Understanding Windshield Repair?
Apr 12, 2012
Car Windshield Repair
Tips for Consumers While many services will try to downplay vehicle windshield repair as a minor fix easily addressed in a few minutes with sealant or windshield replacement, consumers should be aware of shoddy repair ramifications. Doing so could mean the difference in a serious car accident of walking away versus serious injury or death.
Car windshields play multiple, important roles in a vehicle. Believe or not, the first is to keep a passenger inside a car. If we all drove around in vehicles that resembled open jeeps, the first time the car bumped badly or rolled people would fly out. While a passenger can get seriously hurt, the windshield does function to keep people alive inside the car in an accident.
Secondly, windshields are designed to assist the aerodynamic features of the car as well as provide structural support to the roof frame. Doing so, the shield keeps flying debris from hitting the driver's face, obviously. Without the windshield, vehicles would need something else to brace up the front of the car.
Causes of Repair
The most common form of windshield damage happens with flying debris and rocks. While glass can be very hard, it still chips and cracks when hit by something harder. Once this occurs, the glass surface integrity has been broken. Because the entire windshield is constantly under stress when the car is used, the damage can quickly get worse.
Another easily caused form of damage comes from ice scraping. While many owners understand to use plastic scrapers, some still use some form of metal. Doing so scratches the glass which also causes an integrity weakness. Do this enough times with a cold windshield, and add warm water to melt off ice and the glass will eventually crack, needing a windshield replacement.
Finally, major cracking and damage is caused by impact, either from the inside or outside. This typically occurs in a vehicular accident. Once the damage is extensive, it requires a windshield replacement.
Car windshields get damaged in small and big ways. When they do, every point of damage needs to be repaired to avoid further expansion of cracking in the glass. Otherwise the glass should be replaced entirely.
A bulls-eye impact is common where a flying small rock or debris hits the glass. The impact is a tell-tale sign, with a circular chip in the glass field. At first, nothing more happens. However, within a few weeks that same crack can start to spider out, expanding further cracks. The additional damage happens as temperature causes stress on the glass.
A bulls-eye repair is typically solved with an injection of glass sealant. Done right, the entire chip and crack is sealed up, creating a fill for the glass and stopping the cracking from spreading. The chip won't go away, but the damage will be stopped. Doing so also saves significant dollars avoiding a full auto glass replacement.
A complete windshield repair is a large-scale production taking out the factory-installed shield and adhering a new one in its place. While the glass used will be fine if the product is from quality producers such as PPG Industries, how to the glass is installed will be key. A bad installation can cause a failure at the worst possible time, in an accident.
The correct adhesion material involves urethane. Additionally, the glass needs to be bonded correctly with time to allow the adhesion to cure. Moving quicker can damage the process and weaken the glass installation. The car shouldn't be driven any sooner than the curing time allows. Experienced and qualified technicians will enforce this fact on their auto glass replacement work.
Don't Go Cheap
While some repair work can be done for cheaper, consumers should follow the above process for their own safety. Anything less could risk life and limb when driving.