Everyone has had it happen – a rock kicks up off the highway or flies out of the back of a truck, and smashes in to your windshield. Sometimes the crack caused by the rock creates a visibility problem, but even if sight lines are still clear, the windshield will still need to be repaired.
If the crack is large enough that it obstructs your view or if it is too big to repair, then windshield replacement is needed. Every crack, if not taken care of, can eventually grow and lead to a shattered windshield.
When a windshield is replaced, the repair specialist needs to find a piece of glass that is the same size and shape as the one you have. Windshields are not one-size-fits-all; what fits another car will not fit your make and model. Each manufacturer shapes the glass to fit the shape of a particular mode; cars come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, and so do windshields. You must buy a windshield that was specifically made to fit your type of car.
Government regulates the manufacture of vehicle glass. All glass for cars must be heat tempered and break-resistant. The process that makes them less brittle and break-resistant, also makes them difficult to cut. Prior to making a windshield, a mold is made to be used as a pattern for each and every windshield. Which ensures that the windshield will fit perfectly on the vehicle.
Along with replacing the windshield, a new gasket needs to fit around the opening. The gasket is made of rubber and fits perfectly around the edges of the opening. This gasket protects the glass from vibrations while driving that could break the glass. Even tempered glass would break if the edges were to hit against the side of the opening as the car sped over bumps in the road – the soft rubber protects the glass from coming into direct contact with the hard shell of the car.
The gasket, the windshield, and the car body are bound together with a special adhesive. This strong adhesive allows the windshield to stay in place and also creates an air and water-tight seal. Even if a windshield is not cracked, it is sometimes necessary to replace the gasket because they can rot and deteriorate over time.
Windshield replacement is not a difficult job, but it is better to leave it to the experts. Unless you are skilled at car body repair, this is not a do-it-yourself project. Many companies will come out to your home or place of employment and do the job while you work or watch the big game. A crack in your windshield should be taken care of immediately. Sometimes they can be repaired, but if not, the windshield should be replaced as soon as possible.