The frustratingly familiar sound of a stone smacking off your windshield creates a brief moment of panic as you scan the glass to look for a sign of the impact. If you don't see a tiny chip anywhere on the glass, you can breathe a sigh of relief. If you do see damage, however, you need to think about the steps to take in order to deal with this problem. Although you might be tempted to simply ignore the chip, the painful reality is that it will soon grow into a crack if left ignored. A cracked windshield requires replacement, but a chip can often be repaired quickly at your local auto glass shop. Schedule a repair visit as soon as possible and, in the meantime, employ these three strategies to prevent the chip from spreading.
Keep The Interior Temperature Moderate
A rapid change in the temperature of the windshield glass is a common way that many chips spread into cracks that require a complete glass replacement. As such, keep the interior temperature of your vehicle moderate -- don't blast the air conditioner or the heater from the dashboard vents. If you're getting into your vehicle when the temperature outdoors is notably hot or cold, allow the interior temperature to rise or lower moderately. This can mean opening your windows in the summer to let the hot air out before you use the A/C; in the winter, heat the vehicle from the lower vents to allow the temperature around the windshield to change slowly.
Stay Away From Slamming
If you have a habit of slamming your vehicle's doors, now is the time to curtail it. A slammed door generates considerable energy that travels through the frame of the vehicle and causes the windshield to vibrate. This vibration can often be enough to help a chip grow into a crack. Make a point of closing your vehicle's doors gently and avoid leaving them open when it's windy, as a sudden gust could cause a door to slam before you can catch it.
Keep Off Bumpy Roads
Just as slamming a door can cause a vibration that turns a chip into a crack, hitting bumps on the road can have the same effect. Be diligent about steering clear of pot holes -- the sudden shockwave they create will be detrimental to your chipped windshield. You should also keep your speed low when you're traveling on back roads to minimize the vibration. However, if you do find yourself with a windshield crack, contact a business such as Action Glass.