoid a collision, but you’re left with a cracked windshield.
What now? Three things could come to mind—safely replace the windshield, repair it, or do nothing. Of course, the choice is yours. However, this is a rather important decision. Let’s find out more.
- Do Nothing
If the crack is a small dent, then you can probably leave it there for a while, before seeking to get it repaired. But keep in mind that the longer you wait, the more damage may accumulate – a small crack will eventually break away and turn into something bigger.
In addition, the colder the climate, the faster the crack will expand. A small flaw is easier and more affordable to repair.
- Windshield Repair
If the crack is not so small, but can be covered with the palm of your hand, then it can be repaired. If it is obstructing your vision, getting it repaired is more than recommended. This method is much cheaper than having your windshield replaced, and much more comfortable than letting it stay there and do nothing.
Repairing your windshield can take as little as 30 minutes, and you’re good to go.
- Windshield Replacement
Deciding whether or not to replace your windshield is not so hard to figure out. Maybe you’ve waited too long to do something about the small crack, which now turns into a bigger problem. Or maybe the crack was so large it was impossible to repair.
Another thing is discernment. If your windshield is cracked to the point where your vision is affected, it’s time to get it replaced, as it has now become an urgent matter that could cause an accident, if not addressed promptly.
Best Type of Windshield Glass
There are three types of popular windshield glass that are generally used as replacements: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) glass, dealer glass and aftermarket glass.
OEM glass: Original Equipment Manufacturer means just that – original and certified to be genuine. Like the dealer glass, OEM is the same as the one that came from your vehicle. If the brand is different, it doesn’t make a difference—car collectors usually just want to maintain the originality of the vehicle.
Dealer glass: A dealer glass is purchased directly from an authorized auto dealership by the manufacturer, to service your vehicle. This type of glass is from the same original equipment as OEM.
Aftermarket glass: This type is manufactured by companies that have direct contact with car manufactures. As such, aftermarket glass is made with the exact specifications of dealer or OEM glass, but is considered to be equal to the original. Even though it’s relatively less expensive than the original, it’s the same thickness and quality and carries the same guarantee as dealer or OEM glass.
With all things considered, whether you plan on “doing nothing”, repairing or replacing your windshield, it’s up to you; however, choosing the right company to fix and install your windshield is crucial, as incorrect fixes or replacement can worsen the situation.
The type of glass used is also a decision that you should make, after doing the necessary research. Opting for something cheaper might just end up costing more. Talk to your insurance company if you plan to have a brand new windshield installed.