Should Your Windshield Be Repaired or Does It Need Replacement?

It’s a beautiful morning. The traffic is sailing smoothly. Suddenly, flying gravel from a long-haul truck you were following lands on your windshield. A crack forms. Most Americans tend to ignore the chip if they can still see through or over the crack, placing themselves at risk.

However, chips and cracks on your windshield should not be ignored. Rather, you should visit an auto glass repair shop. At that point, you may be in a dilemma of whether to repair the crack or get a windshield replacement service. Here are five tips to help you figure out the right step to take.


The windshield is a crucial component that supports the structural integrity of your vehicle. If the damage is huge, it may weaken its safety functionality, placing you and your passenger at risk. If the crack reaches the inner plastic layer, it’s advisable to consider a replacement over auto glass repair.


The small crack that you forgo repairing may interfere with the driver’s primary viewing area. This area is the part covered by the windshield wipers. Glass technicians may not recommend an auto glass repair if the scratch is within the driver’s line of vision.


A few years back, even the tiniest of shards meant that you had to replace the entire glass. Newer inventions and technologies changed this notion. The Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS) set by the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) indicates that chips with less than one-inch diameter and cracks less than 12 inches can now be repaired.


The position of the chip may determine if you require an auto glass repair or window replacement. Most glass professionals will recommend you seek out windshield replacement services if the crack is near the frame. A chip at the corner has a higher risk of shattering the entire glass block as you drive. If automated sensors are affected, you may have to replace the glass too.


Chips and cracks that have damaged the laminate cannot be considered for repair. This is because the damage has already extended to the inner plastic layer affecting the structural integrity of the windshield. Any damage to the internal layer, even with the external glass padding intact, demands a replacement.

Auto Glass Repair vs. Replacement

Fixing a crack early enough prevents it from spreading further and causing more damage. A windshield repair takes approximately 30 minutes and at a lower cost. The glass technicians will inject a clear glass resin on the chipped spot. The resin is heated up, fills up the crack, and polished for a smooth surface. It restores the windshield’s integrity and improves its appearance.

Windshield cracks that are greater than twelve inches are often replaced. It is important to note that the auto glass replacement process takes time as you must wait for the adhesives to bond firmly with the frame. You also have to choose between getting an OEM glass, an aftermarket OEM substitute, or a generic alternative. Some Insurance companies may cover the cost of replacement for you.

In Conclusion

Driving with a cracked windshield puts you and your passenger in danger if an accident happens. A damaged windshield can also shatter unexpectedly and interfere with your visibility, especially when you are driving at highways cruising speeds. Before this happens, you should consider repairing or replacing your damaged windshield.

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  1. […] cracks the windshield, for instance, and the crack is more than a foot long, you’ll probably need to replace the glass. Alternatively, if the windshield wipers or fluids need to be replaced, talk to them about coming […]

  2. JARET SZIMONISZ on May 9, 2020 at 3:04 am

    thanks for sharing!

  3. […] vehicle accidents in the U.S. alone. Not only does this make for costly repairs such as replacing windshields with foot-long cracks, but it also comes at a tragic human cost. Imagine how this number might be […]

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  8. Zachary Tomlinson on June 30, 2020 at 4:59 am

    Thank you for helping me understand when a windshield needs to be replaced. I find it concerning to learn that having a small crack on a windshield could expand and do further damage if left unattended. My friend told me that his windshield got cracked by a baseball bat and he’s curious if it’s fine to leave it as is. I’ll share this with him and suggest that he get windshield replacement asap.