Today has been interesting to say the least! Today my windshield cracked at the bottom and from one end to the other pretty much. It actually started a few days ago with a large chip from a rock landing smack in the middle of the windshield (the crack spread from the centre outward to the edges). I have had a busy week with appointments so I thought I would schedule it in to get it fixed within the next week. I thought I had time. lol I guess not. In a matter of a few seconds, it went from a simple fix to needing the entire windshield replaced if I want it fixed which will cost a bit of money.
Now I face a dilemma. I suppose it is less about whether to fix and more about whether to replace. First thought to consider is cost. I have phoned around and the quotes I get range anywhere from 175 – 375. That is a substantial range in cost. I have no idea if it is something that you get what you pay for or not.
Second thing to consider is safety. I have been doing research and a friend of mine shared a link as well on the safety or actually danger of driving with a cracked windshield. Even if it doesn’t run across your field of vision, it can still be dangerous. Apparently it affects how well an air bag deploys because an airbag first hits the windshield and then comes forward. If the windshield is cracked, the force of the air bag can cause it to break and the air bag doesn’t deploy as effectively. There is also the issue of collisions. I did not know that windshields are designed to help with the structure of the vehicle during a collision. According to the Glass America Blog “In most cars, the windshield is designed to transfer the impact of a front-end collision down through the front of the car into the chassis, helping to minimize the impact’s effect within the interior, protecting passengers. A cracked windshield can shatter under the pressure of a collision, allowing the impact of the collision to move horizontally through the car, significantly increasing the danger to passengers.” Also in most provinces it is a ticketable offence to have a cracked windshield. Although I am not sure how well it is enforced.
Based on the research I have done, it definitely sounds like it is better to fix it sooner than later. But the question is still who to go with? One place said that they only use superior glass where others may be cheaper they likely use the glass that isn’t as good. Is this true or just something they say to get your business? I would think or hope that any glass used in windshields (whether considered superior or not) meets some sort of standard that insures the glass is safe. Although that may not be the case. I have never once had a chip in a windshield in all the years I have been driving so I don’t know how easily a windshield normally chips or cracks. The rock that chipped my windshield was sizable and I saw it coming and it hit with quite a lot of force. What would you do? Would you go with the cheaper business or even consider replacing?
Below are some links to sites I have been on, while looking at what the dangers are. I like to view multiple sites before making a decision. Also in some cases it is better to view sites that don’t benefit financially from the opinion they share. In this case, I found that companies that do windshield repair shared pretty much the same info as sites that are just sharing information.