Keeping a vehicle's windscreen in good repair is very important, as you can often get ticketed or cited for having a damaged windscreen. A minor imperfection in the windscreen can also get in the way of your clear vision, increasing the risk of an accident when you're on the road. If your car's windscreen needs some attention, note a few questions you might have about this work, and this will ensure you avoid tickets and risks while on the road and will know what to expect when it comes to windscreen repair.
Repair or replace?
Some chips and cracks in a windscreen are too large and too deep to repair, and the glass will need to be replaced. Also, note that windscreen glass can weaken over time because of being exposed to direct sunlight and bitter cold. If a repair technician notes that the glass itself is weak due to age, he or she might recommend that you replace it no matter the size of the chip or crack to reduce the risk of the windscreen breaking while you're on the road. This will also ensure it's strong enough to hold up the roof of the vehicle in case of a rollover accident or other collision.
What about the rear windscreen?
Don't assume that a chip or crack in the rear windscreen can be ignored; this damage can mean that the heating element of the window's defroster won't work properly. In turn, the back window may fog up more easily when you're driving, and this can obscure your view. Chips and cracks can also let in heat and cold, so you may need to turn up the air conditioner or heating, putting more wear and tear on these parts. Have that windscreen repaired when you notice any damage, to avoid these risks.
Can side windows be patched?
As with front and back windscreens, the extent of the damage usually determines if a side window can be patched. Note, however, that these windows are typically very affordable and easy for a technician to replace. If they have weakened over the years due to exposure, as said above, they may not open and close very easily along their tracks or fit snugly into the window seals. This can let in cold and hot air from the outside, as well as noise from traffic. If a side window is damaged, consider having it replaced if it's a bit older or if you notice issues with its operation, and this will keep your car comfortable and safe.