Small Rock Chip Windshield Repair

The purpose of windshield repair is to preserve the stability of the glass by stopping when it begins splitting and cracking. When an auto glass repair is completed, the look of the broken area will be much improved. However, the damaged area never completely disappears.

Is your windshield broke, chipped or a little cracked? Unsure if it requires repair because the crack appears tiny and harmless? Well, not many car and truck owners are aware that even a small ding on the front windshield can quickly mushroom into a huge crack if not repaired in a timely way.

Rock Chip Repair Solution

four examples of repairable rock chipsOnce your windscreen gets damaged even a little, the fractures typically continue to get longer as time passes. By waiting too long, your entire windshield will have to be changed eventually. Depending on the vehicle, this could put a huge dent in your wallet. Not to mention the severe safety dangers such fractures may present to the occupants of the car or truck. A broken or cracked windshield may also impair the driver’s vision, leading to collisions and airbag deployments – never a good thing.

So, prior to a rock chip becoming an annoying problem, do the right thing and safeguard the structural integrity of your windshield. Having this simple service done makes sure the safety of your vehicle is maintained. It saves you time and money. It even saves the hassle of replacing your Fast Track decals. Everyone benefits from our quality rock chip repair services.

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Small Rock Chip Repair Benefits

benefits of small rock chip repair on front windshieldSaving Money – a windshield rock chip repair is hundreds, even thousands of dollars less than doing a replacement. Auto glass repair prevents the crack from getting any worse while preventing a replacement. The process also safely restores the structural strength of the front windshield. Whether you have a just a small ding or a long crack, don’t wait to get it repaired.

Safety – preserving the factory seal. If you are in accident or just unlucky enough to have a rock cause alot of glass damage, the windshield is a huge element of the roof support AND airbag system. Preserving the factory urethane seal is your best chance to avoid injuries or even death. A well done windshield repair will also reduce the sun’s glare coming from the damaged area. And the glass surface is even smoothed out so your windshield wipers work like they should.

Quality – saving your original windshield preserves the higher quality glass. Original Equipment manufactured (OEM) windshields are designed to precise specifications. These specs:
Allow the wipers remove water efficiently.
Utilize solar control to block ultraviolet (UV) light.
Helps cut down heat buildup in a parked vehicle.
Reduces use of the air conditioner while driving which increases gas mileage.
Can have acoustic improvement, giving driver and passengers a quieter ride by reducing outside noise.

Avoid Windshield Replacement

Original (OE) v. Aftermarket Glass (ARG) Quality

avoid windshield replacement by fixing small rock chipsLots of OE windscreens have exact specs so the wipers eliminate rain and moisture from the glass surface; are solar controled to block UV light and decrease heat accumulation while car is parked. It lowers usage of the AC system while driving which improves gas mileage. It may also have an acoustic inner layer which offer a quieter drive by minimizing sound from tires, wind and road. The aftermarket ARG windshields can be missing out on some or all of these features. And more often than not, the customer is not informed of this by either the repair shop or the insurance company (and their 3rd party administrators).

Another difference between ARG & OEM is the failure levels of recurring tension around the border of the glass. This “weak point” can trigger the windscreen to fracture much easier in an ARG, which then leads to the windshield cracking. This type of break is known as an edge crack. OEM glass, through a contract with the car and truck manufacturers restrict this stress that causes them to fracture and crack less often. The manufacturing process is slower, requiring more time and energy during the annealing and bending process. The ARG’s manufacturing will usually be done faster and with no contract to restrict the residual stress area.

A windshield “from an OEM maker” might not be an OEM glass. Here’s an example. Car #1 has an OE windshield manufactured by Pilkington. Car #2 has a Saint-Gobain Sekurit OE windshield. Both manufacturers are very good. However, some shops, insurance companies and TPA’s (3rd party admins) will sell consumers on the idea by installing a Pilkington glass in car #2, they will be receiving an OEM glass. NOT TRUE. For car #1, Pilkington is OE. For car #2, Pilkington is ARG (aftermarket).

Involving The Insurance Company

Contacting your insurance company for a small rock chip repair might not be the best, ahem, “choice”. Consumers should educate themselves about what kind of damage can and should be fixed v. when a replacement becomes mandatory. Here in CA, the consumer is entitled to choose the repair shop they wish to use. And it does not matter AT ALL whether or not the chosen shop belongs to the insurance network. Sometimes, it just makes sense for the customer to deal directly with the auto glass repair center. Other times, involving the insurance company is the better option. One thing is clear: it should ALWAYS be the customers decision.

The Insurance Company “National” Warranty

types of insuranceThe warranty provided by insurance companies through the glass networks doesn’t benefit the consumer at all. The refund of a failed repair goes back to the insurance company from the glass network in the form of a credit towards the cost of windshield replacement. In reality, this is a steering ploy designed to make the customer choose a “preferred” network shop.

