Cracked windshields

GischpelGischpel Member Posts: 133
I am driving my '98 Tacoma on the interstate last
week and out of nowhere comes a crack in the
windshield. It starts at the top just to the left
of the rear view mirror and now has grown down four
inches and curved to the right another four inches
or so.

There were no stone chips on the windshield and
nothing was in front of us at the time this
occurred. The windshield had about two inches of
ice across the top from accumulationed sleet at the
time the crack started. I am puzzled.

What determines when a windshield has to be
replaced? (i.e., to pass inspection, for safety
sake, etc.)

Shouldn't the warranty cover this?




  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You could ask a factory rep to come to the dealership to look at it, yes, but generally that's a road hazard...worth a try though. I think the law varies state to state, but if it's in the wiper screening area, it's probably illegal.
  • GATESRGATESR Member Posts: 13
    I've seen these before. I call them "stress cracks" Sometimes they are caused by heat buildup in a closed car. Sometimes they appear when the body flexes over very rough terrain. If your vehicle has been driven properly and no rock hit the windshield your dealer will probably repace it under warranty.
  • clintonjohnclintonjohn Member Posts: 99
    Personally, I wouldn't hold my breath expecting the dealer to replace it at their expense. They'd probably liken it to a flat tire-no discernable factory defect, but rather as Mr Shiftright says, road hazard. One thing I found interesting in dealing with a glass company, if you were going to bill insurance, the windshield was $800. If you were paying cash up front, the charge was $200. I don't know about the windshield industry, but I work in health care and that is very illegal-to have a different scale for cash vs. insurance. Just a little side note.
  • GischpelGischpel Member Posts: 133
    Thanks for all the advice. Turns out there was stone chip right on the edge of the rubber gasket around the windshield. (Must have been there and then the ice got into it and forced the windshield to crack.) I looked close, but never saw it before the guy from the dealership went over the crack (with me watching) three times until he found it.

    Safelite is coming today to replace it. They quoted $177 something, as I have a $500 deductible on Comprehensive (Yes, my brain functioned about as well as my eyesight when selecting the deductible limit). It would be interesting to see if they have a different price for cash vs. insurance jobs. I asked my wife to see if she can get any info from the installer...

  • arazaraz Member Posts: 27
    I have Liberty Mutual, and take advantage of their "Full Glass Coverage". You can't beat $4/year for no deductable on all glass claims. Yes, I have used it.
  • GATESRGATESR Member Posts: 13
    Lucky you. I have Liberty Mutual too, but for me they want $400 a year for full glass on my new BMW. Yes, that's $400. I think I'll just save up in the bank for the eventual.
  • GischpelGischpel Member Posts: 133
    The new windshield is in and looks goo. Safelite did a nice job. The price was $140.77 for a Toyota OEM windshield.

    The $4 a year mentioned above sounds nice, but is not an option with my insurance.

  • clintonjohnclintonjohn Member Posts: 99
    for a few years I lived in Minnesota where apparently the state mandates that insurance companies have to offer a zero deductible glass replacement option. mine was twelve bucks a year. However, here in Illinois, where I'm currently living, the state doesn't have such a requirement and as such, my very same insurance company won't offer it. Perhaps living with Jesse 'the body' Ventura wouldn't be so bad.
  • bigfur1bigfur1 Member Posts: 34
    Come on now Jesse wants to be known as the MIND. Ya right.
    Tom for MN
  • K9LeaderK9Leader Member Posts: 112
    My insurance (State Farm) offers a no-deductible comprehensive, which covers windshields. The cost over a $250 deductible comprehensive is only $12/year. With most windshields being in the $200 - $450 range, if you crack one windshield you've gotten back many many years of the payments. I had one car that had four replacement windshields in the six years I owned it. Just bad luck with stones. One windshield only lasted two weeks and got hit by a stone on the exact same stretch of road as the one it replaced. I also had one crack last Spring on a warm day when I started to wash it. When the water hit it, CRACKK!
    If your insurance offers the no-deductible comprehensive or the glass coverage, check it out, in most instances it will probably be worth it.
  • Dexter8thDexter8th Member Posts: 7
    I've got a crack just starting...about 6 inches and coming up from the bottom, angling to the right. Does anybody know of anything I can do to stop it from spreading? It looked, for a day or two, like it was going to turn back towards the bottom, but today it suddenly changed direction and veered towards the top. I've heard that you can take a glass cutter and cut a C around the end of the crack to stop it from spreading. Does this work?
  • clintonjohnclintonjohn Member Posts: 99
    I don't know about cutting around the crack, but my personal experience is that once it starts, it's going to just keep on going. Just reconcile yourself to the fact that you're going to have to shell out a few bills for a new windshield, unless you're one of the fortunate ones with the zero deductible.
  • GischpelGischpel Member Posts: 133
    Safelite told me that if the crack was no more than six inches they could repair it. You might want to check them out if you have them in your area --

