Broken Windshield: DIY or Take it to a Shop?
When your vehicle’s windshield cracks or breaks, you may be left feeling frustrated. It’s definitely a costly inconvenience that most people hate to run into. It may even leave you wondering if you should attempt to fix it yourself, or if you have to take it to a shop.
Although you will absolutely find videos and articles with tips on how to “fix” minor cracks, you should know that any job that isn’t done professionally can jeopardize your safety in a vehicle. Auto glass is created with the highest standards in mind - even the placement of a windshield in your car contributes to your safety in an accident. When you do the job yourself, or go to a shop that doesn’t use proper techniques to install the glass, you’re setting yourself up for a bad scenario. It’s also illegal to drive with a cracked windshield in most states, precisely because it’s unsafe for you and everyone else on the road.
What to Know About DIY Windshields
Your vehicle’s auto glass is created to be extra durable with the use of chemical agents that heat the glass and temper it, or make it strong enough to withstand an impact. You may see a chip or crack in the windshield as a minor issue, but any ding in your car’s glass compromises the entire structure. Chips and cracks almost always get bigger, and the last thing you want is for your windshield to collapse while you’re driving around.
When you “fix” a crack or chip in the windshield, you’re never going to do as good of a job as an experienced technician in a shop that’s being held to high legal standards. Even if you’re excellent with all types of DIY projects, auto glass is not something you want to experiment with.
Any job done incorrectly will result in lower visibility for the driver, something that can affect not just you but everyone on the road around you. An improperly installed windshield can pop out or shatter entirely upon impact, causing potentially disastrous injuries. Your car’s glass also protects you from rocks and debris out on roads and highways. Fractures in the windshield can be exacerbated by the dirt and rocks kicked up at your vehicle by other cars as they speed all around you. This can cause you to end up with a shattered windshield.
Finally, the way the airbags work is in tandem with the windshield - the windshield withstands pressure and makes sure the individual isn’t ejected out, while the airbags deploy to cushion the impact. If the airbags deploy and the windshield is improperly fitted or haphazardly fixed, that may cause the windshield to break and shatter.
Why You Should Always Take Your Broken Windshield to an Auto Glass Shop
Take your broken or cracked windshield to professionals who know what they’re doing. It may not be as cheap as doing it yourself, but you won’t be putting yourself or others at risk. You should understand that a good auto glass shop will have trained and experienced technicians. They should be friendly and willing to answer all of your questions. You should also have the option of installing OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) glass, or otherwise approved market glass. This means that the type of glass being used is of the highest caliber available on the market.
Additionally, check that any shop you go to is affiliated with the Auto Glass Safety Council, which sets the standards for all auto glass shops in the United States. This means that your vehicle is in the hands of trained technicians that use the most up-to-date techniques for installing your glass properly. Improperly fitted glass is a cause for concern. The shop that works on your windshield should have a safety guarantee.
Try Smiley’s Auto Glass for Cracked Windshields in Richmond
If you have a crack or chip in your windshield and you need qualified technicians to help you fix it, call Smiley’s Auto Glass at 804-320-7172. We have over 55 years of experience working with vehicles of all types. We’re registered with the Auto Glass Safety Council so you know you’re getting top-notch service. If you’re in the RIchmond, Virginia area, and need quality glass installation or a simple fix for a crack or chip, call us for quick results.