In an accident, the integrity of your windshield may be just as important as that of your brakes. Inspecting your windshield for problems is highly advisable. This article explains how to spot possible weaknesses in your windshield.
Your Windshield Is a Safety Feature
Despite appearances, your windshield is more than just a large piece of glass — it is actually a structural part of your vehicle. The framed glass helps keep passengers from being ejected and offers support during a vehicle rollover so the roof is less likely to collapse.
Chips and Cracks
Usually, chips and cracks are easy to spot. Sometimes a chip or crack can appear near the edge of the windshield, and you may not notice right away. Look closely at the area an inch or two from the edge of the glass, on the top and bottom and both sides.
When you look through a windshield and move your head up or down a bit, the view should be crystal clear. If you notice a warbled effect, this is windshield distortion. Windshield distortion used to be common, but modern technology and improvements in windshield production have reduced the curves and angles in windshield glass. Today, distortion is unacceptable and an indication that the glass may be defective.
If you notice a moisture build up, a musty smell, mold, or mildew in your car, you may have a windshield leak. The rubber and adhesive holding your windshield in place may have deteriorated or been improperly installed. If you suspect you have a leak, grab a friend to help you do a test. Your friend can sit inside the vehicle and examine your windshield edges to see whether any moisture comes through while you douse the windshield with a water hose. Another option is to saturate your windshield with soapy water, and then have your friend sit in the car and spray compressed air along the windshield edges. If you see any bubbles forming on the outside, then the windshield is not properly sealed.
What To Do When Your Windshield Fails Inspection
If you notice any chips, cracks, distortion, or leakage in your windshield, call a certified automobile glass technician immediately. Proper windshield replacement can help keep you and your passengers safe.