Your windshield is an incredibly important part of your vehicle because perfect visibility is crucial for safe driving. Windscreens need to be strong, reliable, and free from cracks and chips, but so many of us ignore the warning signs that our windshields are damaged or need replacing. If you notice damage to your windshield, you may be worried about the cost or inconvenience of getting it repaired or replaced, but it does not always cost as much as you think. Many insurance policies cover windshield maintenance so you just need to check the terms of your plan.
To help ensure that everyone can drive safely, here are some common signs that your windshield needs replacing.
1. Your Visibility Is Affected
There is no such thing as an immaterial crack or chip when it comes to a windshield. Safe driving relies on you having full visibility at all times because dangers can and do appear at any time and from any direction. You may mistake a small chip in your windshield for another vehicle out the corner of your eye and this can cause you to make a driving error. Cracks that look like spiderwebs can significantly affect your visibility especially if it is raining, snowing, or foggy.
2. Your Vehicle Has a Pending Safety Inspection
During most safety inspections, your car will fail if there are any cracks, chips, or other damage to your windshield which may affect your visibility. Some people cross their fingers and hope that their vehicle will pass anyway but this just results in extra delays and fees after it fails and they need to get another inspection. There are many companies that will repair or replace your windshield before an inspection and you can visit this website to see what it entails. You can transfer any current inspection stickers to your new windshield without any validity issues.
3. You Had a Heavy Winter
Winter can be hard on many parts of your vehicle but it is particularly rough on windshields. Hail, grit, salt, and windborne debris can all cause cracks, pits, and chips in your windshield. Temperature fluctuations between day and night time during the winter, as well as when the weather starts to warm up can then cause bigger issues if that seemingly minor damage has compromised the structural integrity of the windshield.
4. There Are Signs of Pitting
Many road surfaces are littered with gravel, tiny rocks, and other debris and this will often fly up from the wheels of the vehicle in front of you and pepper your windshield. This can cause pitting which scatters light that hits the windshield and can blind you as you are driving along. Pitted windshields also fail to shed water effectively which can cause very poor visibility during driving conditions which are already dangerous. If you notice any signs of pitting, you should seek windshield maintenance immediately for your own safety and that of your passengers and other road users.
5. There Is a White Haze at the Edge of Your Windshield
Windshields are treated with PVB (Poly Vinyl Butyral) which is a special plastic that ensures if your windshield shatters, it breaks into small, rounded pieces that won’t do you or anyone else any damage. After a time, this plastic can start to separate from the windshield’s glass and you can see this is happening when you spot a white haze at the edges. It is very important to have this issue addressed straight away because without PVB working effectively, a shattered windshield can put you in significant danger.
6. Your Windshield Has Missing Parts
This is clearly the most obvious sign and yet there are still many drivers who will attempt to patch up holes in their windshields to get by. They may use tape, tarp, or see-through plastic and hope that the solution will hold. Not only will this not stop inclement weather from getting into the car, but it can also seriously affect your vision and could potentially even cause problems with the structural integrity of your vehicle’s frame. This will cost a lot more to repair than the cost of a new windshield so you should never attempt a quick fix.
There are so many vehicle accidents on roads around the world and so it is crucial that you follow safe driving practices and ensure that your vehicle is in good working order. A damaged windshield can be one of the most dangerous defects and you need to address even small problems at the earliest possible moment. If you notice any of these signs, speak to your local windshield repair company about your options.