It's just the smallest of cracks -- a minute blemish on the clean expanse of your car's windshield -- but it feels like that chink of flying gravel went straight through your heart. Chin up, though. The cost of repairing a small chip in the windshield is probably less traumatic than you think. The important factor to keep in mind is that you should make that appointment with your local auto body shop as soon as possible. A small chip, by itself, is not reason to panic. But if you leave it unattended over a period of time, the results could be shattering.
What's The Big Hurry?
You car's windshield does more than just protect you from wearing bugs in your teeth. It serves several other purposes as well:
- Your windshield is actually a structural element of your vehicle. In a crash, it's meant to stay in place. This helps prevent the roof from caving in on passengers in the event of a roll-over and keeps people inside the vehicle, instead of allowing them to be thrown free. If your windshield's structural strength is compromised by a chip or crack, a simple accident can become a tragedy.
- Your windshield is in place to protect you from outside elements such as extremes of weather, flying debris, insects, animals and more. A small chip can quickly become a huge fissure at a moment's notice -- even while driving -- and cause a potentially deadly distraction.
- Your windshield plays an important role in the operation of your front airbags in the event of an impact. If yours is damaged, your airbags may not function as intended.
It's also much more cost-effective to repair a small chip, crack or fissure than it is to replace an entire windshield. So the longer you delay the inevitable repair, the more it might cost you in the end.
Who Should Work On Your Windshield?
Only a fully trained and licensed auto glass repair specialist -- like the one employed at a reputable body shop -- should ever be entrusted with repairing or replacing your auto glass. If your windshield is not fixed in a quality manner by someone who understands the many ways it's meant to keep you safe, it could pop off or shatter incorrectly in an accident, causing severe injury or even death to you and your passengers.
How Do You Know if You've Found A Professional?
Search for an auto-glass installer who's been certified by the Auto Glass Safety Council. The AGSG adheres to the strict guidelines of the National Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard. These technicians have been trained, tested, and found to have the skills and know-how necessary to handle your windshield repairs safely and efficiently. They're also up-to-date on the latest regulations and requirements pertaining to auto-glass repair.
Noticing a chip, crack or worse on your windshield can feel like the end of the world, but if you attend to it right away, it's really not so terrible. As long as you act quickly, instead of putting it off, and you make sure you're hiring the right, skilled technician for the job, your vehicle will be looking like new again in no time. It will also be safe to operate and will do its part to protect the lives of you and your passengers in the event of a crash. So don't fall apart when you see the first, tell-tales signs of a windshield flaw, because doing so can lead to shattering consequences. For more information about windshield repair or replacement, check out an auto body repair specialist's website like http://www.centralaveautobody.com.