Did your auto glass recently suffer a few chips or perhaps a crack? If the damage is minor, a quick, simple, and relatively inexpensive auto glass repair may be possible.


But in some situations, repairing damaged auto glass simply isn’t safe. If you take your vehicle to a shop, the technicians won’t even perform repairs if the damaged area is too large or complex. They’ll recommend you replace the glass instead.


At Only 1 Auto Glass, we know auto glass replacement isn’t an expense that most people plan for. But when it comes to protecting your safety on the road, replacing a damaged vehicle window may be your only acceptable course of action.


So how can you tell whether you’ll need repairs or a completely new window? Here are four signs that it’s time to schedule auto glass replacement service.


1. The Damage Is in Your Line of Sight

Regardless of the type of chip or crack in your auto glass, if it interferes with your ability to see while driving, auto glass replacement is probably necessary. While repairing small chips and cracks is usually possible, the placement of the damage is a major determiner of whether or not a repair is safe.


Even after repairing the windshield, you may notice slight glass distortion in previously cracked areas as a result of the resin injection that occurs during the repair. And anything that interferes with your visibility can put your safety at risk.


While auto glass repairs inevitably cost less than a complete replacement, no amount of money is worth putting yourself at risk. If your windshield has chips or cracks in your line of sight, it’s in your best interest to replace it.


If you don’t already know, driving with a damaged windshield damage is illegal in Minnesota. If you get pulled over for speeding or another traffic violation, having a cracked windshield could increase the amount of your ticket. 


2. Pitting in the Glass

Glass pitting occurs when numerous small, abrasive objects collide with your auto glass and leave tiny chips in its surface. If you regularly travel through construction zones or on roads that contain considerable debris, there’s a high chance your windshield contains at least a minor amount of pitting.


The problem with pitting is that it refracts light that hits your windshield while you drive. And that refraction can cause glare that may make it difficult to focus on the road. What’s more, water has a hard time rolling off pitted glass, so if you have to drive in heavy rains, pitting can significantly reduce your visibility.


While pitting might appear to be a minor issue, there’s no way to repair this type of damage. The only way to correct it is to replace your windshield.


3. Cloudy or Hazy Windshield Glass

Windshields are referred to as laminated glass because they contain a very thin sheet of material — called polyvinyl butyral, or PVB — which lies between two sheets of glass. That plastic is there to prevent the windshield from shattering inward in the event of a collision or impact to the glass.


If the windshield does shatter, its interior PVB layer will keep the glass stuck together in most cases. Serious spider cracking will result, but the windshield won’t break into thousands of pieces that project into the cabin. In some cases, the glass may actually break, but not to the degree that it would without the PVB.


Like any component of your vehicle, your windshield is subject to wear and tear over time. While it’s not super common, its PVB later could begin to detach from the exterior layers of glass. This phenomenon (called lamination separation) usually presents as a hazy white appearance around the edges of your windshield.


If you’re dealing with this issue and assume it’s harmless, think again. PVB detachment can put you and your passengers at risk for serious lacerations in the event of an accident. Unfortunately fixing hazy auto glass isn’t possible. If you want to stay safe, getting a windshield replacement is an absolute must.


4. Large or Complex Glass Damage

While auto glass repair technology and capabilities have advanced considerably, some types of damage simply can’t be repaired. Certain sizes, complexities, and locations of damage threaten the structural integrity of your auto glass, and technicians won’t repair them for safety and liability reasons.


What types of auto glass damage can’t be repaired? Here are a few:


●        Chips with large diameters. While capabilities can vary from shop to shop, generally, technicians won’t repair chips with diameters larger than one inch.


●        Edge cracks. If your windshield or other windows develop a crack near the edge of the glass, it probably can’t be repaired since it threatens the glass’s structural integrity.


●        Long cracks. Auto glass repair technicians can’t fix lengthy cracks. Typically, a crack is eligible for repair if it’s less than 3.5 inches long. Some shops may fix cracks that are up to six inches long, but again, capabilities and policies vary from shop to shop.


For a more in-depth breakdown, check out the types of auto glass damage that are eligible for repairs.


Get Warrantied Auto Glass Replacement in the Twin Cities

At Only 1 Auto Glass, our number one goal is your complete satisfaction, so if you’re in need of auto glass repair or replacement, don’t hesitate to contact our team. Our expert technicians have over 200 years of combined experience, so you can rest assured that when we take care of your auto glass, we’ll do the job right. With our multiple locations throughout the Twin Cities metro, we’re just a short trip away, no matter where you are.


To learn more about our services or to schedule your appointment, give us a call at 651-789-1111 or request your free estimate online, and we’ll get in touch with more info!