Keeping Little Chips & Cracks from becoming Big Repairs
Here in Kansas, we are at risk of suffering a crack or ding to our windshield during any time of year. From being parked outside during a large hailstorm in the spring to just following a construction vehicle along Kellogg in Wichita, people come into our Andover auto shop all year round with a variety of auto glass damage.
When to get a windshield chip repaired?
A little chip or crack on your windshield may be annoying, but not an impairment to your driving. You may be tempted to delay getting your vehicle’s glass repaired later. But how long can you safely wait to fix a little chip in your window before getting it fixed? There really is no good length of time to wait to repair a broken windshield, no matter how minor the damage is. The fact is, the smallest ding in your window or windshield is at risk of turning into a large crack at any time. Waiting to fix a little windshield chip could cost you more in the long run.
What’s the cost of fixing a chipped windshield?
If you have a chip less than a half inch big or a crack that can be completely covered by your hand, these damages probably require minor repairs and will not be very expensive. Here at our auto shop in Andover just minutes from Wichita, we often can repair minor chips and cracks in less than an hour.
The cost and repair time increase if the damage is not as minor as you think. If there are 4 or more chips or cracks on the glass, if the damage is located at the ends of the windshield, or if your windshield is covered with tiny divots, then you may need to have the entire windshield replaced.
Finding out if we can fix it and how much it will cost is free. Here at Collision Center of Andover, we do not charge for a repair quote. Feel free to bring your vehicle to our auto shop at 948 N. Andover Rd, just a few minutes outside of Wichita. Or you can use our online repair quote form to submit a description and a photo of your car’s damage to help us get started on your repair quote.
What could cause a small windshield chip to become worse?
Think you can just try to drive more carefully to keep the little crack from getting worse? You are taking a big gamble. The truth is, there is really no way for you to avoid a little chip in your glass before that minor damage becomes a crack that reaches across your whole windshield.
What can cause a chip or small crack to spread?
- A bumpy road
- An aggressive turn
Beyond those above situations that could occur while you’re on the road, elements in nature could also contribute to making a little problem much bigger and more expensive for you. Your windshield experiencing sudden temperature changes could cause the chip or crack to get worse. Some ways to avoid these big temperature swings affecting your windshield, do not park in direct sunlight and avoid using your window defroster until you get the damage fixed. In addition to temperature, leaving a window chip exposed can cause dirt to get into the tiny cracks, making it possibly harder to repair later. Even something relatively small that drops from a tree like an acorn or nut could be enough of an impact to make your small chip become a large crack in your windshield.
How to stop a windshield crack from spreading
The best thing to do is to get the damage fixed right away. But if you can’t get it into a shop immediately, there are some simply DIY steps you can take to prevent the damage from getting worse. One easy measure is to apply superglue or clear nail polish to the chip. You will first want to completely clean the windshield and damaged area. Then fill the crack with the glue or polish. Once it’s dry, put a piece of clear packing tape over it to keep dirt from getting into the crack.
Are there laws against windshield damage?
While we’ve already explained the very practical and financial reasons why it is best to not wait on getting a windshield chip repaired, there is also a legal reason.
Kansas law states that you cannot have damage to your front windshield or windows that present a substantial obstruction to the driver’s view of the roads. What size of damage is considered substantial? The law isn’t exact, but it’s probably not something you want to leave up to the officer who decided to pull you over. It will be up to that officer’s judgement on whether the chips or cracks in any of your vehicle’s glass are in violation of state law.
Federal law is a bit more specific on how much windshield damage is illegal to have on an operating vehicle. It’s against the law to have cracks that intersect with each other. And it’s illegal to have glass chips ¾ of an inch wide or larger within 3 inches of any other damage.
Breaking the Kansas state laws on vehicle window and windshield damage could result in a fine of $45.00. Although subsequent offenses within a couple years’ time will increase the amount you are fined.
Can you fix your car’s window yourself?
Possibly. There are DIY windshield kits available for consumers to use. Before deciding to take on this job yourself, you will want to consider a few things:
- Is the crack or divot very small, or could it be large enough to require more extensive repair than what a DIY window repair kit can handle?
- Is the chip or crack located in your field of vision while driving? Your repair job could leave a mark or blemish that will obstruct your view while driving.
Letting a professional handle your windshield damage is always the best idea. Our skilled technicians at our Andover auto shop have an incredible amount of experience handling all the variety of chips, dings and cracks vehicles suffer in Kansas. From construction to hail, our cars and trucks face a lot of punishment on roads in and around Wichita. Our auto technicians know immediately whether the chip or small crack is easily fixable, or if you will need an entire windshield replacement. Attempting to fix the issue yourself when the problem is actually large enough to need more professional repair, could end up costing you more money when the damage becomes worse or if your repair job doesn’t hold.
Beyond windshield, Collision Center of Andover can handle all your auto glass repair & replacement, including rear windshield and door windows. Minor cracks and chips can be fixed very quickly, often in less than an hour. And depending on your insurance coverage, the window chip repair may be at no cost to you. Call us today and let us know how we can help – (316) 733-9310.