Beautiful, wide-open spaces, down-to-earth people, and multiculturalism—all are characteristics that make Canadians proud. But for drivers, mainly those in the Prairie Provinces, there’s an aspect to living here that draws sighs, obscenities, and lighter wallets:
Due to Saskatchewan and Manitoba’s heavy reliance on sand and gravel to make our roadways navigable in the winter, damaged windshields from spraying debris are a common fixture.
However, aside from it being an unsightly mark on your car (like a scratch or dent), is a cracked windshield actually a safety hazard?
Glass damage can impair your visibility
If a stone chip has spider-webbed to a considerable size or has evolved into a series of cracks running along the area swept by your wiper blades, you could be nailed with a ticket from the police. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the fine for driving with a crack that impairs your sightlines is $115. Of course, this up to the officer’s discretion, and at the least, you’ll get a warning to promptly have it repaired.
Glass damage lessens its structural integrity
Have you been driving a vehicle that looks like it’s seen action on a Hollywood movie stunt? Car windshields are an important safety system: designed to keep wind and debris out, while keeping you in.
Today’s windshields are manufactured with two outer glass sections held together with a strong vinyl inner layer. This makes it very resilient to impacts, but if the damage is severe enough, its structural strength will be lowered in the event of a collision.
When should I get my windshield repaired?
As soon as you spot a chip or crack, we recommend getting it fixed right away. Why? It’ll save you money. If left untouched, glass damage can widen and spread from drastic swings in temperature, fluids entering the crack, or pressure from cleaning.
As long as the chip is no bigger than the size of a loonie, or the crack is within 12 inches in length, a reputable glass service shop will be able to repair it without needing to replace the whole windshield. On-the-spot repairs are made by creating a vacuum-tight seal and then injecting a clear polymer into the crack. Expect to pay around $50.
But if the damage is more extensive, a brand new windshield can range in price from $300 for an older car to well over $1000 for a brand new luxury vehicle. Be sure to check your auto insurance policy. You may have comprehensive coverage that will take care of most of the bill.
How to choose a glass repair shop?
Before settling on a windshield repair centre, check out their website or call around with a few quick questions:
- Do they carry OEM (original equipment manufacturer) certified glass?
- Are they approved by provincial transport standards?
- How long do they let a vehicle sit after replacing the windshield? (Proper glass adhesion can take up to 12 hours.)
Stay tuned for more car tips!
Check back here next time to learn about aftermarket vehicle warranties and when it would be smart to invest in one.
Share your experience
- When do you choose to replace your windshield?
- Ever been ticketed for having a vision-obstructing crack?
- Any weird ways you’ve received a damaged windshield?