Owning a vehicle has turned from a luxury to an everyday necessity for most people. Most American families own the same car for an average of 8 years and invest a significant chunk of change into maintaining it.
From oil changes to annual tune-ups, a lot goes into ensuring your vehicle is fit for the road. But one critical area that not many car owners think about is the windshield and the side windows. In this post, we’ll discover the most common causes of windshield damage and the importance of regular auto and truck glass replacement.
Common Types of Damage and How To Spot It
Chances are you drive your vehicle every day, even multiple times a day. It’s normal for your car to show signs of wear and tear when you use it very often. These damages can be anything from small surface-level scratches to large cracks that compromise the integrity of the glass. The most common types of damage you can expect on your car windows are:
- Scratches – Glass is pretty durable, but small scratches can form on its surface over time. Not only do they look bad, they also lower the resale value of your car. Most importantly, if you don’t address this issue in time and let more scratches form, you can significantly lower your visibility while driving and create a safety risk you can easily avoid.
- Chips – This is another minuscule fault that can become a giant problem if it’s not fixed in time. If you notice a suspicious speck on any car windows, slowly run your fingertips over it. If the surface is scratchy, a small piece of glass has chipped off and weakened the glass. If you hear a suspicious sound of impact, check your windows immediately.
- Cracks – A chip can also develop into a full-blown crack down the length of the windshield. If you notice a crack in any of the car’s windows, slowly run your fingers over it from the outside and the inside. If you can feel a rough edge on the window’s interior, the crack is significant. At this stage, there is no time to wait. You must immediately replace the broken glass or risk it shattering mid-drive and injuring you or your family.
Most Common Causes and How To Avoid Them
The windshield and side windows protect you and the car’s interior from any outside dangers and environmental changes. They’re designed to take a beating, but the responsible thing to do is get them repaired or replaced as soon as you notice any issues. So, what are the most common causes of glass damage outside of serious motor accidents?
Flying Road Debris
It doesn’t matter if you’re a country bumpkin cruising down a dirt road or a city slicker speeding on the highway – there is no way to avoid small pieces of flying debris. The cars in front of you can pick up a variety of tiny projectiles, like pebbles and loose asphalt, in their tires and launch them directly into your front windshield. Over time, this impact can cause scratches and chips in the glass.
While this is unavoidable, you can still try to prevent any major damage. Never drive too close to other cars, especially if you notice that the road isn’t in the best shape. Avoid getting stuck behind trucks transporting cargo or ones without mud flaps on their rear tires.
Not everyone has the luxury of owning a closed garage, so they park wherever is the most convenient. That means your car is usually exposed to the elements and their unpredictable nature. Depending on where you live, you might have to worry about hailstorms. The frozen rain droplets can come down with significant force and chip away at your vehicle’s glass.
The same goes for strong winds carrying large twigs and even rocks that can slam into your car. While you can’t control the weather or create a covered parking space out of nothing, you can invest in a car cover. Slip it over your car every time you park it, and give yourself extra peace of mind.
The weather has been unpredictable these last few years, with unprecedented heat in the summer and below-freezing temperatures in the winter. Neither of these extremes is good for your car’s windows, as they can cause the glass to shrink and expand. That can further pressure existing chips or cracks, turning them into a serious safety risk.
You can do your best to avoid such situations by parking in shady areas and covered lots. You might have to pay a few bucks for parking, but that will save you major cash for repairs in the long run. If that isn’t an option, look for spaces with lots of natural shade, and don’t forget to use a car sunshade to cover the windows.
If your windows freeze over in winter, try to defrost them gradually. Trying TikTok hacks with boiling water might be tempting, but a sudden temperature change can shatter the glass. So be patient, and get rid of the ice slowly.
When taking the car to the shop, most people focus on the big things, like the motor, the tires, and the brakes. Don’t neglect the windows. If left unchecked, small chips can turn into large cracks, which can cause your windows to shatter or break, and a scratched-up front or rear windshield is a significant safety risk.
So make a complete window inspection part of your car maintenance routine, and feel safe whenever you get behind the wheel.
If you’ve already had to replace a windshield or car window, you know that’s not something you want to do twice. You risk shuttering if the glass isn’t properly fitted or glued down the first time. While many auto repair shops claim to know what they’re doing, you’ll get the best results using an experienced glass company certified by the National Glass Association (NGA).
Don’t leave room for the smallest doubts about the structural integrity of your vehicle windows. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Make the smart move and replace them with professionals who know what they’re doing.
Find the Best Auto and Truck Glass Replacement in Hastings, MN
Unfortunately, damage to the car’s windshields and side windows is a regular problem every commuter occasionally faces. Damage doesn’t have to be caused by a major accident before you consider repairing or replacing the glass.
Take the first step and entrust your car windows to Ryan & Gordy’s Glass. We’ve been in the glass business for over 40 years and have dealt with all types of vehicles, from sleek urban rides to hardy working trucks. Our team of experienced and licensed technicians performs the best auto and truck glass replacement on this side of the Mississippi.
We work with all insurance companies and send the bill straight to them. Submit your claim and get your free estimate today.