Some people call them dings, some call them cracks and others call them star breaks. Whatever they are called, tiny breaks in windshields pose the threat of spreading and requiring total replacement. And that can add up to big bucks.
If more people knew how simple windshield repair is, they would save themselves money by taking care of tiny cracks before they become big ones.
Mobile windshield services have become big business. The mobile services are designed to eliminate some of the procrastination that occurs among vehicle owners with tiny cracks in their windshields.
It is a process a lot of people are not sure about yet. If more people knew about it, it would probably be even more popular than it already is.
A repaired spot is seven times stronger and more resistant to breakage than the rest of the windshield. Workers can repair a crack on almost any area of the windshield except for the critical view in front of the driver.
A ding or crack, which is sometimes called a “star break” because of its starlike appearance, usually cannot be repaired if it is larger than a quarter. In those cases the windshield needs to be replaced.
A vehicle will not pass inspection if cloudiness or cracks are in areas the inspector believes could obstruct the view of the driver or if the broken glass could cut someone in the car.
All of the glass repair systems are similar.
The process goes as follows:
* Loose bits of glass are removed from the impact hole by a vacuum system.
* A fixture with a tiny tripod is attached to the windshield over the break.
* Optically-matched liquid resin is deposited into an injector cylinder over the break.
* Pressure is applied with the piston to force the resin throughout the break.
* The resin is cured with an ultraviolet light.
The process usually takes less than 30 minutes. Most insurance companies will now waive a deductible, choosing to pay for the entire repair as a cost-saving measure.
About 75 percent start as star breaks. The question is why replace seven square feet of glass when you can repair two square inches?
Flying rocks from other cars are the usual culprit for star breaks and there is really no way to take preventive measures.