It’s not always immediately apparent whether you have a crack or a scratch on your windshield. From the front, they can look very similar, and most of us don’t take the time to sit down and really examine our auto glass. But you want to know what you’re going to need to fix, don’t you? If you’re bringing your vehicle in, you want to be able to tell the shop exactly what you need done. It’s hard with engine troubles, but it should be easy with a windshield, right?
A Quick Test
While you can’t always tell by looking if the damage to your windshield is a scratch or a crack, you can get an idea of what you’re dealing with by touching it. Unless they’re very deep, scratches won’t catch a fingernail when dragged across them. If you can run your nail over the mark and continue on a smooth path, you likely have a scratch. They don’t affect the structural integrity of the glass if they’re shallow, but they can reflect light and make it difficult for you to see while driving.
Cracks, however, will catch your nail. They do cause a weakness in the windshield that can become worse if not immediately repaired. Cracks, as well as scratches, will reflect light and make it harder to see clearly while driving. They can also spread as the temperature increases or decreases. Some cracks have been known to shatter windshields if the interior pressure of the car is high enough.
Repair Saves You Money
A small scratch or chip may not seem like a serious problem. If it’s in the corner of your windshield, it may not even obscure your vision. And so you think “it’s just a chip” and leave it unattended for a few months.
It then turns into a crack when a rock hits your car on the highway. The crack spreads and then the windshield can’t be repaired; it needs to be replaced. Having scratches polished off of the surface as well as having cracks and chips repaired will help you prevent extensive windshield replacement costs. It’ll also make driving much safer for you, and with car accidents happening every day, the more safety you can have, the better!