Cracked windshields are unavoidable (unless you’ve figured something out that we haven’t yet). Some start as small chips, some come from weather changes, others from road debris, and some appear out of nowhere.

But, wherever they come from, having a cracked windshield means you have some phone calls to make before it becomes worse or before you get a ticket.

What to Do About Your Cracked Windshield, Northwest Auto Center of Houston

When to Repair or Replace Your Cracked Windshield

Your windshield not only protects you from the elements, but an intact windshield ensures your airbags perform their job of protecting you and your passengers and helps keep everyone inside the vehicle in the case of an accident.

When you notice damage on your windshield or any windows, you’ll want to start thinking about your next steps.

A repair may succeed if you have a small chip (smaller than a quarter) or a crack less than eight centimeters. A glass repair technician will be able to determine if your damaged windshield can be repaired.

What happens if your cracked windshield or cracked car window is beyond repair? It’s time for a replacement. If the damage is too extensive, impairs the driver’s view, touches the edge of the window or risks the windshield’s integrity, then you’ll want to get your window replaced.

Typically windshield replacements range from $400 – $600 for typical sizes and types. Because the windshield is essential to your safety, many insurance policies include one free chip repair per year. Make sure to check with your car insurance provider before scheduling a repair appointment for your cracked windshield.

Can You Drive with a Damaged Windshield in Texas?

Unlike other states, a cracked windshield will not make you fail your annual inspection— most of the time.

The exception to this non-rule is if:

  • the crack or damage impairs the driver’s vision
  • if the structural integrity of the windshield is compromised
  • if the windshield is concaved or has a bump

Additionally, you will want to ensure the damage does not harm your windshield wipers as they are part of your inspection. To quote the Texas Department of Public Safety:

“The windshield is NOT an item of inspection. However, the windshield wipers are. Be sure that the crack does not cause the wipers to tear and that the crack has not caused the windshield to become concave or convex, so the wipers lose contact with the windshield.”

Remember, these are guidelines for your inspection. If pulled over with a cracked windshield in the state of Texas, you can still receive a ticket if the officers deem it a distraction or not in proper working condition.

Dealing with a Cracked Windshield

The best time to deal with a cracked windshield is right when it happens. Over time the damage can grow, which can cause further damage and potentially unusable vehicle.

Have a car in need of vehicle repairs? Contact Northwest Auto Center of Houston at (281) 894-8880. We can help keep your vehicle in working order and you safe behind the wheel.