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Should I Repair or Replace My Car Windshield?

Kent Lansing
Wednesday, Apr 29

When making the decision to either repair or replace a damaged windshield, safety should always be your first priority. While still a very important function, your windshield does much more than provide a clear view of the road. It is a critically important safety feature that protects the drivers during emergencies resulting in front on collisions, rollovers, and any incident that causes an airbag to deploy. Driving with a structurally compromised windshield puts everyone inside of the vehicle at an increased risk of injury or death.

Types of Windshield Damage

Not all types of windshield damage are the same, thus they should not be treated the same. Here are some repair guidelines for the most common types of damage:

Windshield Chips

Chip: A basic ‘chip’ refers to small damage to a windshield, where glass is missing from the windshield. 

Bulls-eye: Similar to a ‘chip’, uniquely identified by its dark-colored outer ring and clear impact point.

Can it be fixed? These can usually be repaired if the diameter is smaller than an inch and not obstructing the driver’s field of vision.

Combination break: Exactly what you might think, a combination break is damage with multiple characteristics. For example, it may be a bulls-eye that has developed extruding legs (cracks) over time. 

Can it be fixed? A combination break can often be fixed as long as the diameter of the body is less than 2 inches. This diameter is measured excluding legs.

Windshield Cracks

Edge Crack: An edge crack is classified as such if it starts within two inches of the edge of the windshield or reaches it.

Can it be fixed? These cracks must be evaluated on a case by case basis. If the technician is unable to fully see the crack, a replacement will often be recommended.

Floater Crack: Different from an edge crack, a floater crack originates within the middle portion of the windshield and has yet to reach the edge.

Can it be fixed? While each crack is different and determined individually, technicians can often repair cracks up to 12” or even larger in diameter.

Some Things to Consider

When in doubt, it is always best to consult with and trust the judgment of an auto glass professional. While there are rules of thumb that provide general guidance, each windshield is different and needs to be evaluated differently. 

At Glassy we understand that using your hard-earned money to repair or replace a windshield is a frustrating thing. However, you cannot put a price tag on your safety and the safety of those in the vehicle with you. 

If your windshield is damaged, use our instant quote tool to find a provider near you and get back on the road, safely.