The only warranty that matters is the one provided by the glass shop. Many glass centers will only give a credit towards a replacement if the crack repair fails or the customer isn’t happy with the job. This type of warranty could motivate unethical companies to intentionally screw up the tock chip repair in order to do the more profitable replacement and will “just happen” to have a replacement windshield on hand. Yeah.

The First Choice warranty is on our home page and all customer invoices. Basically, its this: The auto glass repair is guaranteed not spread any further for as long as customer owns the car. If windshield repair fails, payment is refunded. Simple.

About Steering

This term is often itendified with the insurance industry, specifically insurance claims. It is the practice of attempting to convince the consumer to use the glass repair facility favored by the insurance company. Insurance claim reps typically will read a well crafted script designed to accomplish this goal.

Many insurance companies today use a TPA (third party administrator) that is also an auto glass manufacturer. In the role of TPA, they act as a gatekeeper and take care of the paperwork for practically nothing in return for answering the insurance company glass claim phone calls. Acting in this capacity, the TPA can influence which shop will receive work and whether a rock chip repair or a windshield replacement is done.

DIY Rock Chip Repair Kits

OMG - DIY Rock Chip Repair Kits StinkOtherwise known as the bane of my existence. So, you have gone to the local auto parts store and picked up a DIY (Do It Yourself) auto glass repair kit because you saw a TikTok or YouTube video. They made it look SOOOOO simple! Reality is about 10% of windshield breaks are repairable with these kits. Many chip and dings have cracks needing to be flexed and impact points to be drilled out. The tools required for flexing and drilling are NOT included in the DIY kits. Also, the quality of the injectors and resins in these kits can range from average to awful. But still not a deal breaker.

Here’s the biggest issue: if the repair you attempt is unsuccessful, it’s highly unlikely that us or any other windshield repair professional can come in afterwards and fix the rock chip. This is due to the impact point and a portion of the internal cracks being stopped up with cured resin. Once it’s in there, it’s in there to stay. So, instead of saving about $50, now you’re buying a whole new windshield, many of which are well over $1,000.

So, the moral of the moral of the DIY kits story is: Caveat Emptor – Let The Buyer Beware.

Glossary of Repair Terminology

The following glossary and definitions are provided by ROLAGS (Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard)

  • Bullseye: Damage that is marked by a separated cone in the outer layer of glass that results in a dark circle with an impact point.
  • Chip: Non-technical term, commonly used by the public, for damage on a windshield.
  • Combination Break: Damage with multiple characteristics, i.e., star within a bullseye, short or long crack(s) emanating from the damage.
  • Crack: Single line of separation that may emanate from an impact point.
  • Short Crack: A crack of 6 inches or less.
  • Long Crack: A crack of more than 6 inches.
  • Edge Crack: Any crack that that extends to an edge.
  • Floater Crack: Any crack that does not extend to an edge.
  • Stress Crack: Any crack that extends from an edge and lacks an impact point.
  • Ding: Non-technical term, commonly used by the public, for damage on a windshield.
  • Half Moon: Partial bullseye.
  • Impact Point: Location on the glass that was struck by an object and results in damage.
  • Laminated glass: Two or more layers of glass with a non-glass inner layer(s).
  • Legs: Subsurface cracks that emanate from the break.
  • Pit: Impact point from which a small piece of glass is missing.
  • Repair: A process that removes air from the break either by vacuum or displacement and fills the break with resin.
  • Star Break: Damage that exhibits a series of legs that emanate from the break.
  • Stone Break: Non-technical term, commonly used by the public, for damage on a windshield.
  • Surface Pit: A nick in the glass associated with normal wear and tear that does not penetrate to the plastic interlayer.

Other Definitions

Driver’s Primary Viewing Area (DPVA) – An area on the exterior of the windshield:

  • 12 inches wide;
  • Centered on the driver’s position;
  • Extending from the top to the bottom of the wiper sweep.

Plastic Interlayer: Layer of plastic that bonds two pieces of glass that may also be referred to as the laminate or PVB.
PVB: Polyvinyl butyral. AKA Plastic Interlayer.
Refraction: The bending of light rays while passing from one medium to another.

Repairable Dimensions

Bullseye: With a diameter no larger than one inch.
Combination Break: Diameter of body (excluding legs) not to exceed 2 inches.
Crack: No longer than 14 inches.
Half Moon (Partial Bullseye): With a diameter no larger than one inch.
Star Break: Diameter of the break not to exceed 3 inches.
Surface Pit: Damage with a diameter of not less than 1/8 inch.

Small Rock Chip Repair Locations

The owner of First Choice Windshield Repair has been repairing small rock chips in the list of cities below for 20 years. So, if you are in need of a windshield repair, an auto glass repair or a rock chip repair – basically any damage that is the size of a quarter or less, contact us before the damage becomes too large to fix.

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