Driving on I-10, it’s not hard to spot cars or trucks with damaged windshields. In El Paso, it tends to be the norm. From heavy winds blowing rocks and dust, to getting hit with fly-away debris from dump-trucks. It’s hard to avoid a chipped or cracked windshield at some point when living in “Chucotown.”
Many drivers living in El Paso, rather live with the chip or crack (no matter how big it is) than to fix or replace the windshield. But, is this just delaying the inevitable, or even worse, posing a safety hazard?
Good news is that smaller chips and cracks can usually be repaired rather economically by a professional, depending on which service provider you use. Also, some comprehensive car insurances cover these fixes as part of your policy. A crack or chip can be safely repaired if it can be covered by a dollar bill. However, if the chip is directly in the driver’s line of sight, there are more than three cracks or chips on the glass, the damage is at the edge of the windshield, or the windshield is old and covered with tiny divots, it should be replaced rather than repaired.
For repairable chips or divots, the process works by injecting a special resin into the chipped area. For cracks, holes may be drilled at the ends of the crack to prevent it from spreading. According to Popular Mechanics, typically, windshields are made out of three layers: A layer of resin or polymer, sandwiched between two layers of glass.
Here’s the point to take away from this, if your windshield can be repaired, do it immediately. A small chip can spread across the windshield quickly if you hit a big pothole, speed bump, drive on a corrugated gravel road or make an aggressive turn. The most important reason to repair the damaged windshield: According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), the windshield serves as a structural part in many vehicles that contributes to the overall strength of the vehicle. If you must replace the windshield, its strength may be compromised as the new seal may not be as strong as the factory seal. Also, even a small opening in a new or factory seal may cause water to leak into the car.
One good thing though, is that if your windshield is severely pitted from sand, salt or other objects, replacing rather than repairing can be like getting a stronger eyeglass prescription, especially at night — it can improve visibility and make it easier to see while driving.
Although there are many DIY glass chip repair products out there, nothing beats using a professional to repair your windshield! Remember, a key function of the repair is to prevent the crack or chip from expanding or spreading, and also to help restore some of the structural integrity of the glass. For best results and safety, leave it to the pros!
Need help repairing your windshield? Call us at Pete Solis Collision Center! At Pete Solis Collision Center, we are El Paso’s Auto Body Shop! With over 47 years of experience behind us, we are the top choice for bodywork, paint, and more. We are the home to ICAR certified professional body shop technicians, as well as quality Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes. Pete Solis Collision Center is located at 1434 Lomaland Dr. in El Paso, Texas. Give us a call today at (915) 599-8666. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.