Things You Must Not Do With A Cracked Windshield

driving with a cracked windshield

A cracked windshield can have a big impact on how your vehicle looks—and it can be annoying to drive, too. But worse than that, a crack in any car window can lead to expensive problems or even endanger you and your passengers. Having your windshield repaired by an expert should be a priority, but sometimes life prevents you from taking care of this right away.

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In the meantime, keep in mind these five things you should not do with a cracked windshield:

  1. Drive (if the crack is 12 inches or larger) – Large cracks are much more likely to break unexpectedly. Additionally, in some states there are laws in place about whether you can drive with a crack in the windshield. For instance, if it is over 11 inches, you can be ticketed in New York State. [1]
  2. Run Your Defroster – Though you may need to defrost your windshield to drive, running the defroster without first warming the windows slowly can cause a small crack to become larger or your window to break altogether. To avoid damage, run your engine for five minutes to warm up the car, and then turn on the defroster. [2] To avoid a small crack getting out of hand, visit a glass expert about the problem before cold weather hits.
  3. Blast the Heat or Air Conditioner – Along the same lines, running your heater or AC at maximum intensity can cause major issues with cracked glass. When it is very cold outside and very hot inside your car (or vice versa), the pressure can be too much for a weakened windshield to take. You should avoid extremes in temperature when dealing with a cracked windshield as this will cause glass to expand and contract, leading to greater risk of breaking. [3]
  4. Wash Your Car – If you have a crack in your windshield, avoid washing your car. Even an automatic car wash that you drive through can be enough pressure to cause that small crack to grow and cause the glass to break. While you probably want your car to look its best (or the best it can be with a crack in the window), wait until after you have the repair work done to take it in for detailing.
  5. Jolt the Windows – Avoid slamming your door, driving rapidly over speed bumps, or any other activities that jolt the vehicle. These small shocks that would otherwise not cause your vehicle any harm can become major hazards when you have even a small crack in the windshield. In many cases the jarring of your vehicle is all that stands between a tiny, barely visible crack that could be easily and inexpensively repaired and one that will force you to replace the entire windshield.

Although these five tips are all important, the biggest one of all is: get your cracked windshield fixed. Repairing and replacing glass is a complex matter and should be completed by a specialized glass technician rather than a general mechanic.

To help you look for an expert to repair your windshield, check out—the only website that offers one-stop auto glass comparison shopping by providing you with three quotes from three different certified shops. By attending to your cracked glass right away, you can relax when you drive your car, knowing that your windshield won’t give you any nasty surprises.

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