What Should You Do If You Can't Immediately Replace A Damaged Windshield?

Posted on: 7 September 2022

Driving with damage to your car's windshield can create numerous hazards. Not only will cracks and chips obscure your vision, but they can also weaken the structural integrity of your glass. Changes in temperature or vibrations from driving can cause seemingly minor blemishes to expand rapidly, causing damage to your windshield in the process. 

As a result, it's important to deal with windshield damage as soon as possible. Unfortunately, replacing a windshield isn't always cheap, and you may need to wait a few days or weeks before you can afford a replacement. If you need to wait before scheduling your replacement, here are three things you can do to minimize further damage.

1. Avoid Rapid Temperature Changes

Rapid temperature changes will cause your glass to expand and contract, potentially exacerbating existing damage. While you can't avoid exposing your car's glass to the elements, you can do your best to ensure that the temperature changes gradually. This approach won't prevent your windshield from failing, but it may buy you a few days or weeks.

In addition to parking in the shade where possible, you should also avoid blowing air conditioning vents directly at your windshield. Likewise, avoid using your defroster in the winter. Although heating your glass quickly might be an efficient way to melt ice, it's also a good way to suddenly cause your cracks and chips to expand.

2. Drive Carefully

Any additional damage to your windshield or even heavy vibrations can cause cracks to expand or chips to spiderweb outward. These situations can be dangerous if they occur while driving, and they will force you to replace your windshield sooner than expected. While temperature changes are among the most likely cause of additional damage, vibrations and impacts are also risky.

If possible, drive slowly when on rough roads and avoid hitting potholes. Sudden, jarring impacts can cause your windshield to flex, making cracks even worse. Other simple tips include not slamming your doors or banging against your windshield to break up the ice. These actions might seem harmless, but they can push minor windshield damage over the edge.

3. Don't Wait Too Long

Finally, the most important thing you can do is to schedule a replacement as soon as possible. Driving with a damaged windshield compromises your visibility and makes your car less structurally secure in accidents. While waiting a short while to fit a replacement into your budget is acceptable, waiting too long is an invitation for disaster to strike.

Contact a local windshield replacement service to learn more.