Types of Windshield Cracks and When Should you Replace One.
Many car owners don't give much thought to the tiny hairline cracks that start spidering across their windshields. They will just live with those small cracks and tend to not be affected by them.
However, as time goes on and the crack spreads, you'll eventually want to replace it before it gets too bad. How do you know when a crack has crossed from maintenance level work to replacement? Keep reading for more information!
Types of Cracks: There are three different types of windshield cracks: star break, bull's eye break, and long crack. Each type has a different cause and will require replacement under different circumstances.
Star Break – A star break is basically a tiny fracture that spreads out in several directions from one point of impact. In some cases, the tiny fracture doesn't spread more than an inch from the initial break. The star break can occur on its own or along with a bull's eye and long crack.
Bull's Eye Break – If you see a round circle in your windshield with a discolored ring around it, there is a bullseye crack on your windshield! This type of crack is also called a "snowflake" by many people because of its resemblance to actual snowflakes as they fall from the sky. Unfortunately, if you spot this cracking pattern on your car glass then it means that your windshield needs to be replaced as soon as possible due to how dangerous it can be if left unattended with such damage.
Long Crack – The long crack runs alongside another car component along with the windshield. It is usually very thin and can be difficult to spot. A long crack will mostly occur on areas of the windshield that are exposed to daily wear and tear, such as within 5 inches of a car door or front pillar. If you see one then it's definitely time for windshield replacement!
Factor #1: Location of the Crack
The location on your car windshield is usually the first factor to consider when determining if you need windshield replacement. If it's along one of the areas previously listed, especially close to the door where it's likely to be hit by another object, then it definitely needs to be replaced.
If a crack resides at a safe distance from any vital vehicle components and hasn't spread in several months, then you might not have to replace it right away – wait for signs of new damage before throwing money into a repair that may not be completely necessary!
Factor #2: Size and Spreading of Cracks
The size and spreading of cracks is what will determine whether or not small line ones can be fixed or if they need to be replaced. If the crack is still continuing to spread outwards (and testing shows that it's not simply moisture trapped between the glass), then it should be fixed as soon as possible.
The length of time you can wait before replacing an old windshield will depend largely on how much your car insurance covers for windshield replacement, what type of cracks are present, and how often you drive your car. For instance, if you own a sports car and don't drive it every day due to parking restrictions at your job, don't expect it to perform well after a crack is repaired.
Factor #3: Insurance Coverage
Lastly, one of the most important factors in determining whether or not you need a new windshield is your current insurance coverage. If you don't have windshield replacement coverage and the cracks are still relatively small, you may be able to save a lot of money by paying for the repairs out of pocket and avoiding an entirely new windshield altogether.
However, if your insurer won't cover any of the costs or you need a new windshield ASAP because other factors make driving difficult, then it's definitely worth getting quotes from auto glass shops before committing to repairs! If needed, get several quotes in order to find the best price available in your area.
Conclusion: Windshield cracks can certainly reduce visibility while driving your car but may not always mean that your vehicle needs replacement right away. Keep track of how long it takes each crack to spread while checking regularly for new cracks. If you end up with a bullseye or long crack then it's time for windshield replacement, but if not then repairing small cracks may be an option!