There are a few key differences between the auto glass that goes on your windshield and the auto glass that makes up your vehicle’s side windows and rear windows. Those differences actually determine whether an auto glass can be repaired or needs to be replaced.
Most car owners aren’t aware that there are any differences between a windshield, and let’s say rear window. So in this post, we would like to explain a bit further what are the main differences and what could be your repair options if it comes to it.
Laminated Auto Glass
Your windshield is made up of laminated auto glass. This type of auto glass is made up of several layers of glass that is bonded together with a special type of resin. Since glass itself isn’t very flexible, the resin’s function is to add extra flexibility. This added flexibility is crucial since it prevents the windshield from shattering upon impact. So next time, when you see a windshield with a big impact point and spiderweb cracks that extend from the point, know that this is all thanks to the resin. Without it, the windshield would simply shatter inward and could potentially injure you or your passengers.
Tempered glass is often used for your car’s rear windshield. In some cases, this is also used for side windows too. Unlike laminated glass, tempered glass is made through a process called quenching. This involves heating the auto glass to really high temperatures and then cooling it rapidly.
As a result of the quenching process, tempered glass can be five times stronger than regular glass. And it is important that your rear windshield and side windows be strong. After all, in case of an accident, they have to withstand impact.
Unlike laminated glass, which doesn’t shatter, tempered glass does shatter. But the shards from tempered glass are so small, that they don’t pose any real danger to you or to the passengers.
Repair Options for Tempered and Laminated Auto Glass
In most cases, auto glass repairs are much more affordable than replacements. Especially if your car insurance won’t cover the expenses. This is the biggest reason why so many car owners want to have their auto glass repaired instead of replaced.
However, doing a repair is not always possible. One of the main factors that determine this is the location of the auto glass i.e. whether it’s your windshield, side windows, or rear windshield. But how can someone know if a repair is possible or not?
We mentioned earlier that the windshield is fashioned from laminated glass. It’s because of this, that repairs sometime might be possible. If your windshield has medium or small cracks or chips, the repair is a feasible option. But, in case the cracks are more severe, then repairs aren’t possible and you will need to have your windshield replaced.
Unlike windshields, tempered glass doesn’t contain any resin. So if your side windows or rear windshield gets damaged, repairs might be possible (highly unlikely) but they can get so complicated that the best option would be to just replace the auto glass.