Earlier this month I was driving on I-10 behind a vehicle and it kicked up a rock. You know what happened next - that horrible noise a rock makes when it hits glass and then the inevitable ding in my windshield. After a helluva lot of cursing, I figured, well, I guess I better get that fixed. A couple of days later, a friend of mine posted an Instagram pic of her windshield with a hairline crack all the way across her windshield that she said happened while she was in the parking lot at her place of business. She couldn't figure out how it happened since she didn't have any dings in her windshield.

About a week later, Ruben from our local Safelite AutoGlass came to the station and filled in the divot in my windshield and told me a few things we all need to know about summer heat and the windows in your car.

1. Don’t use a reflector shade cover when you have a chip - A shiny shade cover intensifies the heat on your windshield and can take a ding like mine and make it spread. The heat generated can also take a perfectly fine windshield like my friend's and exploit an unseen flaw in the glass. That's probably why her windshield developed the crack in the 108 degree heat we had on Friday.

2. If you use a shade screen don't use anything reflective or dark - Even a dark cardboard shade screen will intensify the heat on your windshield. Use a light colored, non-reflective shade screen. The material doesn't matter - the color and non-reflective coating does.

3. Modern windshields are thinner - In older cars, a ding would have to be pretty deep in order to spread, but newer cars use lighter weight materials to help with gas mileage. That's why getting a ding fixed quickly is important because....

4. If the ding gets sealed, it might not be repairable - My ding was only a week or so old, so it hadn't had time to get packed with dirt or other debris. Once that happens, Ruben says it's impossible to fix the flaw because they can't clean it out. As soon as you see a ding, get it fixed, otherwise it could spread across your windshield.

Ruben says there is no way to know how long it will take for a ding to spread into a crack. It just depends on the heat, the make of the windshield, or how much your use your car.

Ok, I'm off to Target to get me a different shade screen.

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