Winter's freeze-thaw cycles are unkind to paved roads, and when a roadway turns to gravel, its debris can cause damage to your car's windshield. Also, windshields take on a more concave shape in cold temperatures, and winter windshield chips and dings can spread in a horizontal fashion.
According to a study by the Motor Industry Research Association in the United Kingdom, chips are likely to spread more than 80 percent of the time at temperatures of 14 degrees Fahrenheit; those tested at 32 degrees Fahrenheit were almost 60 percent likely to crack.
Fortunately, unlike in the past, most windshield damage of this nature can be repaired if it's dealt with via the timely application of specialized resin.
"We can repair cracks of up to 6 inches today," says Dave Erwin, director of repair services at Safelite AutoGlass in Columbus, Ohio. "If the damage can be covered by a dollar bill, there's a very good chance that we can repair the windshield safely and successfully. ... The process takes about 30 minutes and the average windshield repair cost is around $100."
If the windshield must be replaced, it will cost $150 to $350, depending on whether you own a car, van or light truck-SUV.