    [email protected]
  • Dexter8thDexter8th Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the advice. I'll keep safelite in mind for the next one. Turned cold the other day...just cold enough that when I turned the defroster on I overshot the 6 inch repair limit by about 10 more inches. Fortunately, it's in the bottom 5 inches of windshield and heading towards the passenger side.

    As for a new windshield, they cost more than the car is worth. Mind you, that's what I thought 2 years ago when I last replaced the windshield.
  • Dexter8thDexter8th Member Posts: 7
    Well, I found the perfect solution for the cracked windshield...and every other problem the car had. Traded it off today on something a little more modern and a lot less miles...and has a good windshield. And yes, I do have glass insurance on the new one.
  • dlyondlyon Member Posts: 1
    We're getting ready to trade in a car with two cracks in the windshield, one quite long. Our deductible for replacement is $250.
    Is it worth it to replace the windshield before the trade-in, or should we let the dealer worry about it (we're going to a lease)?
  • st_888st_888 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Toyota Camry(Bought in 98 Sept). COuple days ago, I had a crack on the windshield the size 3/4 of a dollar because of road debris. Safelite tells they will fill it. As I have a zero deductible, insurance agent tells replace the windshield. Which is better, replacement or filling. And which will devalue the car more, if it does devalue?
  • clintonjohnclintonjohn Member Posts: 99
    if you've got a zero deductible, by all means, replace. the repairs stop the crack from spreading, but the repair is very visible. don't see why replacing the windshield should devalue the car at all. Especially if you go to sell, the buyer will see the repair vs the replacement. I've repaired and replaced. being visible, the repair would drive me nuts looking at it while I'm driving.
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    Replace the windshield. Replacement will not devalue the car, it's considered maintenance. Filling a crack just looks rinky-dink, especially if you're going to sell the car. It sorta says "I went for the cheapest fix I could find on this car," and it might scare away prospective buyers.
  • sspaksspak Member Posts: 2
    Just my two cents worth.

    To prevent your crack from spreading, for a temporary solution, use your wife's nail hardner. Clean the area of initial crack and apply at least three to four coats ( each layer applied after the previous one has dried completely ). Each layer should be applied in different direction. i.e. first is top to bottom, the second layer is left to right, the third is top left to bottom right...

    Since the nail hardner is usually clear, the view from inside isn't that bad. This quick remedy will last for quite a while. My old 84 Sentra's windshield held for two years. Of course, I constanly kept applying layers once every few weeks.
  • sspaksspak Member Posts: 2
    forgot to mention that the coat of nail hardner should cover the whole area of the initial crack and extend out about a 1/2 inch or so to make sure that the crack won't travel further

  • jxb_rulesjxb_rules Member Posts: 1
    If your registered in Mass. and have comprehensive insurance you can replace your front windshield once every two years. It's easy. No questions asked. Just call your insurance and tell them your windshield is cracked or broken and they'll give you the name and number to call to have it replaced. They will even come to your house or office to do the work. Cost to you ... Nothing.
  • chumsaechumsae Member Posts: 61
    The southwest is a mecca for windshield repairers.
    Santa Fe is the undisputed capital of mecca. We see lots of windshield damage because a lot of people live on dirt roads. Pebbles become lodged
    in the tread. At highway speeds these pebbles are
    thrown off the tread and become missles. After replacing our Saab's windshield twice we went to
    repairing. The good repair people do work that you
    would have trouble finding unless you were aware of the crack locale. We have some repairs done 7
    years ago that are still perfect. The cost is
    typically $30 or so a pop, and it keeps the landfill less filled. Some cracks cannot be repaired and the repair people will tell you when
    they see problems.
  • torektorek Member Posts: 92
    I just acquired a chip yesterday, and got it fixed today. The chip itself was small, and the hole in the windshield surface was really tiny. I called this guy who runs a mobile repair service and works on Saturdays, and he came out and did the "pull vacuum/inject sealer/UV-light-harden" process.

