Your windshield provides both structural support for your vehicle and critical protection for you and your passengers. But if the glass suffers chips or cracks, your damaged windshield can put your safety at risk.
Though drivers often view minor auto glass damage as trivial, neglecting windshield repairs isn’t smart. Driving with a cracked windshield is illegal in Minnesota, so if you choose to do that, be prepared to get a ticket. Plus, a windshield with chips and cracks, can easily suffer further damage that’ll necessitate a complete windshield replacement rather than affordable auto glass repairs.
Below, our windshield repair experts at Centennial Auto Glass are sharing six types of windshield damage you really can’t afford to ignore.
1. Cracks and Chips In Your Line of Sight
If your windshield has any type of damage located in the driver’s line of sight, that damage puts you and your passengers’ safety at risk. That’s true even if there’s only a tiny chip or crack.
Although that damage might not seem like it’ll obstruct your view of the road, it certainly could. And when you’re driving at high speeds on busy roadways, it takes only a split second or a tiny obstruction in your ability to see to create a dangerous situation.
If a patrol officer notices your windshield has a crack or chip on the driver’s side, chances are they’ll pull you over and issue you a ticket. According to Minnesota law, “a person shall not drive or operate any motor vehicle with a windshield cracked or discolored to an extent to limit or obstruct proper vision.”
If you don’t want to pay a sizeable fine or risk putting your safety in jeopardy, schedule windshield repair service right away. Convenient mobile auto glass repair service is possible for minor damage, so if you can’t make it to a shop, you can have an expert technician come to you.
2. Edge Cracks
An edge crack begins within two inches of the edge of your windshield or extends all the way to the edge. These cracks usually develop as a result of excessive pressure around the perimeter of your windshield and typically extend 10-12 inches.
Due to their considerable length, edge cracks can easily spread even under minimal pressure, making prompt repairs critical. If you have a minor edge crack (less than six inches or so), visit a windshield repair specialist at your earliest convenience.
Edge cracks that are longer than about six inches generally necessitate windshield replacement.
3. Bullseye Cracks
As their name implies, bullseye cracks look just like a dartboard bullseye: there’s a definitive impact point that typically appears circular. These cracks form as a result of direct impacts to the windshield, involving either small or large objects.
Under pressure or additional impact, a bullseye crack can quickly spread, which will not only impede your field of vision but also compromise the structural integrity of the glass. Generally, windshield repair is possible for bullseye cracks, provided they:
- Have a diameter of one inch or less
- Are not directly in the driver’s line of sight
- Do not have dirt or debris ground into the crack
For minor bullseye cracks, prompt auto glass repair is essential to avoid incurring further windshield damage. If your windshield suffers a severe bullseye crack, you should replace it immediately.
Often, bullseye cracks happen when rocks fly up and impact the windshield’s outer layer of glass. If you live on a rural road that’s still unpaved, check out what you should know to protect your windshield from flying rocks.
4. Star Breaks
A star break contains a central impact point surrounded by small, tentacle-like cracks that extend outward. For small star breaks (typically one inch in diameter or less), windshield repair is a suitable option. But if the damage spreads because you put off handling repairs, auto glass replacement is unavoidable.
Like a bullseye crack, if a star break exists within a driver’s line of sight, it may pose a safety hazard even after a successful repair since it can interfere with a driver’s ability to see. In such instances, auto glass repair specialists generally recommend replacing the windshield.
5. Floater Cracks
Floater cracks look just like edge cracks, but rather than occurring near the perimeter of a windshield, they occur at least two inches from the edge.
Dramatic temperature fluctuations can easily cause a floater crack to spread, so if you develop one, prompt windshield repair is essential. Typically, a floater crack is considered irreparable if its length exceeds six inches, making windshield replacement a necessity.
6. Combination Breaks
As you can probably infer from the name, this type of windshield damage involves at least two types of cracks or chips that are usually connected. For example, the glass might have a bullseye crack with a longer crack extending out a few inches from its center.
Unfortunately, combination breaks are seldom eligible for simple windshield repairs. But that does not mean they don’t need to be taken care of promptly. If your windshield has a combination break, you’ll want to schedule a complete windshield replacement as soon as possible.
This type of damage is serious and can easily grow larger, putting both the strength of the windshield and your safety at risk.
Need Windshield Repair in the Twin Cities?
If you’re dealing with windshield damage, don’t ignore it! Whether you believe you need windshield repairs or a complete replacement, get in touch with our team at Centennial Auto Glass. Our experienced technicians can advise you on the best option to fit your budget and protect your safety; plus we offer discounts for cash payment and are approved by all major insurance companies.
To learn more, request a quote, or schedule your appointment, give us a call today at 651-653-1777 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch!