A cracked windshield is a common issue. Because many think repairing a cracked windshield costs a lot of money, it can be tempting to drive around with one for some time. But a damaged windshield is extremely dangerous and can get worse quite quickly.
While you’re driving around with a cracked windshield, your car will still get dirty. But cleaning your car becomes more complicated with a cracked windshield. Even though you might absentmindedly pull into a gas station car wash, you need to avoid getting your vehicle cleaned until you’ve completely fixed the windshield.
Here’s what you need to know.
Hand-Washing Your Car With a Cracked Windshield
You can probably get away with hand-washing your vehicle with a cracked windshield. If the crack is small and if you’re gentle, you should be fine, in theory. If you’re wondering whether water is going to get into your car, it’s not likely. Most cracks are on the outer layer of the windshield rather than the inner layer. Even if the crack goes all the way through, odds are that it’s tight enough to still be waterproof.
But if you have a significant crack in your windshield, it could be dangerous to wash your windshield yourself. The glass could crack at any time. Car glass is tempered so that it shouldn’t cut you if it does bust, but shards flying everywhere can still hurt. If nothing else, even if you’re not hurt, it’ll be inconvenient to clean up and even less convenient to repair. It’s best to leave your car a little dirty and get the windshield fixed.
If you have a small crack or chip in your windshield, it shouldn’t hurt anything to give it a gentle once over before you take it to the repair shop.
Going Through a Car Wash With a Cracked Windshield
You should never go through a car wash with a cracked windshield.
There are two reasons. First, it’s very possible the windshield will collapse. Car washes are gentle enough not to damage vehicles, but they still exert some force. A perfect windshield isn’t going to react to this force, but a broken windshield is going to bend and twist. That can lead to shattering.
Second, you need to be inside the vehicle when you go through some car washes. That increases the chances you could get injured since the windshield would be collapsing directly onto you (and your passengers).
Again, it’s probably not likely that you would get seriously injured. Car glass is specifically designed not to hurt you. But a low chance isn’t no chance at all, and it isn’t worth the risk. There are few advantages to going through a car wash, so getting the glass fixed is a better bet.
Always be aware that there’s likely more damage to your windshield than you see. Most damage to glass is virtually invisible. You may see a single chip or a very small fracture, even though there are larger fractures running throughout the glass.
What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When You Have a Cracked Windshield
- Don’t panic. Stay calm and assess the damage. There’s no need to sweat the small stuff.
- Get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid further cracks.
- Call us today to get your windshield fixed if you are near the Fort Worth area.
- Use caution when driving. Take it slow and avoid sharp turns or bumps. Better safe than sorry.
- Don’t ignore the crack or chip. It will only get worse with time.
- Don’t try to fix it yourself. Leave it to the professionals.
- Don’t drive around with a cracked windshield. It’s just asking for more trouble.
- Don’t turn the air-conditioning or defroster too high.
Car Wash After Windshield Chip Repair
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Wait time. Most windshield repair services recommend waiting 24–48 hours before washing your car to allow the adhesive used in the repair process to fully cure and bond.
- Gentleness is key. Use a gentle touch when washing your car after a windshield chip repair. Avoid using high-pressure washers or scrubbing too hard, as this can damage the newly repaired area.
- Avoid hot water. Hot water can weaken the bond between the windshield and the adhesive, so it’s best to stick with lukewarm water when washing your car.
- Be mindful of chemicals. Certain chemicals found in some car wash products can also weaken the bond, so be sure to choose a mild soap or car wash solution that’s safe for your windshield.
Replacing or Repairing a Cracked Windshield
Ultimately, you really shouldn’t be doing anything with a cracked windshield except getting it repaired — and you might be surprised at how reasonable the costs can be. Some windshields can be mended rather than having to be entirely replaced, and some insurance companies cover windshield repairs. You should check with yours.
But even if it does cost a lot to repair your windshield, it’s always better to do so before you experience a more significant issue with it. Once a crack, however small, has appeared, the damage is going to continue. Essentially, the car windshield has already been compromised. It’s much, much less strong than it was before. Every bump in the road and every vibration is going to make the crack larger until it shatters. And if it shatters while you’re on the highway or maneuvering on the street, you could be in a lot of danger. You could even get into a major accident, which would lead not only to injury but even more expensive repair bills.
But you can stop worrying about that crack in your glass today by getting it fixed. Contact Advanced Auto Glass for a quote in the DFW area. You don’t know what your options are until you call – 817-595-3200.