While windshield chips may seem to be little more than an annoyance, fixing a chip in your windshield should not be put off. It is often easy and inexpensive to fix a chip, but an unrepaired chip can cause your windshield to crack out. If this happens, your windshield cannot simply be repaired. Once a chip causes a windshield to crack out, the windshield needs to be replaced. Replacing an entire windshield is much more costly than repairing a chip.
There are things you can do while driving and caring for your car to help prevent chips :
• Don’t follow big dump trucks or construction trucks. They are often carrying materials that can break apart and send small particles flying off the back of the truck. If you are behind the truck, the particles are likely to hit your car.
• Don’t tailgate. Cars’ back tires kick up little rocks and sand particles from the road and send them flying behind the car. If you are driving too close to the car in front of you, those particles are likely to hit your windshield and cause a chip.
• Avoid parking on the side of the road. Try to park in a parking lot or driveway where other cars won’t be speeding past your parked car.
• Check your windshield wipers regularly. Windshield wipers that are torn, cracked, bent, or broken can cause a chip in the windshield.
• Only use plastic ice scrapers. Metal ice scrapers can scratch your windshield.
• Regularly check your windshield for any small chips and cracks
• Don’t use hot water to remove ice from the windshield. This will cause any chips to instantly crack your windshield. Instead use table salt to loosen the ice. Keep a salt shaker in the glove box during the winter.
If you do happen to get a chip in your windshield there are steps you can take to help prevent the chip from cracking the windshield until you can repair it :
• On the outside of the windshield, cover the chip with clear plastic tape. This will help keep out moisture and dirt.
• Try not to use the defroster. If it needs to be used, use the lowest setting possible.
• If possible, park in the shade. Leave the side windows cracked in order to keep heat from building up in the car.
• Don’t use anything liquid to seal the chip, such as glue or nail polish.
• Don’t wash the car. Pressure from the hose or the temperature difference between the water and windshield can cause the chip to crack out.
• Don’t use sun shades. They cause the windshield to heat up, which can cause a crack.
• Don’t slam the doors, trunk, or hood. Any extra vibration to the car could cause the chip to crack.
Always try to avoid a chip in your windshield, but if you happen to get one, be sure to immediately follow the steps to protect it and then repair it as soon as possible. While repairing a chip may seem tedious, it beats spending hundreds of dollars on a whole new windshield.