Auto Glass Blues

windshield crack

The first time was at night.  It scared the bejabbers out of us.

We were driving through the desert on U.S. 95 on the way to Nevada when it hit us.  The stone collided with our windshield so forcefully that we thought for a moment that the glass had shattered.  We were surprised that the projectile hadn’t come right through and taken us out.

When we stopped to take a look, we found that the shatterproof glass barrier had done its job well.  Despite the loud noise, it was a relatively small hole that we were able to have repaired the next day.  Tiny lines radiating from the point of impact made it look like a star.  We were lucky that the crack was located high enough to be outside the driver’s direct line of vision; we did not need to replace the entire windshield.

The next time it happened was less than a year later on a remote part of Highway 20 in northern California.  We were on our way to visit family in Marysville.  This time, the sound was not loud at all.  A pebble had left a second crack in our windshield.  Although it was low on the glass, it was way over on the passenger’s side.  This one, too, was out of the driver’s line of vision, and we decided to just let it be.

They say things come in threes, so we weren’t totally surprised when, not long after, another pebble pock marked our windshield while we were cruising down the freeway.

By this time, we figured there was no point at all in having the windshield replaced.  As long as we were still legal, we weren’t going to waste a lot of money when we knew that somewhere another pebble had us in its crosshairs.

This worked fine until last month when the perennial summer heat returned to our desert home.  Apparently, two or three days of ninety degree temperatures were enough to expand one of the cracks in the glass.

We were thinking that, even if one of the cracks enlarged, it wouldn’t be by much.  We were wrong.  The crack expanded in a line that extended from one end of the windshield clear to the other.

Now there was no question that the windshield needed to be replaced.  While my wife was up north visiting her family for Easter, she made an appointment will a well-known auto glass chain.  More than $400 later, we had a brand new windshield.

This made me feel better, as I was expecting us to end up with a fix-it ticket at any moment.  I was very pleased that my wife was able to have the work done before she headed home.  As she had eleven hours of solo driving ahead of her, I did not want her be worried about being stopped by the cops because of the windshield.

So I’m sure you can guess what happened on her trip home.