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It’s bound to happen. Behind a car with a less than smooth road. A small rock or bit of debris that gets spun up by the car in front of you hits your windshield at considerable speed. It’s a sharp and loud noise as if something massive has hit your car. The windscreen has done its job, it prevented the passengers in the vehicle being hit by something from outside the vehicle, but you are left with a crack in your windshield. What should you do next?

Before you visit Area Wide Auto Glass to get your windshield replaced, consider the following first. What’s the size of the crack? You can usually get a repair when the crack isn’t bigger than a dollar bill. This is usually done by injecting some form of epoxy or acrylic adhesive in the break. These types of repairs can be done by a professional or by using a DIY kit. For temporary fixes, this is usually fine but be aware that the result can be less than optimal. If your windshield can be repaired, do it immediately. A small chip can spread across the windscreen if you hit a big pothole, drive on a bumpy road or make an aggressive turn. In most states, it is illegal to drive around with a cracked windshield so you will have to act.

Photo by Oli Woodman on Unsplash

If the chip is directly in the driver’s line of sight, there are more than three cracks or chips on the glass, the damage is at the edge of the windshield, or the windshield is old and covered with tiny divots, it should be replaced rather than repaired. You should never drive around with a fixed windshield for too long as it is just not as safe as a replaced windshield. It’s not uncommon for a repair to crack further.

If you are planning to replace the windshield, check what your insurance covers. If you have full comprehensive coverage, a replacement is usually covered. Your only out of pocket expense will be your comprehensive deductible. To properly check if a repair is covered, you might need to get a quote first and have this information at hand when you call your insurance company.

In most cases, windshield replacement companies offer mobile services where they will come out to you. When they build your quote, they know the model and make of your car and will have a replacement windshield ready to install when they come out to you. If the weather is OK (the windshield replacement usually happens outdoor, on your drive or on a parking lot), it usually takes an hour or less to get the replacement fitted. You don’t need to stay with your car, but the replacement service might ask you to leave your keys to be able to fit the windshield from the inside. They will usually give you a quick ring when the replacement is done.

Make sure to check if the technician can salvage your license tag, inspection sticker, and toll tag. Most professionals will do this without asking, but just be sure to check this just in case.

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