As the auto glass experts, it is our job to conduct and share industry-leading research to understand why it’s important to repair a windshield chip.
There are several reasons to repair a windshield chip as soon as you can:
- A windshield chip can crack at any time. Increased pressure could turn the chip into a crack at a moment’s notice – including while driving.
- A windshield provides up to 30% of a vehicle’s structural strength. In a crash or roll-over accident it supports the roof, helps the airbags deploy and prevents you being thrown from the vehicle. If your windshield is weakened by a chip or a crack, you’re compromising your safety.
- Safelite® repairs windshields quickly. Repairing a chipped windshield can take as little as 30 minutes.
- Windshield chip repair saves money. The cost of windshield replacement far exceeds that of repairing a chip.
What’s the evidence?
The longer you leave a windshield chip, the more likely it is to get worse. A recent windshield damage survey showed once again that stressors like extreme temperatures, driving and fatigue will cause existing windshield chips and cracks to spread quickly. The best way to stop this is to get the chip repaired promptly.
Cold weather stress
In cold weather conditions, windshields bend into a more concave shape. As a result, windshield chips and dings are more likely to spread in a horizontal fashion. According to a study conducted by the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA), chips were likely to spread more than 80% of the time at temperatures of 14 degrees (-10° C). Windshield chips tested at 32 degrees were nearly 60% likely to crack.
Warm weather stress
Warm weather conditions cause windshields chips to spread into vertical cracks. The same study conducted by MIRA suggested that the heat distorts the shape of the windshield glass, which can lead to cracking by itself. The cooling effect of the air conditioning unit makes chips even more likely to crack.
Driving and fatigue stress
Driving over a speed bump, pothole or other uneven terrain can cause a windshield chip to crack. The force radiates through the car and puts additional pressure on the edges of the chip, which can quickly lead to a crack.
Although it is not possible to say how long it will take for a windshield chip to spread, the study suggests that stressors like weather changes or simply driving will eventually cause or lengthen a windshield crack.
Getting a windshield repair early can stop the damage from spreading and prevent the need for a windshield replacement.