What to do with a cracked windshield

Posted by peter88 from the Automotive category at 21 Mar 2012 02:57:19 pm.
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The scenario is all too common. Drivers are traveling down the road, and a pebble gets kicked up and hits into their windshield, causing a small chip to appear. Slowly but surely that chip turns into a spreading, snaking crack that only gets worse with each bump and pothole.

Having a broken windshield is not only unsightly and a big inconvenience, it can also be illegal. That's because the crack reduces the efficacy of the window safety composition, meaning it may shatter in the event of an impact accident and cause extensive injuries. The crack also may impede a driver's ability to see the road clearly.

It's important to note that liability car insurance typically doesn't cover a cracked windshield that occurs in a collision. Instead, drivers hoping to be covered need to have collision insurance on their vehicle. However, not all windshields crack in a car accident. Many are damaged in nonaccident related circumstances, whether this be a tree branch that falls on the car or a rock kicked up from the roadway. It's important to read an insurance policy thoroughly to be sure that nonaccident related cracks to the windshield will be covered.

Even if the damage is covered, it may not be worth the expense of paying the insurance deductible and filing a claim, which may end up raising your rate in the long run.

Many small nicks can be repaired easily with a kit purchased from an automotive supply store. Inexpensive and user-friendly, the instructions guide users through the process of sealing the crack and preventing it from spreading.

If the crack is beyond the scope of a do-it-yourself fix, a windshield repair service that specializes in this type of work might be necessary. These companies use products that harden quickly and reglaze the windshield so that the crack may not even be noticeable afterward.

Upon inspection, a mechanic or a windshield replacement company may determine that the crack is not something that can be mended. The entire windshield will have to be replaced at this point. In some cases the windshield can be removed and replaced in the same day.
While there is no way to prevent a cracked windshield entirely, there are certain ways to reduce the risk. This includes avoiding running over any debris on the road that can be kicked back at the windshield.
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