Should You Get An Auto Glass Repair Or Do You Need A Replacement

Experts will advise car owners to look for auto glass damages in the form of either cracks or chips. Generally, when debris impacts the windshield, a chip will appear in that direct location. A driver will either see:

  • The center breaking out into short cracks referenced as a “star” break
  • A circular formation referenced as a “bulls-eye
  • A half-circle or crescent moon shape referenced as a “partialbulls-eye
  • A chip “crack” that measures under an inch
  • A gouge in the glass, referenced as a “pit.”

Cracks, on the other hand, create apparent lines along the glass. You’ll find anything from the “chip” crack, measuring below an inch, up to the entire size of the glass, running horizontally. These run in often a straight but occasionally curvy pattern. Even those that run the full size of the glass have the potential for repairs. Find details on windshield cracks/chips repairs at

Does Your Windshield Need A Repair Or A Replacement

It’s essential to understand that repairs are typically only possible with a laminated glass windshield. Tempered glass side and back windows are irreparable instead needing replacement.

Professionals base decisions on whether a windshield can be repaired or needs a replacement on primarily the depth, size, and location of the damages. A deep, significant crack extending to the windshield’s edges is more prone to replacement than a chip further from the edges of a shallow nature and smaller in size. If there is any hesitancy about attempting to make the repair, replacement is the best option. Let’s check out the different factors more closely.


The depth refers to the level at which the damage penetrates the windshield. The front window has varied layers, the outer section, inner plastic piece, and the inside glass. If the damage passes through these three sections, it’s impossible to make a clean, safe repair of the damage.


Advances and innovations for repair technology are steady in the auto glass industry. One minute you might need to replace the piece, but tomorrow they might have a fix for the large crack or chip depending on the repair service pro. As a general rule, currently, any chip that’s no larger than a quarter and cracks at three inches or below in length are easy fixes.

You can find specifics on repair limits based on the type of damage (as designated in the introduction) with resources like “NWRA” or “National Windshield Repair Association” and “ROLAGS” or “The Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard.” The location has some bearing despite size plus the shop’s capacity to perform the work.


The location plays a significant role in repairing or replacing a windshield. If there’s intersecting between the glass’s outside edge and the damage in a few places, the window’s integrity will be compromised. The glass is responsible for over half of the vehicle structure’s strength. If there were to be an accident involving a rollover of the automobile, it could prove to be worse due to the damaged glass. Replacement is crucial for safety.

Repairs are not an option either if the damage is in the visibility line of the driver or any area that the driver’s side windshield wiper would cover. A repair can create a level of distortion possibly impeding the field of view creating a hazard.

Repairs are discouraged when they have the potential to distort the view of any auto sensors like the automatic brake system, rain sensors, any “ADAs” or “automated driver assistance devices, or lane departure warnings. Crystal clear visibility for these systems is mandatory, but malfunctions can occur with an even close-to-perfect repair job.

When is Replacement of the Windshield a Necessity

If any of the circumstances discussed are an issue, replacement is unavoidable. Seeking an auto glass professional’s inspection is wise to determine if repairs or a replacement is necessary. These experts can assure you of what will be the safest option. Go here for guidance on whether it’s illegal to drive with damaged auto glass. In these situations, there is no question but to replace:

  • Tempered glass will always need replacing. The back and side windows are tempered. If the windshield is tempered and not laminated, it will need replacing.
  • You measure the crack with paper money, finding it longer; it will need replacing.
  • Whether it’s a chip or a crack, if it has gone through more than half the depth of the windshield, it is irreparable.
  • The edge of the glass intersects with the damage on more than one area or overextends the outer edge.

Safety is a priority when driving, not only for you but for those surrounding you on the road. If you put yourself at risk by riding with a crack in the windshield, you’re endangering everyone else as well.

The suggestion is in a collision taking place on the front end of a vehicle, nearly half of the cabin’s structural integrity depends on the windshield and over half if there were a rollover.

Final Thought

Some preventative measures are possible when driving to attempt to avoid chips and cracks in the auto glass. Again, safety is the priority, and that includes paying attention for debris and staying an adequate distance from other vehicles so rocks flying from tires or out of truck beds can’t hit you.

When you do find yourself the victim of windshield damage, it’s essential to drive the car as little as possible in that condition. Shattering is a very real possibility depending on how weak the glass became from the strike. The best option is to drive immediately to a repair professional for an inspection and recommendation.

Make sure to look for a trusted, reliable, and experienced installer like those at so you can count on the suggestions. You don’t want to receive repairs only to find that a replacement was, in fact, the best option, and now you’re stuck with further issues and higher costs.

Pay attention to testimonials on impartial sites and get recommendations from friends and family members plus check out the Better Business Bureau for ratings. With your safety at risk, always anticipate a replacement unless the damage is relatively superficial. It’s better to be safe than sorry later.

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