How to Know if Crack Can Be Repaired in a Windshield

by Contributor

It happens frequently; a stone kicks up on the highway and damages the windshield. Sometimes it makes a small chip, while other times it can leave a long crack. No matter which type of damage your windshield incurs, a repair or replacement is in order. The trick is knowing which one.

Get your vehicle safely stopped before assessing the damage. You put yourself and other drivers in danger by being distracted while driving down the highway. Get to a safe location well off the road before inspecting your windshield.

Assess the type of damage. If you have a stone chip, see if the hole goes all the way through the glass. If you have a hole that breaches both sides of the glass, your best and safest bet is to replace the windshield.

Measure the stone chip if the hole only affects the outside of the windshield. If the divot is 1/2 inch or less across, you can usually repair the windshield with resin.

Observe cracks for type. Spider-webbed cracks that resemble a stick with one or more branches are ineligible for repair. You must replace the windshield. If you have a single, relatively straight crack, there is a chance you can repair it provided the crack is no more than 6 inches long.

Tips

  • check Place a dollar bill over the crack. If the bill hides the damage completely, in most cases a repair is possible.
  • check Heat and wind can extend windshield damage. Do all repairs as quickly as possible. While awaiting a repair, cover the damage with tape to slow additional damage.
  • check Resin repair kits are available at most auto supply stores. For minor damage, you can save a few dollars by doing the repair yourself.

Warning

  • close Chips and cracks on the interior of a windshield are not eligible for repair. This type of damage warrants windshield replacement.

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