    It seems to work pretty well -- the air-bubble effect is gone, and you have to look fairly hard to find the repair. More importantly, this should keep it from turning into a crack. Since the car is new, this also keeps the original factory windshield seal in place ... and since the car has an inordinately expensive windshield (heated wipers and too new to have lots of aftermarket replacements), it saves my insurance company money. (In fact, it saves them everything: the repair costs way less than my deductible.)

  • mrieznermriezner Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2000 Jetta from a dealer in Houston. They didn’t have the trim package I wanted so they traded a dealer in Dallas for my car. The car was driven to the Houston dealership by a driver. I picked up the car Monday night, drove it home, parked it in the garage. Car is fine. Drove it to work Tuesday morning, parked it in covered parking. Car is fine. Drove the car to lunch and back to covered parking. Car is fine. Got into car at the end of the work day and the windshield has 10 inch crack originating close to the intersection of the glass and insulation on the drivers of windshield. Inspection shows a very small nick in the glass. I took it to the VW dealership yesterday (less than 24 hours after buying it) and they said that something hit me and it wasn’t their problem. I’ve driven the vehicle 60 miles and do not recall ANYTHING hitting the windshield. My questions, how long after being hit by an object does the windshield begin to crack? Could the dealership driver been hit by a rock but the crack be delayed until yesterday? Are VW windshields so cheap that they can be broken by something so small that you don’t even realize you’ve been hit by something? I’m soooo disappointed in my purchase at this point……
  • lochslochs Member Posts: 2
    We purchased a 99 Jetta in 99 and love it! Problem was at 6000 miles, we got a dime sized nick in the windshield, had it repaired--as insurance was going to make us pay deductible if we replaced it and we decided to keep the factory windshield as they say to keep your factory installed one as long as you can due to the seal. The repair wasn't the greatest, you can still see where the nick was--bubble effect?? So my question is, can this be redone or is this to be expected when you get nicks filled in? Also, just today at 17,000 miles I noticed a smaller nick about 5 inches away from the first one. Is there a greater chance a crack could occur between the 2 nicks even though the first one is filled? I guess I need to get the other fixed, but wanted to know what type of quality to expect. My other thought is I wonder if there is some kind of design flaw in the new Jettas. We live in Minneapolis and drive freeway all the time, but we've never had this happen to other cars much less twice on the same windshield. If anyone else is from the Minneapolis area and knows of a good auto glass place to go, let me know. Thanks
  • spnxspnx Member Posts: 37
    Can small scratches on a windshield be buffed out? They're not serious enough to warrant replacing the entire windscreen, and they're not a problem, except in the sun.
  • fgaydosfgaydos Member Posts: 319
    A week after taking my new Ford Focus home a 10" crack appeared from the top and curved downward.
    Took it to the dealers and they determined it was a stress crack and replaced it no charge.
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
    Does any one have any experience (tips etc) with those DIY windshield ding repair kits (1 part , and 2 part) sold at the auto parts stores. - Thanks
  • shilly77shilly77 Member Posts: 4
    I repaired my seriously "bulls-eyed" windshield with no previous experience with a $5.43 kit from Wal-Mart. That was two years ago, and the repair remains perfectly clear and virtually invisible. Follow the directions to the letter and you should have no problems (BTW-I used the two syringe kit) Good Luck!!
  • ataieataie Member Posts: 84
    can you explain a bit more on how this process works? don't know if this is the bulls-eye effect or not, but I have a round (the size of a quarter) of the bottom left side of my windshield. the glass is is pretty much shattered in that little, quarter sized area (in a circle) like a rock or something hit it square and hard.

