When Should You Replace Your Windshield Instead Of Trying To Polish It?

Posted on: 23 July 2020


Polishing your windshield is a great way to both improve visibility and make your windshield look new. However, it's not the best choice in all situations. Extensive windshield damage often can't be removed by polishing it, which will leave you with continuing visibility problems.

Excessive glare or poor visibility due to dust and dirt buildup is a safety issue, so it's important for your windshield to be in good condition. To help you stay safe while driving, read on to find out when you should replace your windshield instead of attempting to polish it.

Your Windshield Has Deep Scratches

If you can fit your fingernail into a scratch on your car's windshield, you'll most likely need to replace it. Auto glass polish is a mild abrasive agent, and it removes a tiny amount of surface glass when you buff it out with a towel. When the scratches are too deep, you won't be able to remove them no matter how much buffing you do.

Using a rotary buffer with a glass cutting pad allows you to remove more of the surface glass, but it's still ineffective for deep scratches. When you have a deep, stubborn scratch that won't come out, it's best to replace your windshield.

Your Windshield Scratches Extend Under Its Perimeter Seal

If you have a scratch in your windshield that extends under the seal, you'll always need to have it replaced. You won't be able to buff out the hidden portion of the scratch using a rotary buffer or auto glass polish.

Scratches near the edges of your windshield also compromise its structural integrity — the seal is no longer completely tight, which means the windshield may be more likely to break if you have an accident. While these scratches may not impair visibility or be a cosmetic issue, it's important to have your windshield replaced regardless for safety reasons.

Your Windshield Has Extensive Pitting

Small particles like dust and sand can cause pits in your windshield when they impact it at high speeds. When your windshield is pitted, you'll have very poor visibility at night. The pits refract incoming light, which causes severe glare.

Using a rotary buffer on your windshield can remove many of these pits, but you may not be able to polish your windshield to a smooth surface when the pitting is severe — you'll still have persistent glare issues at night.

If polishing your windshield doesn't fix your visibility problems or you're still left with scratching and pitting, call a windshield replacement service in your area. Windshield replacement is a quick and inexpensive process, and most companies will come to you rather than requiring you to come into their repair shop. Replacement will ensure that your visibility is restored and that your windshield doesn't become a safety issue while driving.

Contact a local windshield replacement service today to learn more.