Save On Repairs. 8 Tips To Keep Windshield Chips From Spreading

The Danger of Windshield Chips 

Small windshield chips might not seem like that big of a deal. After all, the windshield still performs the function its name implies: shielding you from the wind. As it turns out, there are some big potential safety concerns associated with a cracked or chipped windshield. In addition to the decreased visibility, a windshield chip could weaken your windshield's ability to support your roof in a rollover, cause water to trickle in near or into your car's internal electronics, interfere with airbag deploying, and is more likely to break in the event of a collision. Furthermore, a windshield chip can get bigger, turning into a fully-fledged windshield crack, further increasing each of these safety hazards. 

How To Prevent Windshield Chips From Spreading 

Most drivers will have a windshield chip impact their car at some point in their lives. Based on the size of the chip, this will cause a varying level of concern from the person whose vehicle is impacted. This is because a windshield chip's danger correlates with its size. Simply put, the bigger it is, the more each of these dangers increases, so it’s important to stop your windshield chips from spreading. A bigger windshield chip or crack is also harder to control and is more likely to increase in size, leading to a massive snowball effect. What started with a windshield chip can easily spread into a minor windshield crack and become a fully-fledged gash in your windshield. 

While the best thing you can do is to try and prevent chips from happening in the first place, there are points where it can be too late for that, often for a reason outside of your control. Luckily, there are ways you can stop windshield chips from spreading, keeping them contained until you are able to see an auto glass repair specialist and minimizing the dangers that come with windshield chips. Taking the proper steps to keep windshield chips from spreading will also decrease the chances of a quick appointment to fix a minor crack at the auto glass shop turning into a costly repair that involves an entire windshield replacement. 

Use A Windshield Repair Kit 

Even if you're not a windshield repair pro yourself, you can, with the right tools, stop a windshield chip from spreading by fixing a windshield chip yourself. Windshield repair kits are often sold at local auto shops, online, or at places such as Canadian Tire. These DIY repair kits come with all the tools and supplies you'll need to repair a small windshield chip on your own within just a couple of hours, as well as instructions on how to do so. These allow real go-getters with initiative to take some steps that will help hold the problem at bay and, in many instances, outright fix the problem themselves. 

It should be noted, however, that you should do your research beforehand, as many kits can only handle certain types of chips, and almost all of them are unable to fix larger cracks. It is also recommended that you read your car's warranty to ensure that self-repair doesn't void the warranty, as that is a common term, often written as a brief point. Also, if you make a small mistake or misinterpret the instructions, it's possible your simple windshield repair can deal more damage than it fixes, making things even worse. For this reason, if you are not comfortable repairing your compromised windshield yourself, it is recommended that you don't take this step and instead trust a pro. 

Windshield repair kits can be a great way for someone in the right situation and who's confident in their own abilities to fix the problem before it gets out of hand, but it should be done with extreme caution. 

Be Careful With The Heat And Air Conditioning 

Temperature control is something that can make a long ride in very hot or cold weather a lot more tolerable. However, even these can increase the size of windshield chips and cracks. The added force of pressure, moving air granted by air conditioning, as well as having differing temperature extremes on either side of the windshield, can cause the damage to spread quickly. It's important to keep in mind that although windshield glass is much tougher than standard glass, and in addition has its own layers of protection, it is still glass and not the most durable substance in the world. Remember, you also might be able to drive with the windows open as an alternative to air conditioning, which can cool you and your passengers down to a degree. 

While it might be uncomfortable to deal with absurdly hot and cold days, sometimes, to keep a windshield chip from spreading, you either have to do that, or if your trip is not necessary, you might instead choose to stay at home or find an alternate form of transportation. 