    how does this repair process work? is the area cut out, then filled? Last time I changed my windshield the company had to come out 4 times to finally do the job right. I don't want to change my factory Mercedes windshield as long as possible.
  • sydfloydsydfloyd Member Posts: 2
    Windshield repair is accomplished by using an acrylic resin (some are now using polymers). Once the damaged area is filled, it is then cured. This is designed to bond the glass stopping it from getting any larger. Windshield repair is NOT a cosmetic fix!!!! It is an alternative to replacing a windshield while restoring the structural integrity to the windshield. The air void in the damaged area is what causes the darkened appearance of the damage. During the repair process, the air is being replaced by the resin, therefore, decreasing the appearance. This is just a "bonus" of the process, not the goal!!! Many factors also play into windshield repair. Age, size, type, location, etc..etc.. The older a break is, the more contamination that may have collected in the damaged area which may prohibit the resin from properly bonding the resin to the glass and also causing more scarring. And of course, the more severe the damage, the more scarring there will be. The best case for repair is a "bullseye" with no "cracks". Cracks or "combination" type breaks (bullseye with cracks) will typically be the most noticeable after repair. The catch with a bullseye is if it has been on the glass a long period of time, it is most susceptible for contamination because of the way is exposed on the surface of the glass. (GET IT FIXED ASAP!!) Windshield repair is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED unless it is directly in the line of sight of the driver, or you are unusually particular (like myself) of markings on the glass. Some states do have guidelines for inspection, but more importantly for professionals in the industry, they should follow the guidelines from the NWRA (National Windshield Repair Association) to determine (along with the customers feedback) whether it should be repaird. Replacement is something that should be avoided if at all possible. If you do require replacement, here are a couple questions to ask the facility you have chosen to do the work. 1. Are your technicians NGA certified? (National Glass association) 2. What type of adhesives do you use? 3. What is the proper "Safe Drive Away" time after you install the glass? 4. How do you guarantee the installation? 5. Do you use primers on both the glass and body that are approved by your adhesive manufacturer? (thats an important one since if they don't prime the body properly, you will have SEVERE rust problems in the future.) Stick with a "local" facility. Not that the larger national chains can't do a good job, they just don't have a long history of it. Any company can and does have problems, but if you do, how will the company handle them? Talk to your friends, get a recommendation and go with it, whether it is a large or a small company because if you have a problem, most companies allow the individual manager to handle it so every location can be different. I guess anyone who has read this message has figured out that I am a professional in the Auto Glass Industry with extensive experience in all aspects of replacements and over 8,000 windshield repairs. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for assistance or you can visit the website for the company I work for at P.S. 3 things. 1. Nail polish DOES NOT repair glass. It only destroys any possibility of it being properly repaired and no, once a chip has been repaired, there are many limitation to re-repair. Make sure whoever does it first knows what the heck they are doing!! (DO NOT USE WAL-MART OR K-MARTS OR ANY OTHER KIT UNLESS IT IS A SIMPLE BULLSEYE BREAK OR YOU HAVE EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN REPAIR. I PROMISE IT WILL COST YOU HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS DOWN THE ROAD!!!!! 2. If you can feel a scratch with you FINGERNAIL, your chances are slim of coming out! 3. "stress" cracks can and do happen. If you see even the slightest mark along the crack, especially within 3" of the edge of the glass, it is not a stress crack and rarely if ever will any dealer cover under warranty (has been known to happen). Good Luck and when you see the stone coming, DUCK!!!
  • robertralphrobertralph Member Posts: 2
    I've had my '99 Passat for one year; I got my first windshield ding the 2nd week; the 2nd came after 6 months, the third yesterday. I am in sales & travel approx. 40,000 miles per year. Have been doing this for many years. The only other car that has had to have a windshield replaced was a '92 Audi 100 Avant. Since this Passat is an Audi (according to VW/Audi); it leads me to believe that there is an inherent problem with the windshields. In the last 6 years I have driven: 2 Grand Cherokees, Pathfinder, 2 Intrepids, Grand Prix, 2 Volvos - none of them ever got a windshield ding. It ain't me, it's the car.
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