Understanding Auto Part Numbers

Learn Whether Auto Glass Scratches Can Be Buffed Out Or Whether Auto Windshield Replacement Is Needed

by Gwendolyn Anderson

If you have a scratch on your car's windshield, one of the questions that you may have is whether you can repair the scratch or whether you need auto windshield replacement. There are many factors that play a role in whether you can have the scratch buffed out or whether you will need your windshield replaced. Keep reading to learn more about these factors and what they may mean for your auto windshield. 

Any Existing Damage to Your Windshield

One of the first things that you need to consider if there is a scratch on your windshield is whether there is any other type of damage to it, such as a crack or chip. If your windshield is already damaged, especially if that damage is near the new scratch on your windshield, it usually makes more sense to replace your windshield. Repairing a scratch can cause your windshield to move, which can further damage cracks or chips that are already present. 

The Depth of the Scratch

Only surface-level scratches in your windshield can be buffed out. If the scratch is deep, it cannot be repaired. As a general rule of thumb, if you can insert your fingernail into the scratch, or you can run your finger over the scratch and you can feel the level difference in heights between your windshield and the scratch, the scratch is more than surface-level and should not be buffed out. However, if you can see a scratch, but your windshield still generally feels smooth, your scratch can probably be buffed out. 

The Location of the Scratch

Lastly, the location of the scratch plays a role in whether a windshield can be buffed to remove a scratch or whether auto windshield replacement is needed. If you can see the scratch in your line of sight while driving, you should replace your windshield. Buffing can affect the clarity of the glass, and as such, damage to your windshield should not be buffed if the damage is within your line of sight while driving. 

If your windshield is otherwise in good condition, if you have a surface-level scratch, and if the scratch does not affect your line of sight when driving, the scratch can likely be buffed out. If your windshield is already damaged and the scratch is near that existing damage, if the scratch is deep, or if the scratch affects your view while you are driving your automobile, you will likely need auto windshield replacement due to the scratch. Reach out to an auto glass repair company or an auto windshield replacement company to obtain an estimate for repairing the scratch or replacing your windshield.