If you own a vehicle that has a heated windshield, the glass contains embedded technology that can interfere with rock chip repairs and crack repairs. Depending on the extent and location of the damage, you may be able to opt for auto glass repairs, but in some cases, a full windshield replacement will be necessary.
Read on to learn what you need to know about repairs for heated windshields, so you know what to expect if your windshield ever develops a crack or chip.
What Can Happen If You Let a Damaged Heated Windshield Sit?
Leaving damaged auto glass unrepaired always increases the risk of further damage. But when you’re dealing with a cracked or chipped heated windshield, that risk may be greater than with one that doesn’t feature embedded heating technology.
When a windshield heats up — especially when it’s cold outdoors — the glass contracts slightly. The temperature difference between the glass itself and the ambient outdoor temperature, or the temperature within the cabin of your vehicle, can put the glass under excessive stress.
Much like an ice cube cracks when you suddenly expose it to something much warmer than itself (such as a glass of tepid water or something very hot), your windshield can also crack if it starts off cold and you suddenly heat it up.
How to Tell If You Have a Heated Windshield
Most drivers who have heated windshields already know they have them, but if you’re unsure whether your windshield emits heat, take a look at the glass near the base of your wipers. If you can see tiny, thin, curvy wires or little gridlines embedded in there, you have a heated windshield.
If your vision isn’t so great, another way to determine if you have a heated windshield is to look for the button on your dashboard. You should see a little icon somewhere that looks a lot like the icon for your rear defrost. If you want a foolproof way to check, thumb through the index of your owner’s manual and look for a section titled, “windshield.”
When Are Windshield Repairs Possible for Heated Auto Glass?
There are a few different types of heated windshields out there, and two of them are typically eligible for auto glass repairs under the right circumstances.
The first type only emits heat near the bottom of the windshield, via tiny gridlines on the inside of the glass. If the crack or chip is normally eligible for repair — meaning it’s not too large or in a bad location — and it isn’t near the gridlines, then windshield repairs are almost always possible. If the damage is in the gridlines, a full windshield replacement may be necessary.
The second type of heated windshield contains wires embedded in the PVB between the two layers of glass. Usually, if the PVB is still intact and the crack or chip isn’t in a bad location, this type of windshield is eligible for auto glass repair. That said, circumstances vary, so you’ll need to have an auto glass repair specialist take a look at the damage to determine the safest and most effective course of action.
The third type of heated windshield features a special coating on the inner portion of the outer layer of windshield glass. Most manufacturers of this particular type of windshield advise against repairs since damage to the glass may interfere with the vehicle’s electrical system. But again, your situation may be different.
Only a qualified windshield repair professional can determine whether auto glass repair or replacement is the best solution for your unique circumstances. For more info on choosing a reputable shop, check out Comparing Auto Glass Repair Quotes? Here’s What You Should Look For.
The Case for a Complete Windshield Replacement
When you own a vehicle with a heated windshield, it’s important to keep in mind that maintaining optimal functionality of the heating system is essential. While you’ll always have your defrost and windshield wipers, keeping the windshield heating system fully functional and intact is paramount for maintaining the value of your vehicle.
Even if auto glass repairs are possible, opting for a complete windshield replacement — although it’s more costly — may be the best choice for long-term heater performance and vehicle value.
How to Tell if Your Heated Windshield Was Repaired Properly
When you get your vehicle back after a windshield repair or replacement, it’s important to double-check that the work was done properly.
If you had a crack or chip filled, here’s what you’ll want to look for to ensure it was repaired correctly:
● Clarity. The repair should be clear, not cloudy.
● Air bubbles. You should not be able to see any air bubbles within the filler resin as air often indicates that debris was not thoroughly removed from the damaged area before it was filled.
● Smooth finish. When you run your fingers across the previously damaged area, it should feel smooth to the touch. There should be no rough spots or protrusions.
● Appearance. When you look at the area that was repaired, the chip or crack should be barely noticeable. Any chips should be completely filled in, as should any cracks, whether they’re standalone cracks or hairline cracks extending from the center of a chip.
After a heated windshield replacement, you’ll want to listen for whooshing or rattling sounds as you drive at high speeds. These noises typically indicate a poor seal between the glass and the vehicle frame.
You’ll also want to test for potential water leaks by spraying your windshield with a gentle stream of water when it’s safe to do so.
If you notice any of these issues and are worried that the repair or replacement wasn’t done properly, call the auto glass repair shop that performed the work. Both repairs and replacements should come with a warranty, which covers workmanship problems like those mentioned above.
Looking for Windshield Replacement in the Twin Cities? Get a Free Estimate Today
If your heated windshield is damaged beyond repair, bring your vehicle to our windshield replacement experts at Only 1 Auto Glass. We have Auto Glass Safety Council certified installers on staff and our team of technicians has over 200 years of combined experience in the auto glass industry.
Our multiple locations throughout the Twin Cities metro make auto glass services faster and more convenient than ever, and we offer warranties on our repairs and installations.
To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, feel free to request a free estimate online or give us a call today at 651-789-1111.