Albertans know the feeling quite well. You’re driving down the highway when out of nowhere, it sounds like someone has fired a gun at your car! No need to worry, though, it’s just a rock that took a chip out of your windshield. As the car owner, you now have a decision to make. Do you contact a collision repair shop in Bonnyville, Alberta and have it fixed immediately? Or do you hold off and hope that it doesn’t spider outwards?
What The Weather?!
Alberta has many chipped, cracked and dented windshields for a variety of reasons. Mother nature likes to confuse us Lakelanders, hitting us with every season in a single day and those weather changes can lead to cracks in a windshield or the spidering of a chip.
Bang! Boom! Crrrrrack!
Ever wonder why there are so many projectiles coming at your windshield? Road salt isn’t used in Alberta because it works best in temperatures above -5C and we all know it gets much colder than that here! Instead, small gravel pebbles coated with road salt called “pickle” are used to give traction during the winter months. When the snow starts melting during a brief increase in outside temperature, the “pickle” isn’t locked down in the snow, causing small pieces of gravel and other debris to become projectiles towards your windshield.
Friends Don’t Let Friends Forget Safety.
Chips and cracks in your windshield may not seem like a huge deal, but they can impact your visibility and may be considered a safety hazard. Having a chip or a crack in a windshield can result in the loss of structural integrity of a vehicle. The windshield acts as a load bearing structure, transferring the force of a front-end impact down the body of a vehicle while also keeping the airbag system in the right place. If the windshield is damaged and an accident happens, the airbag system may not deploy properly which is never a good thing.
Avoid A Ticket!
Not only is having a chip or a crack a safety issue, but it can also be a ticketed offence! In Alberta, if the windshield has “cracks or blemishes more than 12mm in diameter in the area swept by the wipers,” you could receive a ticket. There aren’t many specific regulations, but the driver’s vision can’t be impaired in any way and tickets are left to the officer’s discretion. Worst case scenario, if the damage is clearly impacting visibility and considered a distraction, the officer can order the removal of a vehicle from the road until the windshield is repaired.
Chips, Cracks, and Dents, Oh My!
Did you know that there are different styles of chips and cracks and that they all require different techniques to fix them? Understanding what a windshield is and how it’s made can help you appreciate the effort that goes into helping you see the world clearly again.
Your windshield is made of two layers of glass, with an inner layer of automotive safety glass called lamination. The lamination’s job is to hold the outer layers together during a collision, which is why windshields crack or chip when struck by debris without falling apart of caving in on you!
Generally speaking, most chips and cracks can be repaired, but it depends on the size, type, depth and location of the damage. Chips about 1” in diameter and cracks about 3” long should be easily repaired.
Fixable Chips and Cracks
- Star breaks
– short, radial cracks coming from the impact point.
– circular damage created by a circular object.
- Partial bulls-eye
– caused by a circular object but the damage isn’t completely rounded.
- Crack chip
– single crack about the size of a quarter.
- Ding or pit
– when a small piece of glass is missing.
When You Need A Full Windshield Replacement
Damages that usually can’t be repaired and will require a full windshield replacement including:
-Damage on the inside of the windshield.
– Profound damage on both layers of glass.
– Damage over rain sensor or the internal radio antenna.
– Damage that goes into the driver’s critical viewing area.
– Multiple complex cracks.
– Very long cracks that are over 18 inches long.
– Contaminated cracks.
– Edge cracks and chips.
New technologies are now making it possible to repair wider chips and longer cracks, so check with your collision repair shop to have an assessment done. As we discussed in our Alberta Car Insurance 101, working with your insurance company is the best plan of action. If you have comprehensive coverage, then you most likely have glass coverage, and depending on the damage you may only need a windshield, repair rather than an entire replacement. If you have repair work done, it shouldn’t impact your insurance coverage negatively.
We’ve Got Your Back!
Rather, we’ve got your front – windshield that is!
Questioning whether it’s a crack in your windshield or a rift in space and time? Stop by JD Collison in Bonnyville or Cold Lake and check out our spring special!
Don’t let a chip on your windshield become a chip on your shoulder. JD Collision Bonnyville is now offering 10% off all windshield and chip repair so that you can see the world clearly again.
Put away the duct tape and visit JD Collision Cold Lake and receive 10% off a full windshield replacement.