An automotive accident can potentially impact any part of your vehicle, from the undercarriage to the interior. While many of the most noticeable types of accident-related damage impact the body of a vehicle, even minor collisions can cause glass damage to the windshield or windows as well.
Many types of glass damage can appear small but become exponentially worse if left untreated. However, it can be difficult to determine whether a piece of damaged glass can be left as it is, requires repairs, or needs full replacement on your own.
In this blog, we list six telltale signs that you need automotive glass replacement after an accident.
1. Decreased Visibility
While windshield repairs can correct many types of glass damage, any collision damage that causes extensive changes to the visibility from the driver's seat likely calls for replacement. This requirement stems from the fact that windshield repairs are made using specialized resin to fill in cracks, chips, and scratches.
The resin is practically invisible at a glance but can cause small amounts of warping when you look through the glass. To avoid the potential issues caused by wavy glass in front of the driver, most repair specialists recommend full replacement instead.
2. Edge Damage
In many cases, the location of automotive glass damage is a significant factor in determining whether or not the pane needs replacement. If a crack or chip appears within a few inches of the edge of a piece of glass, the damage likely undermines the structural integrity of the entire pane.
Additionally, after an accident, the damage that occurs at the edges of your windows or windshield may indicate an underlying frame or auto body issue that's putting excess pressure on the glass. Your mechanic may need to handle the primary issue first before replacing the glass in question.
3. Knocked Out Panes
If a full pane of glass is entirely or partially knocked out during a collision, you should prioritize having the pane replaced. Not only does driving without a front or back windshield or car window open up the possibility of receiving a ticket, but doing so undermines the safety and security of your vehicle as well.
Even with a temporary covering, vehicles with missing windows are more likely targets for thieves and vandals, and at high risk of damage from weather conditions.
4. Missing Pieces
Like a knocked out pane, a piece of automotive glass with actual holes it in requires replacement. These unsound pieces of glass are more likely to shatter during normal activities like driving or cleaning.
Additionally, glass that's missing pieces can continue to warp, causing issues with the frame around it.
5. Multi-Layer Chips
Vehicle windshields consist of several layers of automotive glass that are laminated tightly together. Typically, chips that go through one layer of glass are completely repairable, while chips that go any deeper may cause too much distortion.
If your windshield has a chip this deep, you may be able to see the affected layers or feel them if you touch the damaged area.
6. Non Operational Components
If a collision makes your windows or back hatch nonoperational, the glass and components of the affected door may need replacing. These issues can be inconvenient as well as a safety hazard in emergency situations where you or a passenger may need to get out using a window instead of a door.
If you notice any combination of the warning signs listed above, take your car to a collision repair or automotive glass specialist for restoration. If you aren't sure whether or not replacement is necessary, consult with a qualified automotive glass expert about the exact condition of the windshield or windows.
For comprehensive collision repairs, including automotive glass replacement, trust the experienced, fullservice team at Automotive Super Sports.