Unlike before, owning a car is no longer considered a symbol of wealth. In most countries, everyone can own a car nowadays. Automobiles have become an essential part of many people’s lives because of how they can transport you from one location to another.
As a car owner, always keep your car in good running condition so you can always depend on it. Over time, you may have to modify or replace some of its parts to keep it functional and enhance its performance. One of the most indispensable parts of a vehicle and what protects drivers, passengers, and the car’s interior from dust, rain, wind, debris, etc. is the windshield.
Importance Of A Windshield
The windshield, also known as windscreen or front car glass, serves multiple functions. Here are some of them:
As its name suggests, a windshield stands as a protective barrier for everyone inside the vehicle and the interior against outside elements such as dust, stones, debris, rain, wind, bugs, and many more that you may encounter while on the road.
Provides A Clear View
Aside from acting as a shield, the windshield also provides an unobstructed view of the road ahead. It ensures that you always have high visibility of the road while you’re driving so that you can arrive at your destination safely.
Prevent the Possibility of Getting Thrown Out of the Vehicle in Case of an Accident
In case of an accident, a windshield provides protection to passengers and drivers as well. This helps reduce the risk of crash fatalities such as getting thrown out of the car.
Support Vehicle’s Roof During a Car Rollover
In the event of a rollover, the windshield also serves as a supportive beam. Because of this, it helps stop the roof from collapsing on you.
Proper Deployment of Airbags
Without the windshield, airbags wouldn’t work. It acts as a backstop for the airbags as they inflate. It absorbs the impact of the airbags in case of a vehicular accident.
Now that you’ve understood the significance of windshields, it’s time for you to learn how to identify if the front car glass is due for a replacement.
Signs Your Vehicle Needs A Windshield Replacement
When driving, a windshield is just as useful as the vehicle’s engine because it allows you to navigate through different roads and arrive safely at your destination. Windscreens must be sturdy, unobstructed, and free of defects so they can serve their purpose. However, the majority of drivers usually ignore the signs that their windshield is already compromised. Most of them worry about the costs of having it repaired or replaced without knowing that professional windshield contractors like Discount Auto Glass can fix or change the front glass quickly and affordably.
Don’t know if your windshield is due for a repair or replacement? Here are nine warning signs that you should keep an eye on.
1. Poor Visibility
Windshields must always provide a clear and expansive view of the road ahead. Scratches or chips on the glass can obstruct your vision and may need to be replaced with a new one. Worn-out wipers may gradually cause scratches that impair your visibility. The small chips on the windshield that most drivers ignore will get worse over time because of dirt, road bumps, temperature changes, and many more. Moreover, the windscreen can also get damaged after a heavy snowstorm.
Once the glass starts to look bad, you should talk to an auto glass professional. Don’t disregard any scratches on the windshield even if it’s very small, as they can develop into larger damage that eventually leads to a replacement. Also, take note of any repairs made on the windshield that may cause your line of sight to be distorted when driving.
2. Chips Or Dents
Although one little chip or dent can be quickly fixed by a professional auto glass repair shop, having multiple chips, however, may require a replacement. Multiple contusions on the windshield that are bigger than a quarter are a strong indication that you should get a new front glass.
These chips happen as a result of a hail storm or small flying rocks or debris hitting the glass as you drive or park the car outside. You should never disregard chips or dents regardless of how small they can be. This is because they can spread quickly throughout the whole windshield which can lead to more expensive repairs later on and ultimately a replacement.
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Cracks share some similarities with chips. Cracks usually extend through the edges or cover the whole span of the window glass which greatly affects your driving visibility.
Like chips, cracks also usually appear small at the start but will eventually cover a huge part or the entire length of the windshield in no time. But unlike chips, cracks are more expensive to address. Smaller cracks can still be remedied but having larger cracks on the glass means you need to replace the damaged windshield with a new one.
4. White Haze At The Edges
When newly installed, polyvinyl butyral or PVB is applied to windshields to prevent the glass from breaking into big, sharp pieces that may cut or injure the people onboard the vehicle in case of a vehicular accident.
When you check around the edges of the glass and notice white haze, it’s a sign that the PVB of your car windshield starts to wear off and is detaching from the glass. This can put you at risk of getting serious injuries if the glass shatters into sharp fragments during an accident. While the white haze may not look alarming, never ignore it!
5. Last Winter Was Too Severe
Winter isn’t only rough for humans but vehicles as well. Hail, snow, and extremely low temperatures can also put a toll on the windshield.
If you notice chips, pits, dents, or cracks on the front glass of your car after the winter season, don’t wait too long before calling a professional auto glass mechanic to come and look at the windshield of your vehicle. Once the glass is compromised, it’s only a matter of time before it shatters and you don’t want to risk the chance of that happening while you’re on the road!
6. Swirling Or Cloudy Appearance On The Glass
That swirling appearance on the windshield is usually caused by age and contamination. Once the glass has been chipped, dirt and dust particles will eventually accumulate under it, which worsens the swirling pattern as you continue to use the wipers.
Although the swirling mark isn’t a huge red flag, it can get pretty serious in the long run. As the cloudy appearance gets worse over time, your windshield will gradually become an opaque block of glass that obstructs your visibility.
7. Poor Installation
This usually happens if you hire a person who isn’t licensed or experienced. One major sign of a poorly installed windshield is when you notice that the glass doesn’t fit the frame. If you notice a whistling sound coming from the windshield when driving at high speeds it could be caused by the wind slipping into the small openings left behind due to poor installation.
Unfortunately, the only way to fix this problem is to get a new windshield. Just make sure though that you come to the right professionals that provide high-quality windshields and guarantee proper installation.
Have you noticed any water or condensation inside the windshield? If yes, it’s a sign that your vehicle’s front glass is due for a replacement. Age is primarily the cause of leaking windshields. This happens because the adhesive material used to glue the windshield to its frame wears off over time. As a result, water will get into the gaps of the glass.
Now, having water inside the cabin can lead to a variety of problems for you. It can cause water damage to the car’s upholstery, electrical system, and other components. Leaks can also occur for those windshields that were poorly installed.
9. Due To Vehicle Inspection
It’d be smart to have the windshield replaced, especially if you have a scheduled vehicle inspection coming up. If there are multiple cracks, scratches, chips, pits, or other signs of damage on the front glass, you might end up failing your inspection. Your vehicle will fail the test due to safety reasons as your windshield isn’t giving an expansive and clear view for the driver. Instead of hoping that the damage to the glass won’t cause you to fail, get your windshield replaced by a professional installer.
Postponing the vehicle inspection is also not an option as you might risk getting caught and fined for an expired sticker.
It’s crucial that you give your vehicle’s windshield more attention than it deserves. After all, it serves as your protective shield against all types of hazards that you may face on the road. Have it replaced should you notice any of the red flags discussed above. A high-quality and properly installed windshield ensures the protection of everyone onboard the vehicle.