Rock chips in the windshield of your car can be an annoyance, but depending on where they are located on the glass, they can also pose a problem with visibility. Windshield rock chip repair is a common solution for small chips, but there are some things you need to know when considering whether you can repair the glass or need to replace it entirely.
One of the most critical things that will determine if a glass tech can repair the chip in the glass is the size of the chip. The chip in the glass needs to be small enough that the tech doing the windshield rock chip repair can effectively fill the chip with resin and get it to flow into all the tiny cracks around the chip.
If the chip is large enough that it begins to crack and spiderweb out from the center, it may not be fixable. The sooner the tech can fill the chip, the easier it is to stop the spreading cracks in the glass. The tech will inspect the chip and the cracks and let you know if they can fix them or not before they start any work on the windshield.
Successful windshield rock chip repair can depend on the depth of the rock chip as well. If the chip is deep enough to damage the polyethylene layer between the inner and outer glass on your windshield, filling the chip may not work.
The polyethylene layer between the glass sheets is there to stabilize the glass in the event of an impact. Once the layer is damaged, the structural integrity of the glass becomes compromised. If that plastic sheet is torn even a little, filling the chip over it could result in a week spot in the glass.
If the glass has another impact on it, it may fail in the same spot, but the failure will often be more extensive and could even allow penetration of the windshield.
If the chip in your glass is small enough and stable enough to repair, its location is often not an issue. The one spot of the glass that windshield rock chip repair is not recommended is along the glass's edge, where the glass meets the car body.
This is especially true if the chip has started to crack towards the edge of the windshield. Injecting resin into the chip may fill it, but if the chip is along the edge, there is not enough stable glass around it for the resin to bond to, and the repair will not be reliable and durable.
Talk to the tech about the chip location when you arrive at the auto glass shop, and they can tell you right away if it is fixable.