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Repair or Replace? Your Guide to Car Glass Repair

You’re driving along and a stone flicks up from the vehicle in front. It cracks your windshield. Do you need to get the windshield replaced or repaired?

You don’t necessarily have to replace the windshield. It depends on how much damage has been done.

How big is the crack or chip? How deep did it go into the glass? Is it in your line of sight?

Car glass repair needs an expert. But there are certain things that can help you know whether the windshield needs repairing or replacing. Read on to learn the signs for making that decision.

Car Glass Repair

Here are 4 things that mean you can repair your windshield.


The most important thing to consider is whether the windshield remains safe for you to drive. The windshield is there to provide protection for the occupants. If there is a potential for the window to shatter while driving or when in an accident you need to get it repaired as soon as possible.


There are guidelines you can follow to determine if the windshield is safe to repair. If you have a crack and it’s less than 12 inches long, it should be possible to repair it.

If you have chip and the bullseye or center is less than 1 inch in diameter, it is also safe to repair.


If the crack or chip hasn’t penetrated the second (interior) layer of glass it can be repaired.

This is a harder one to determine for non-experts. The key thing to do is feel the glass (carefully) from the inside. If the glass is smooth, the chip probably hasn’t pushed into or past the second layer.


Where the chip or crack is located on the windshield is important. If the crack or chip is not in the driver’s line of sight and it isn’t too close to the edge of the windshield then there is a good chance you can get it repaired.

Car Glass Replacement

Replacing your windshield is more expensive, but it is the best option. A complete replacement guarantees that your windshield is safe and is required by law in some states. You should assess the same 4 things as for repair.

Safety remains the primary concern. If in doubt, make an appointment with a car glass repair company as soon as you can. The best shops even have free mobile service so you don’t have to bring your vehicle in.


Any crack more than 14 inches long and any chip more than 1 inch in diameter means you need a new windshield.

When you take your car to an expert glass repair shop they will make the final determination. But knowing how big the glass crack or chip is will give you an idea of the work that needs to be done.


If the glass is cracked all the way through, you need to replace the windshield. If you’ve somehow cracked or chipped the windshield from the inside out you need to replace it. This is true even if the exterior of the glass remains intact.


Any crack or chip that is in the way of the driver’s view means you need a new windshield. If the damage has extended to the edge of the window or into the corner you should replace it.

The size of the chip or crack doesn’t matter. The edges of the windshield are weaker. Bumps or fender benders could easily lead to a shattered windshield if the existing damage stretches to the edge.

Make Sure You’re Windshield is Ready for Your Next Drive

The most important thing to think about is your safety. If you get a crack or a chip take your car to a reputable car glass repair shop. They will assess the damage and give you an expert opinion.

The last thing you want is the crack turning into a shatter or the police pulling you over because of windshield damage. Don’t take chances.

If you’re in the Denver Metro area and you have a chipped windshield, call us today for an expert opinion or to schedule a service appointment.