Cracked Mobile Windshield: Car Wash Issues
When driving, visibility is a primary safety concern. For instance, in Indianapolis and the entire state of Indiana, a ticketing officer can fine you up to $169 for a crack or chip in your windshield. That is if they determine that these can endanger safe driving, especially if the crack or chip is in the driver’s line of sight.
Other states also have laws on this matter. All drivers must keep themselves informed. That is why prompt mobile windshield repair is crucial. Drivers must also know how to avoid getting a cracked windshield and what to do when it happens.
Causes of Windshield Cracks
A cracked windshield is a common problem among vehicle owners because several things can cause it.
Hard and sharp debris hitting the windshield are the most common causes of cracks and chips. That can happen in an accident. For instance, a tree branch can fall on the windshield of your parked car.
It can also happen when small stones picked up by vehicle tires on the road get flung toward other vehicles while driving. You can reduce your risk by keeping your distance from other cars.
Auto glass expands and contracts in reaction to temperature. On scorching days, the heat from the metal around the windshield can cause the glass nearest to it to expand ahead of the glass in the middle, causing a crack. That is why you must park in the shade.
You must also be careful with using your air conditioner when the temperature outside is very high. If your air conditioner is set to a very low temperature, the contrast in temperatures can cause cracking. That is also why you must not use hot water to defrost your windshield.
Improperly installed windshield glass can vibrate and rattle during everyday driving. That causes cracks. Always ensure that a reputable professional service provider installs your windshield glass.
Low-quality auto glass is more prone to cracking when subjected to the above conditions. You can see waves or ripples in low-quality glass. There will also be distortions in your view. If you need windshield replacement, insist on a windshield from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).
Is it Safe to Wash a Car with a Cracked Windshield?
Some drivers ignore a small crack or chip, especially if it is not yet affecting visibility. They go through their usual routine, including taking the car to the car wash. Oops. That is a bad idea. It can worsen that small crack or chip.
Remember what was said earlier about temperature changes? If the weather is cold and the car wash uses hot water, that contrast will cause the crack to spread. The same happens when the weather is hot, and the car wash uses cold water.
Pressure is another factor that worsens cracks. Cleaning solutions and water that seep into the crevice put pressure on the glass. Pressure also comes from brushes and heavy curtains used by car washes and the powerful air dryer used at the end of the wash.
If you clean the car yourself, you can inflict the same damage because you will also use water and a cleaning solution. If you use a squeegee, that is pressure on the crack. Even if you use a piece of cloth, you will still be adding pressure to the cracked glass. Using a power washer or a high-pressure hose is even worse.
What To Do When Your Windshield is Cracked
Never ignore a windshield crack, no matter how small it is. Many factors can worsen it, so take your car to a professional mobile windshield repair specialist as soon as you notice a crack.
If it is a long drive, protect the crack from dust and dirt by putting clear tape over it. That is because dust and dirt in the crack make it more difficult to repair.
Whether using an air conditioner or a heater during the drive, keep it low to minimize the contrast with the temperature outside. If you have to park somewhere before going to the mobile windshield repair shop, keep the car away from the sun or frost. Find a shelter.
Drive carefully and avoid jolts and sudden stops, as these can worsen the crack. Also, do not slam the car doors.
If the crack measures more than 12 inches when you notice it, do not risk driving your car. A crack of that size or larger compromises your windshield’s integrity. Even if the crack is smaller than that, if its location affects your view, do not drive. Call a mobile windshield repair service that can send a technician to you.
Mobile Windshield Repair or Replacement
A repair job is more likely if the crack is less than 12 inches long and is not in the driver’s line of sight. That is why you must immediately take your car to the mobile windshield repair shop before the crack spreads.
If the crack is more than 12 inches long, you will need windshield replacement. That is also necessary for a smaller crack in the driver’s line of sight because visibility will be affected even with a repair.
Sentry Glass has three decades of experience in auto glass repair and replacement. Our technicians can service your vehicle in our shop or at your location. If you need mobile windshield repair in Greenwood, give us a call.