Cracked Windshields – Better to Repair or Replace It?

When experiencing a chipped or cracked windshield, many people might wonder what their options are.

While some windshield cracks can be repaired and others cannot or should not be, when is windshield repair a better option than windshield replacement?

This quick guide on cracked auto windshields can help vehicle owners make that decision!

When Can A Windshield Crack Be Repaired?

Though a cracked windshield is never a good thing, it does not always have to result in an expensive auto repair bill.

Sometimes, a low-cost windshield repair to stabilize a windshield crack is possible as long as the crack fits specific criteria:

  • The windshield crack is less than 6 inches in length.
  • The crack is not located within the driver’s line of vision.
  • The crack is not located where it interferes with any onboard sensors or dash cams.
  • There are a total of no more than two cracks, chips, or other defects on the windshield.

If all of the above factors are true, it is usually possible to avoid windshield replacement with a repair done by a skilled auto glass technician.

Using a windshield repair technique that involves injecting resin into the crack to stabilize it, then curing it with UV light and polishing it, most windshields with minor damage away from the driver’s line of vision can be saved.

When Must Cracked Windshields Be Replaced?

Windshield cracks that exceed the damage outlined in the points above cannot be repaired.

Cracked auto windshields must be replaced when the damage is within the driver’s line of vision, extends longer than six inches, and interferes with the onboard sensors or dash camera.

Though some damage in the corners and along the edges may not seem like it is in a troublesome spot, failing to replace a windshield with damage that affects the special electronic sensors that work safety features like lane departure sensors, braking sensors, and others could be extremely dangerous.

A windshield replacement is also necessary when the damage is more than just a simple crack but is a defect that is deep enough to affect multiple layers of the auto glass or is spider-webbing out from the damaged area.

A crack that continues to spread over time is another sign that a simple repair may not be sufficient.

Lastly, if there is already a repair and another chip or crack happens, replacement is the safest and most often recommended solution.

Follow The Guidance of A Reliable Auto Glass Shop

Cracked auto windshields can be anything from an annoyance to a costly auto repair problem depending on the severity of the defect and other factors.

Since not every crack requires a windshield replacement, the best advice is to have any damage assessed by an experienced auto glass technician who can advise on the proper solution.

Windshield repairs are recommended whenever it is possible to do them.

If a repair is not possible due to the location or type of windshield crack, a new windshield is the appropriate option to keep a vehicle legally drivable and ensure all sensors continue working as they should.

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