4 Ways to Know If You Need a Windshield Replacement or a Repair

30 Jan 2019

There are many ways how your windshield might get damaged. From gravel accidentally falling off a construction truck or a piece of debris being kicked up by passing cars to bad weather such as hale, an impaired windshield can often catch you off guard. If you notice that your windshield has a chip or a crack, you should definitely not ignore it as it can be very dangerous. Driving with a windshield that is damaged puts your and the lives of other people around you at risk, so it’s best not to take that chance.

Before the technology we have today was invented, the windshield had to be replaced no matter the damage. However, now we are able to repair the windshield easier depending on the state it is in. So, if you are wondering whether you should repair or replace it, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some ways how you can assess what your vehicle needs.

What is the size of the damage?

One of the factors that determine whether a chip or a crack can be repaired is their size. When it comes to chips, if they are around the size of a quarter, repairing them should not be a problem. You should definitely consult a repair company to see what their capabilities are, but usually, chips up to three inches can be repaired.

When dealing with a crack, the upper limit for it to be repaired is 18 inches. Again, consult a professional to see whether it is possible. Furthermore, for some smaller chips and cracks, you can opt for the DIY approach.

Where is the damage located?

The location of the crack or chip plays a crucial role in deciding whether your windshield can be repaired. Sometimes, even the smallest of impairments can’t be fixed because they might leave blotches or an uneven surface, which can decrease the driver’s visibility and clarity. If several people drive one car, this decision depends on the height of every driver.

In case the crack or chip is contaminated, it might be hard to repair. Moreover, if the damage is near or on the edge of the windshield or in the field of vision of any of the drivers, you most certainly need to contact a shop that offers windscreen replacement services. Turn to professionals with experience as your safety should be your number one priority. We already mentioned how dangerous driving around with a damaged windshield can be.

How deep is the damage?

Another thing that is important when figuring out if you have to replace your windshield is the depth of the damage. The answer is yes in case you can feel the crack on both the inside and outside panel of glass. Not to mention that if you see a hole in your windscreen, you need to have it replaced immediately.

You should understand that the windshield consists of two sheets of glass and a plastic layer between them. The outer layer of glass acts like the first failsafe. If the damage reaches the middle layer, it might be difficult to fix, so talk to a specialist to figure out the best course of action.

How much damage is there?

The amount of damage can also determine whether you can repair the windshield. In case you have three chips or fewer, a professional should be able to repair it. On the other hand, if there are more than three chips, the windscreen is more susceptible to suddenly shattering and you should consider replacing it.


Hopefully, this article helped you realize whether your windscreen needs replacing. If not, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. A small crack can easily spread, so don’t gamble with your safety and fix this issue as soon as possible.

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