Protect Your Windshield From Inclement Weather 

Even without air conditioning or heating, extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can cause a windshield crack or chip to increase in size. This is especially true when there is a sudden temperature rise or fall, as that can provide pressure to windshield glass. However, extreme temperature fluctuations and very cold or hot weather aren't the only things that can do windshield damage. Snow, heavy rain, and especially hail can all deal their share of damage to a windshield. Even heavy enough winds can increase the size of a windshield chip or crack when they are coming from the front of your car. To keep a windshield chip from spreading, it is recommended that you store your car in a garage or other indoor facility when not using it, as well as avoid driving during unpleasant weather. 

Drive Cautiously And On Smooth Roads 

While your average driver generally does a good job of not driving too aggressively, there might need to be a bit of extra care when you want to keep a windshield chip from spreading. Bumps, potholes, and uneven surfaces, such as speed bumps, can put more pressure on your windshield, turning a minor windshield crack into a much larger problem. It's also recommended that you avoid doing things like tailgating, as doing so increases the likelihood of a pebble or similar object hitting your windshield after being kicked by the vehicle in front of your. You should be avoiding tailgating anyway, so this shouldn't be that big of a concern. 

Avoid Going To The Carwash 

For those who take pride in their vehicle, it's often tempting to take it to the carwash every now and then to leave it absolutely spotless. While a freshly cleaned car does have a certain shine and, indeed, does look very impressive, even something simple like this can increase the size of a chip in your windshield. The jets and water pressure of a car wash can seriously further hurt a damaged windshield and make the crack worse. The layers of glass of a solid, undamaged windshield can easily withstand these pressures, but a damaged one might crack under all of this pressure. 

Worse yet, the windshield might break entirely if you already have a large windshield crack. A shattered windshield will likely fall inside the car, causing glass to fall on the people inside, leading to serious injury. It's best to keep a windshield chip from spreading or doing something even worse by not going to car washes when you have the chip. 

Careful With Your Windshield Wipers 

This is yet another reason to avoid driving in unpleasant weather, as windshield wipers can exaggerate the damage. When rain comes down, it's tempting, and almost automatic, for a lot of people to turn on their windshield wipers. While this usually is a good option, as it lets you see more easily in a downpour, it can create a tough time for your damaged windshield. Similar to how the jets on a carwash can put pressure on an already chipped windshield, the downward pressure of windshield wipers pressing on the glass repeatedly can wear it down over time. In addition, the windshield wiper fluid can also increase the size of chips and cracks on a broken windshield by seeping inside. Reducing the use of your wipers can help stop a windshield chip from spreading.  

Don't Slam Doors 

This step to keep windshield chips from spreading is pretty straightforward, but it can be hard for people to think of in the moment. Many people even slam their car doors almost out of habit. While this might seem harmless, it can do more damage than you might think, especially if your windshield is already damaged. The shockwaves and kinetic energy created when you slam a door can increase the size of existing windshield chips and cracks. It should also be noted that this rule applies to all doors that can be opened and closed. This means that slamming the trunk isn't a good move if you want to stop windshield chips from spreading. If you drive with other passengers, especially children who are prone to slamming doors, it is also very important that you remind them not to slam their doors either. 

Seeing A Windshield Repair Specialist 

Let's be honest; you knew this was where it was going to end up. The vast majority of the above tips won't fix the problem, as they're just temporary solutions meant to simply buy you time until you're able to get the permanent solution of seeing a windshield repair technician. These tips are meant to advise you on how to minimize the chance of further damage while making the drive to a windshield repair company. It is recommended that you read reviews and see any recommendations you can get to find a good auto glass expert and get the problem taken care of as soon as possible. Getting the right person to fix it and not putting it off will help limit your costs to just a windshield repair and not a full windshield replacement, which is much more expensive. 

Take Precautions To Prevent Future Chips 

While it's likely that the chip in your windshield wasn't your fault and has happened to almost every driver, there are ways that you can lower the odds of it happening again. Many tips to keep windshield chips from spreading, like avoiding following too close behind, driving cautiously and not slamming doors, can help avoid getting windshield chips in the first place. In the end, don't beat yourself up for what happened, but still be open to the opportunity of learning from it. 

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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